Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The South Devon lanes.

Yesterday, we had a lovely little jaunt through the Devon lanes.

We did a quick trip to Hill House Nursery at Landscove.

It's a beautiful setting for an old fashioned nursery and

we've been there many times. 

Having said that, I was somewhat disappointed.

We arrived at the tea rooms at 10.58 only to be told in no uncertain terms that

'We don't open until 11am'.

Bearing in mind that we were with my mum, who can't walk far

and she struggles a little, Mr S asked if we could just sit in and wait.

The answer was a big fat 'No' because  'other people might see us and want to do the same.'

(As many will know, my dad passed away recently and my mum

has had a really tough few years looking after him.)

The two minutes are up by now....LOL!

I don't take kindly to unfeeling people and so

that made me feel quite irritated!! ;-)

I won't be going back there in a hurry and, in my opinion, the plants were nowhere 

near as good a quality as at Powderham!

Plus...pricey or what?!!

So there!!

The best bit of the morning was the free bit..the drive through the lanes of South Devon.

On the way back, we passed through the sleepy little village of Denbury.

The lanes around here were full of wild garlic...along with Bluebells, Campion, Stitchwort

Hedge Parsley etc etc...lovely!


Linda Gilbert said...

You should have called in for a coffee. I agree the last time we went to Hillhouse it was not as it used to be

Ju bohomumma said...

I abhor jobsworths like that. Whatever the rules are, you apply them with common sense. So what if other people saw you in there - how difficult would it be to explain your mother's situation and why you were allowed to wait. And all for the sake of 2 minutes.

Glad you still had a good time and the lanes look lovely.

elaine said...

Disagree about the plants, they are grown by a wonderful plantsman with years of knowledge behind him.
Wonderful staff who are always happy to help. New staff in cafe too who may only be sticking to what they have been told to do, after all was only 2 minutes!

Sal said...

Rubbish! We treat elderly appallingly in this country and this was another example. In other countries elderly people get far more respect. The stupidity of it was that the sign on the door said 'Open' ,the door was unlocked and the woman wasn't even friendly. There was no one else around,there was no queue so her silly argument didn't hold up. No one treats my mum like that and for that very reason ,I will not be going back in a hurry.

Andi's English Attic said...

Two minutes is a long time to stand for folk who find it difficult. For the sake of two minutes they've lost a customer. If the rules are that strict then don't put the 'open' sign up until you unlock the door as the clock strikes 11.

Caroline said...

Can't believe the attitude of the cafe staff - how very horrible. Your first picture of the cistern at the crossroads in Denbury is about 20 yards from my house!!

Anonymous said...

The nursery staff are not in question.
The cafe staff clearly are.
They are in a service industry where the customer should be king.
In this current financial climate one would have thought that a small independent business would have been particularly sensitive in maintaining a good customer relationship in the hope to survive.
I see that Elaine seems dismissive stating that it was only two minutes.
If it were only two minutes then why hasn't the staff obliged? The onus is on them as a business NOT the customer.
Should I ever employ staff, then I would expect them to uphold my good name first, offer service second to none, then we can discuss if my policy needs sticking to, or changing for the better.

KC'sCourt! said...

How RUDE! If that was me I would have sat regardless, two minutes to wait in that two minutes I could have chosen what I wanted and then be ready when they came to take my order! Some people have no respect or commonsense - well that's gone out of the window anyway, 'commonsense'! I then would have come home and either tried to find them on the internet or have written a letter to the cafe and copy to the nursery as it is on their grounds.
Julie xxxxxxxx

galant said...

We have been to Hill House on several occasions, mainly because it's a nice jaunt out in the countryside and is evocative of a bygone era, a more gentle pace of life.
However, although several friends go there and rhapsodize about the plants, I've always found them to be unhealthy-looking and rather expensive.
Horticulturists do tend to be sniffy about 'garden centres' (and not nurseries, where plants are actually cultivated) such as Jack's Patch and so forth, but we have always found the plants (and the knowledge of the staff) to be excellent in our local garden centres. Avon Mill at Loddiswell and Otter Nursery at Babbacombe are our favourites.
Just think how different a visit would have been had the staff been welcoming and if the plants looked as if they weren't about to expire!
The best part of Hill House is the church next door, designed by the architect who designed Truro Cathedral, John Loughborough Pearson, RA. To learn more about Hill House (not what it is like now, but how it was half a century ago) read An Englishman's Garden by Edward Hyams and see the chapter on Landscove in The English Vicarage Garden published in 1988 by Michael Joseph, with an introduction by Miss Read.
Margaret P

Sal said...

