The Clock Restaurant, Peterborough

According to today’s Peterborough Evening Telegraph, a new tenant has been found for what was Limon Cafe on Bridge Street!

After sitting empty for a couple of years and failed negotiations with other prospective businesses, the Council has finally done a deal which will see the unit being turned into “The Clock” restaurant.

Read the full article at http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/business_2_17104/new_owner_on_menu_at_cafe_1_2736814

It sounds like the restaurant will be serving up more cafe style meals but the new owner Barry Blakesley sounds like he’s keen to change the menu according to demand. Slightly confusing is that the Clock’s website hints that the eaterie will be a “Restaurant, Bistro & Evening Wine Bar”.
If it is, lets hope they remember to fit power points near tables and offer free WiFi!

Bridge Street’s pretty much a ghost town after 6pm so I’m not sure if The Clock will be open into the evening to compete with other restaurants that open late.

Details:

The Clock
25 Bridge Street
Peterborough
PE1 1HJ

http://www.theclockrestaurant.co.uk/

Update – The Clock, reviewed 28/7/11

Following some of the opening week comments below I decided to pay The Clock a visit myself. My experience was ok, but not perfect…

During my visit The Clock was fairly busy with diners sitting both in and outside on Bridge Street, on entering the restaurant we were shown to a table and given menus. There looked to be plenty of staff, who were polite and smartly dressed.
Inside the place looked smart with wooden furniture and a fresh lick of paint. I’m not sure what the cause was but there was a strong, unpleasant acrid smell (possibly burnt cheese) which was constant during our visit. I assume this was from the sandwich press but I couldn’t be sure.

I ordered the ranch burger (I’m not sure why it’s a “ranch” burger!) but unfortunately my gluten intolerant dining partner was unable to find anything on the menu he could eat. When questioned, staff were unable to suggest anything on the menu that was suitable.

My burger took nearly 30 minutes to arrive (26 minutes, I was timing) which in my opinion is too long to wait. I didn’t expect fast food, but a single course in a cafe should be much faster, plus I got the impression that other customers were waiting longer than expected for their food too. Ironically the motto at The Clock is “Let time stand still… while away the hours at the clock“!

The good news…

The good news is that the burger (when it arrived) looked substantial and well presented, with a good taste. The chunky fries being some of the best I’ve had in any restaurant. I had to ask for sauces, but that’s only a minor niggle. For 6.95, the burger is well priced to compete with other gourmet burgers in Peterborough restaurants.
From what I could see from other diner’s plates, the food is (as it should be) a highlight of The Clock.

Like commenter Geoff below, I also was left trying to get the attention of staff to make payment but gave up and went to the counter – I can confirm they do now take card payments (sadly no free lunch for me!).

Like other local businesses, The Clock have recently been involved in a Groupon deal and I noticed a few diners using their discount vouchers so maybe this contributed to the delay in food service?

Overall

The Clock bills itself as a “fashionable bistro style restaurant” but in my opinion it’s no more than a smart looking cafe. Semantics aside, remember they have been open for little more than a week so problems such as the burnt smell and waiting times will hopefully be resolved. What they have got right is the quality of the food, so I can probably overlook the issues above.

For a good quality light lunch or a coffee and naughty slice of cake give The Clock a visit.

 

