California-born Claire Ptak’s London-based shop has also been blasted for “horrible service”, “miserable staff” and being smelly.
Harry, Meghan and their guests were delighted when they tucked into Claire’s intricate $70,000 lemon and elderflower creation at the royals’ May 19 wedding.
But civilian customers who have visited Claire’s shop Violet Cakes have found the service hard to swallow.
Reviewers of the shop posted a string of nasty comments about Claire’s business on travel website TripAdvisor, slamming the baker and her staff as bad mannered.
Violet Cakes has a 3.5 rating out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, with 17% of people who visited the store in Wilton Way, East London ranking their experience as “terrible."
Another 7% of visitors voted it “poor” on TripAdvisor’s customer satisfaction scale, with 8% saying it was “average."
Customer Lucy wrote a one-star review she headlined “Vile-let cakes.”
She fumed: “Worked with these guys at an event... never encountered such a rude and unfriendly staff – especially the owner Claire who is one of the nastiest people I have ever encountered. Her and her team’s behavior completely ruined the event for me.”
Fifi G added on TripAdvisor: “Really rude staff – even the owner (I assume the owner – Claire?) was incredibly rude and sour faced. Very up themselves types.”
Other customers hit out at the smell and appearance of Violet Cakes.
Alexander T ranted: “Ridiculously overpriced – located near stinky bins. Food is okay but it’s really not worth it. I’ve visited Violet multiple times over the years and am always shocked by their price. Won’t be going back.”
Hunter Shaw admitted Violet Cakes’ coffee was “first class”, but said: “The place itself is tired and scruffy and desperately in need of a bit of Tender Loving Care!”
But most customers were upset by the apparent lack of quality service.
A customer called Cfragra raged in their one-star review of the store’s customer service: “Horrible Service – it’s the second time I went there for take away food. Both times they forgot to put all my order in the bag, so I had to go again and pick it up. No ‘sorry’ or apologies – really bad service.”
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Jane Linch gave Claire’s shop another one-star rating, writing: “Miserable staff – went out of recommendation. Also purchased cook book from Amazon. The staff were miserable – nobody smiled!! Or were helpful. Won’t be going back.”
Davie Harte hit out in his two-star TripAdvisor rant at a “staff member with a serious attitude problem."
He added: “Unfortunately one staff member has brought a nice Sunday morning chill to quite a disappointing experience at Violet."
“Her attitude on the whole was plain careless toward not only myself, but observing her with other customers – body language was poor, slouched, a lack of patience on service and for no reason she shouted when she was ready to take a payment."
“Maybe a bad day? However, if you have a bad day, stay at home – business relies on its good natured staff.”
Despite the reviews, the Royal Family commissioned to make a wedding cake for Harry and Meghan that incorporated “the bright colors of spring."
Claire’s cake came in three pieces and was covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.
The blonde baker was previously interviewed by Meghan, 36, for the former actress’ now-closed lifestyle website, The Tig.
Claire, 39 – raised in a hippy community in California – formerly worked as a pastry chef for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.
She started her own business as a stall in Broadway Market, East London, cooking from home, before opening the organic bakery.
She said when it was announced she had been recruited to make Harry and Meghan’s wedding day cake: “I can’t tell you how delighted I am."
“Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavor, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of.”
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