Thank you,,Margaret! I will look out for that book;-)

Hubbard said...

I see that Sal hasn't the courage to post the reply I took trouble to write, explaining the possible reasons why - in preparation for a busy Bank Holiday Monday - we weren't ready to let the public into the Tea Room early, for their own safety! That reply also explained that we've often done so in the past. Shame on you for hiding behind your keyboard, Sal and not allowing those you've libelled to say their piece. A tin-pot dictator indeed.

Sal said...

Firstly, whoever you are, I never received any such a reply. If I had I would have published it as I believe in the power of debate.

Secondly, before you start calling people names, I suggest that you think more widely about the glitches of the internet.

Thirdly, I might be many things but I am neither a liar or a dictator.

Finally, I had an 87 year old lady with me, who has just lost her husband. She is frail and slow. There was noone else around and it would not have hurt to have allowed such a person to sit for a couple of minutes. That is called humanity.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself for the way that you have jumped to the wrong conclusion and made yourself look silly in the process.

I would have been prepared to come to your establishment in the future but now that you have written such rubbish, I most certainly will not.

Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Well Old Mother Hubbard if we are to reduce ourselves to calling people names, I can play that game too.
I wonder if you were the unhelpful and uncaring person at the cafe door.
I fail to see what danger could have been presented to customers in the two minutes in question and what it was that was being done to prevent it. I could see that the cafe was empty in the public area, through the windows.
I am from a computer background and know only too well that glitches can occur from time to time, which is a mystery to us all. It is highly likely that your comment may well have got lost in the ether through no fault of the blogger, it may have been due to your mistake, operating system or even Google the host.
It is quite clear from reviewing the history of Sal's blogs that she certainly does not censor comments and is further not afraid to speak up for standards.
If she was a censor then why would she have allowed your comment here to be published. It does not make any sense.
Finally the facts presented in her blog are true and corroborated. They are not libellous and for you to suggest otherwise is repugnant.
An apology would have been nice in the first instance and certainly now, for such an accusation. I shall not hold my breath though.
You have skated around the issue.
It is only too common nowadays for some not to stand up and take responsibility for their mistakes or poor service.

galant said...

I have known Sal for a number of years and have met her mother (a lovely lady, although as Sal says, now elderly and frail). Sal speaks her mind, but what is more important, she speaks the truth. If 'Hubbard' has located Sal's blog, then he could've found her address and contacted her privately about this matter, which would've been a far better way of doing things, rather than posting such remarks such as "tin-pot dictator" which she most certainly isn't.
I appreciate the struggle that independent businesses such as Hill House face in these difficult economic times, but good manners and common sense cost nothing, whether in response to Sal's post on her blog, or the attitude of Hill House staff to Sal's elderly mother.
Margaret P

Sal said...

Firstly, I checked my blog history and had the 'representative' from Hill House also looked, he/she would’ve seen that there have been three occasions, in the past, where I have blogged about our visits to Hill House...all very positive reports. I suggest he/she goes and looks NOW!

Secondly, all good businesses use and act upon feedback. They see it as an important source for ensuring that their businesses go forward. If they are forward thinking and think widely and carefully about issues, they view any negative comments and act on those comments in an appropriate manner. They certainly do not 'name call' and label people as libellous. They act with professionalism and think to themselves, 'Hmm...maybe he /she has a point and this is an area which we need to address.'
That is the mark of a good business.

Thirdly, I am also aware that the person at Hill House has been in touch with other people who have commented on this blog and has made snide and derogatory comments about me saying that I ‘cowardly hide behind a keyboard to disparage others.’
I will let my blog readers decide which of us is the coward ! I suggest it is the person who can’t take criticism and instead has to resort to underhand tactics, instead of showing some humanity and behaving like a grown up.

Fourthly, thank goodness we live in a country where free speech is allowed!
That means we can state when something has been good…and we can speak up when something has been not so good . I will always speak up for both good and not so good. If I find something not so good, I will jolly well state it! If I find something is good, I will enthuse. My blog is a very simple account of things that I do. It’s honest. I always speak as I find and I am as honest as the day is long.

Finally,I think that the most important thing of all which has come out of this, is the omission of one little word…’Sorry.’

For example:

‘We are sorry that you had a bad experience when you visited us. Please let us make it up to you by …dah de dah de dah…’ goes down so much better than getting all arsy and calling people names…don’t you think?!