14 Replies to “The Clock Restaurant, Peterborough”

  1. Hi Jofftastic…
    Me too was looking forward to the Clock! So come friday, I popped down to give it a go…. Greeted by two girls on front door, both smiley – didn’t say anything – but smiled a lot (seeing as though they had menus in their hands I thought it would have been a welcome thing….mmmm). Walking past both of them watching me, one eventually said, do you want to sit down (maybe a more appropriate tack would have been to ask ‘would you like a table or to eat’ etc etc ). So deciding to stand and eat, I opted to sit at a table of my choice.
    Restaurant/Bistro style – that’s what it said in the hype!! Yeah well brown varnished tables without table clothes on a tiled floor with foldy plastic wipe down brown menus really did say local cafe – which is exactly and only what it is.
    I ordered a ‘fresh’ orange juice, pot of tea, and a simple ‘freshly grilled’ chicken burger.
    Orange juice arrived in a tall pint glass half full of ice. Not fresh juice at all – but benefit of the doubt given for the use of the word fresh – it could have meant ‘fresh-ly’ opened concentrate cheapest value juice, I guess…. (I eat out a lot!!!). Problem over the tea – “we only do cups sir”. “OK I’ll have a cup then, no problem”.
    Cup of tea in place, one sugar added – three minutes later after a glance at my (own) paper, “would you like a complimentary top up of tea sir…”. Since I hadn’t even taken a sip, I wondered where that one was going….I discreetly said… “maybe later…”
    After around 5 minutes, the food arrived.
    A square plate with bunch of lettuce one side and fine slice of red onion with french dressing (I know I shouldn’t really put the highlight first…), white bun upturned with sliced tomato on top, four chunked slices of cooked chicken, a ‘half teaspoon’ size of mayonaise ‘positioned’ on the plate and a bowl of factory frozen (now cooked) french fries. Before touching anything – the chicken, balancing precariously on top of bap, now fell off onto the table. I put it back and wondered how to construct the burger. Before doing so, I ate a piece of the ‘grilled’ chicken – funny, I thought, seems to have been griddled or pan fried, certainly not grilled. Guess what – it tasted only of the last beef burger, or steak that had been on the same griddle. The give away was that the chicken was dark brown all over so had obviously been in contact with a well oiled pan or griddle. Chicken tasting of beef, looking dark brown? Do we have student chefs at work here? Someone had obviously not been cooking chicken breast for long… Whoops..
    Anyway moving the other components around the plate, discovered the bun was the cheapest floured white factory bap that money can’t buy… which had fall-apart texture and soaked up the beef flavoured meat juice from the chicken. Oh if only those baps had been toasted…. Lemon mayo? I admit there was a certain acidity to the mayo…. Nice! (not). Chips were well cooked – if a little soggy and not crisp.
    Naturally disappointed since I had built up my hopes. But in the end had to leave most of the food, which was not pleasant, in my opinion.
    The table next to me had something similar, the woman said to her partner “I just cant eat that….”.
    **The best is yet to come…..**
    I presumed the manager to be the rather slim, grey haired lively chap, darting about (actually sitting talking to some woman who didn’t seem to have ordered anything), but did not come and see how my food was (there were only three tables occupied!). I tried to make eye contact many times, but a glance did not come in my direction…
    I looked around to see if I would need to ask for a bill, when I couldnt get any attention from the 4 milling youths (staff) I went up to pay at the counter.
    “Everything all right sir?”. I think I was very fair in saying would you like the truth, or for me to be complimentary? So I proceeded to tell the truth…
    I produced a card to pay and then….. “sorry sir we only take cash!!!!”.
    Wonder why the girls on the doors didnt mention that, wonder why there was no sign of alert, wonder why the manager flurrying around the tables wasn’t ensuring customers could pay?
    “On this occasion we will compliment your meal sir”
    Very nice of them – but I really wanted to pay for good food, well done.
    Sadly they will not survive unless they wake up to the reality of what is out there. An opportunity lost.
    Whilst Nandos are finishing their store, and others have opened nearby (Patisserie Valerie, Greggs etc) the Clock will seriously need to re-think churning out the same old dull platters, which are currently well below par, to even attract customers past its doors.
    Good luck!

    Geoff E
    World Traveller, foodie and very disappointed.

  2. Hi Geoff.

    Thank you very much for your comments. We at The Clock Restaurant take our customer feedback very seriously. I am very sorry that you did not have a pleasent experiance with us, but you must bare in mind that this was only our 2nd day of opening, and we still had a few teething problems which have now been rectified and we now offer a table service inside and outside of our resturant.

    We always ask our customers if everything is alright for them whether its just from a cup of tea to our sunrise breakfast, as we feel it is neccessary to get that customer feedback from our customers so that we can get it right for next time.

    Since opening on the 17th of July 2011 we have had alot of positive feedback from customers, saying how friendly the staff are and how generous we are with our portion sizes.

    Also I would like to add that the staff are still in training to ensure that all of our customers are satisfied with our service.

    Once again I am very sorry that your visit was not very memorable for you, but I do hope that you will come and dine with us again and you will see that we have rectified the problems that have been mentioned to us.

    Thank you.

    Management team at the Clock Restaurant.

  3. having been to many restaurants within the peterborough area i have to say i wholeheartedly disagree with geoff. the staff were very polite and welcoming, the meals of an excellent standard and presentation, the management also very polite and a very happy clean establishment to visit. pity all restaurants in the area are not as welcoming.

