Keswick cafe branded the grumpiest in the UK
PUBLISHED: 12:27 07 January 2014 | UPDATED: 19:01 23 March 2016
Keswick has no shortage of popular cafes, restaurants and hotels where you will find good food and traditional Lakeland hospitality. So it came as something of a surprise when a gallery-cum-coffee shop in the town was branded the rudest café in the UK by national newspapers.
It all blew up after Emma Smalley, who owns Temporary Measure on Main Street, responded to a negative review on the Trip Advisor website which criticised the attitude of her brother, John, who works in the shop three days a week. The customer said he made them feel unwelcome and it was as if he was having to work on his day off.
Emma, who also writes children’s books and produced much of the artwork for sale in the shop, responded light-heartedly, saying her brother simply doesn’t possess a sunny disposition.
‘It was passed round on Facebook for a while, with people saying how funny it was but then somehow it just escalated,’ she told Lakeland Life. ‘It must have been the slowest news week in history.
‘I understand that that’s the way she felt and that’s fine, but I reserve the right to respond. I try to keep my responses light and funny and most people appreciate them.
‘Yes, John is quiet – he only speaks when he has something worth saying – but to equate that to him being rude is not right. Hopefully this won’t do any long term damage because I have spent ten years building the business up and this was just ridiculous.’
Happily, the people of people of Keswick share that view and Emma and John have been given plenty of local support.
‘We have had a few rubberneckers turning up just to see how rude we are, but they’ve been disappointed,’ she added. ‘The amount of support we have had from the town has been embarrassing.’
When he’s not working in Temporary Measure – which stocks a delightfully quirky range of gifts, cards and homewares – John is a musician working under the name Sycamore Sykes who has just brought out his second album, The Young Man’s Blues. ‘It’s a very perky album,’ Emma said.