Scores, Mistakes & Pricing

Teaser 2016 Strap A

This site offers personal opinions only. Readers should not rely on any information offered on this site regarding price, availability, location, facilities, opening times, or any other fact which may influence their decisions, without first checking directly for themselves. (NB: generic locations in Google maps on each venue’s own page are quite often slightly misplaced but I can not move them. However, I have sought hard in my own overall map page to locate the venue accurately, because I can personalise that page.) In the long run, it will not be possible to keep up, not least with price changes, without readers help, which I would encourage against the specific blog post in question, not here.

Comparing prices is not always easy, but in general it is possible to get a price for a cream tea with a single scone (a half or mini cream tea is often on the menu, or can be built up from individual items); a small number simply will not sell a single scone, so I have put their half cream tea price as the same as their full cream tea price, because it can not be cheaper. Full cream teas usually come with two scones, but for those which don’t, it is generally possible to add the price of an extra scone. In the odd situation where this is only possible with extra tea (i.e. ‘cream tea for two with two scones’), then this (often higher) price is given for the full cream tea since it is the cheapest way to obtain a second scone, and the ‘cream tea for one’ with one scone is relegated to being priced as a half cream tea. Rare as hens teeth are those who will only sell a second scone along with a second cream tea, so the ‘full cream tea price’ is given as the cost of two cream teas, distorted as this can make the pricing seem; after all, the general expectation is two scones and they must either be available, or the potential customer irritation must be priced in. Having obtained a figure for a full and a half cream tea, I have averaged the cost (which reduces the distortions that can be introduced above), and calculated which quartile a venue’s average cost fits in: The lowest quartile are labelled ‘cheap’. The second quartile are labelled ‘good price’. (These include all those below the median which are necessarily also below the average, because there is a skewed pricing tail towards the expensive end.) The third quartile are labelled ‘pricey side’. (Some may be below average cost because of the skewed price distribution.) The top quartile are labelled ‘expensive’. (NB: because of the skew, a handful are very much more expensive than the bunch just inside the quartile). These calcuations were only fully applied after 99 venues were sampled, which makes their price quartile positions very stable, although odd borderline venues may very occasionally creep back and forth a quartile divide without being picked up.

Scores for Grace reflect the layout and decor of the venue itself (inside and out), the wider environment in which the venue is placed, and the presentation of the cream tea. Half of the score for Flavour reflects objective elements (the condition of the scone, whether a choice of jam was available, whether clotted cream was used) and half goes on subjective elements (how much I liked the scone, jam, tea, plus a little ‘je ne sais quoi’). In early November 2015, after over 250 reviews were conducted (215 of them already online), a systematic recalibration of cream tea Flavours scored 2 and 3 was done to differentiate better between truly average 3s, below average 3s, and to introduce a handful to Purgatory (1s). A much more balanced distribution of scores resulted, with ratios of scores from 1-5 becoming approximately 1:5:10:5:1 (from 0:2:14:5:1). This has also meant a handful of 3s becoming 4s. The map now has less yellow, more orange, and even some red. NB: Service does NOT feature in scores no matter how good or bad; this seems to be the major forte of user review sites and seems to me to be the most subjectively variable element, although I recognise that some individuals say that it is the key ingredient to enjoying themself.

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