  4. I come across this site by chance, and had to reply to a comment made on her, having used The new Clock cafe i was very suprised at your mentioning “power points” being a regular to places such as Costa’s, Nero, John Lewis cafe, and a host of eateries in and around Peterborough could you enlighten me which of these cafe’s actually supply power points, or are you just talking random plugs which are used but not asked permisssion to do so, also who supplies Wi-Fi in Peterborough? did you infact ask about Wi-fi? i seem to remember accessing this after asking.

    As for Geoff E, well i’m not sure what type of eateries he uses, where in peterborough uses tableclothes? maybe a greasy spoon he may frequent or a throw back in time to the 1980’s? again i cannot think of a single decent eatery that still uses tableclothes.

    I had the pleasure of being shown to my seat and a waitress was ready to take my order, which i was plesantly surprised as i did not have to endure a long queue for food.

    i opted for the bacon cob, combo deal, and can i say i have never seen so much bacon put into a roll, the roll was fresh and crusty just how it should be ( i do have experience of quality of bread) and about 4 rashers of bacon which i requested to be well done which my waitress assured me would be no problem.All in all a very good experience, and i for one will be spreading the news to friends and family to try out Peterborough’s newest restaurant

  5. Hi Badwolf, just to clarify my original post (which was written prior to The Clock opening). I’ve used power socket in both Costa and Cafe Nero, with the permission of staff (on the understanding that I’m buying drinks or food whilst using their facilities). I can’t comment on the John Lewis cafe and can’t remember finding an available socket in Starbucks. On the subject of WiFi, this is also available at Costa, Cafe Nero, Starbucks either paid for or as part of the FON network. McDonalds offer WiFi for free. So does The Clock provide WiFi? As I’ve yet to visit I can’t personally confirm that.

  6. Having not found many restaurants to cater for my needs i have found the clock to be very understanding and co-operative. As i am dairy intolerant i am unable to have certain foods. I ordered the palma ham and brie pannini, but i asked for it without the cheese. The waitress was very polite and told me that i could pick any other ingredient to have in my pannini, ranging from chutneys and olives to tomatos and pestos. I was really spoilt for choice and ended up having 3 fillings, what a piggy i am! The meal was freshly made by hand and tasted absolutely superb! Compliments to the chef on my husbands behalf, as his steak and ale pie was perfect! and believe me he is a very picky person. As i can see from a comment above someobne obviously had a bad experience. In my opinion the clock restaurant has only been open a week, so i felt that comment was harsh and offensive to the staff that have worked hard to open the restaurant. Also getting greeted at the door by well presented employees was a lovely and rare sight for Peterborough. I will definately be telling all my collegues about the Clock and i will be happy to return! Keep up the good work guys.

  7. I would like to inform you about my recent visit to The Clock restaurant. My husband and I had purchased a voucher from Groupon and we were really looking forward to trying out the food on offer. we were greeted on the door with menus and chose to sit outside. We explained to the waitress that we had the Groupon voucher, however she didn’t know anything about the deal. She took the voucher away and said she would find out what drinks were inluded. Another waitress brought our drinks over and said ‘are you sure you don’t want to order any food?’ We were a little confused by this; of course we wanted to order food, the voucher was for two courses and a bottle of wine. She took our order. We ordered a Chicken Caesar salad with extra bacon and a beef burger. The salad came without the dressing and without the extra bacon. The burger was without onions and the chips were over fried and extremely greasy. It also took a while to get the waitress` atention to get sauces for our meal. It took so long to get drinks that my husband took our empty glasses back inside to get some more. After this , we ordered dessert. My husband wanted chocolate cake and I wanted carrot cake, however they had ran out. I asked the waitress what the special cake was of the day and she couldn’t tell me. I was asked to go inside to have a look what was available. I took this opportunity to inform her about the chips being over cooked. She turned around to me and said you should not complain as you are getting it for free and laughed. I then ended up taking my own desserts to the table!! Overall, this wasn’t a pleasant experience, as first time customers we would not return and will not be recommending it to our family or friends. The food was ok but the service was a big let down. There didn’t seem to be anyone in charge and the lack of professionalism was visible.
    I have read the reviews and one of the owner’s answers was accepting that mistakes will be made as it is a new business, however you need to get this issue addressed immediately! otherwise you will lose more customers.

  8. Well what can i say personally we love the Clock, so many people want to put business’s down,

    Im surpise people bother in Peterborough running a business if all you want to do is critise and try claiming fo a free lunch, typical of this country today, So much to moan about hey..

    Infact our visit was lovely, its not al la carte, doesnt say it is, its a good cafe with brilliant food, and service is good but bit slow when busy… who isnt? just waht Peterborough needed a non chained eating establishment, perhaps support is in order before all we have is Nandos, Weatherspoons Neros etc etc such a bore as every town has the same. But if plastic food is what you want then there is you answer stick to your chains..

  9. Hi Smartie,

    I’m not sure if you’ve read the above comments from other customers and my own review of the Clock but the food is the part of the business is being praised.

    I’m an advocate of independent business so would love to see the Clock as a success but if people don’t point out issues to the staff then they (staff) have no reason to put things right.

    For me personally, it was the rest of the experience which needed addressing, such as the burning smell and slow service.

  10. Hello.

    To me this place has a bad omen. I feel as if this place is not going to do well at all. At the moment there is to many coffee shops in bridge street and the best one nearest to this place is Costa (where they know how to make a decent cup of coffee and each person is trained on how to do this) also you have Starbucks just down the road Nero and Patisserie Valerie.

    Have you seen the prices of the bistro menu??? if you ask me its like day light robbery (they must be doing rather badly if there charging at these ridiculous prices.)

    And there smoothies absolutely disgusting when they bring them over they look ok, but leave them for 30seconds and the whole thing just separates into layers awful. and there supposed to be up market, classy as some may say yeah really classy.

    Even there normal food isn’t up to my restaurant standard I would expect everything to be freshly cooked not taken out of a fridge or freezer!!

    What happened to the mothers and baby room that was meant to happen. Me myself was looking forward to that as its somewhere that I can breast feed my baby in private and meet new mothers as well you know some where to socialise (obviously not)

    Overall this place is a sham and I don’t see it doing well at all every time I go past Its always dead and the staff are just all gathered round at the till!!

    Well Good luck guys.

  11. Went there at lunch today. We had the sandwiches and cakes option. Sandwiches consisted of two thin slices of factory bread with no butter and a small amount of cheese. There was mould on the bread crust. A bit of salad accompanied the sandwiches and that wasn’t bad actually. The cakes were dry and chewy, the *clotted cream* in a little tub was dried out and flaky. The cup of tea was pleasant but the cup hadn’t been cleaned properly from its previous user. Some of the sachets of condiments were grubby and looked as if they had been on the floor.
    I can’t recommend it at all to be honest. Everything was done as cheaply as they could possibly get away with.

  12. What a disappointment! We were hoping for a nice good value for money lunch but ended up being ripped off!
    What a disgrace.I worked for many years when I was younger in catering as a chef in hotels and would have been given my P45 if I had produced such food.
    The bread was stale and fell apart,the chicken if thats what it was meant to be was dry,fatty and over cooked.No butter on the bread to which we were told we have to cater for allergies! You ask the customer!
    We said that we wouldn’t pay for the chicken sandwich as it was so utterly poor and explained why but they wouldn’t have any of it which I thought was very bad customer service.They gave us a measly 10% off are bill.
    I think they really need to learn some basics like how to cook and prepare food and customer service.
    Well they won’t last with Greggs,Costa and other places so near serving better value for money food that tastes better.

  13. this isn’t even a restaurant, more like run-down cafe. the chef Thomas as i think his name is, doesn’t really seem to care about his job. more pub grub than banquet cuisine. bistro menu is more like a bismal menu and way over priced for value food that probably cost a fiver or less to buy the whole 3 courses. tables are presented in a boring fashion and all tables are close together. they business needs to re-think it’s managerial skills as a monkey could run the place. i pity SOME of the poilte staff that have to work at that place. i’d never eat there again even if the whole meal was free.

  14. After shopping in Peterboro this AM decided to go to The Clock for lunch. this was the second visit, the first during the summer, where I sat outside. my order was lost that time, eventually re-ordered. Food was ok. This time the place was not busy, no greeting, seated ourselves and perused the menu. Decided to go for one of the offers up on the wall, crispy rustic cob with bacon,with fresh orange juice. Sounded great. Husband ordered at the counter. Latte was brought, then “roll” turned up ! Not a crispy rustic cob, but a dry half of ciabatta. Went to counter to ask for some brown sauce as none offered, also for o j, sauce given and assurance of o j on the way. One thing I really dislike is being lied to. On asking yet again I was informed that they had no o j, so I asked for a refund as there was no roll either. “Shall I get that for you now ?” “yes please” Off he went with no intention of doing so. Eventually someone turned up who looked like she knew what she was doing, explained the situation and got a refund. They knew they were out of o j, obviously had no rolls, so why could thet not have explained that on ordering. Rubbish, will not be going back again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *