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“Great place, many memories that won't be forgotten.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Swan - CLOSED

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The Swan
Bridgewater Road, North Petherton, England
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Cuisines: English
Restaurant details
North Petherton, England, United Kingdom
1 review
“Great place, many memories that won't be forgotten.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012

The Swan Inn, many memories as my grandparents used to own the pub for 7 years back in 1995 and on. I can remember how old it looked and it's such a shame now that they're turning it into a Tesco Express!! It's upsetting to see it being demolished inside. My Grandad experienced a ghost, and my Nan would see shadows and even I experienced it, I spoke to it my Grandad told me after all these years. It fascinates me a lot. Last year, the family went there for a roast dinner and it was great. The food was lovely. And just going back there seeing everything again made me remember the past. Now, walking into a Tesco's soon will upset me, but that's life. Now, it's all up here in my head, that's the good thing about remembering the good times during my childhood.

  • Visited March 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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3 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“It was so bad it was good. I would recommend you go, if for no other reason than the humour. You could sell tickets!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

My family and I went for a traditional Sunday roast at the Swan Inn on the 10th of July 2011, a date etched into my brain. There were 6 of us, all starving hungry and who have dined at all manner of venue, ranging from street vendor in Karachi to Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir, this place is nowhere in-between. We ordered a round of drinks which they almost got them right and then asked to go to the table which I had reserved.
Our table was double booked, well when I say double booked, what I mean is we were told where our table was in the main “restaurant” area, but then some locals came in and we amazingly were moved to some school desks right next to the bar, which we almost had to lay ourselves, complete with nice paper table cloth. Still this was handy to allow us to request the bill several times. It should be noted the table cloth is not capable of dealing with the jellified gravy. Any that touched it had a Predator saliva affect. The school desks did cope though. We ordered roast dinners, but one of the party was vegetarian. I’m not sure you get many vegetarians in North Petherton, they have probably all been stoned or burnt, but for those that get through the cordon what a treat you have in store.

We requested the vegetarian option only to be told by the charming front of house maitre d’ that would not have put an SS commandant to shame,

“if you want vegetarian, you’ll have to wait”

I presume he has been on the complete Basil Fawlty customer service course, parts 1 > 5

The vegetarian would have eaten fish, but could not find anything on the menu that was fish without bacon (a usual blend) and was further bemused by the defrosted cardboard which was brought out. It looked and I am assured tasted as dry as an Arab’s jockstrap, but it was nice that she could accompany it with vegetables (see later) and meat gravy. Dished up with the phrase,

“I would have made veggie gravy…..” (The dots do not denote a further conversation, that was actually the end of the conversation….!) Well why didn’t you make some then?”

Fortunately, we were salivating like one of Pavlov’s dog after being repeatedly told that the vegetarian dish takes time to prepare, which was why it took an eternity to arrive. I suspect by prepare, Basil meant hold it in front of the hairdryer, akin to the turkey in the Royle family Christmas special!

Now, let’s not dwell on the customer service, here is a brief critique of the food and drink on offer at the Swan Inn, North Petherton.

Brussel Sprouts, although slightly out of season, clearly were not out of season when they were put on to boil.
My daughter asked why the potatoes were slimy. Good question to which I can only assume they had spent some of their life on the kitchen floor.
The array of vegetables at the carvery counter was dazzling. Potatoes (of the slimy variety), Broccoli and carrots, oh sorry, no carrots, they’d run out! Run out of carrots!!!
All veg appeared to have been from the same tray of the freezer as the vegetarian cardboard wedge. Fresh is over-rated
There was stuffing, Hooray. However, it was undercook, well when I say undercooked, read parts of it were undercooked, which was nice.
Found a nice piece of string in the meat, which was handy if you fancied hanging yourself after realising there are still places around like this.
Asked for a jug of water, only to find something white floating in it. Didn’t want to ask, but on a brighter note there was no charge on the bill for it and it didn’t look frozen.
Milk was off for the coffee, but fortunately they’d only brought a pipette’s worth for 4 coffees!
Fruit in Eton Mess…(yes, one person pushed on and went for dessert ) was nicely frozen. I was surprised they had room left in the freezer.

As the main dish was cleared away Basil commented in his authoritarian manner that,

“we couldn’t have been that hungry because you left lots of food.”

To be fair we would have eaten more as we were all as hungry as Supernanny after a night on the Chardonnay, but the cutlery was just not up to it.

We were brought a spotted dick which we hadn’t ordered, but I thought it safest to decline this kind offer.

Anyway, enough about the food, because I couldn’t really do it justice, suffice it to say you really have to go and try it for yourself. Please make sure your inoculations are up-to-date. Now on that subject of foreign travel, let’s consider the toilet facilities. All the stops were pulled out for us in this department. The ladies had no loo-roll, no soap and no flush. I presume all these things were still in the freezer, along with the customer service manual.

To finish Basil said to us, the whole fiasco was down to one of the waitresses being off at a music festival rather than working. I can only assume she thought the food, toilets and service were going to be better in a muddy field in the West Country than at the Swan Inn. At least he recognised that he is running one of the worst pubs in the UK. Well done Basil, long may you continue to provide such entertainment.

All views/opinions within are my own, you might find it worse.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Very poor value for money”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2011

We went to The Swan in North Petherton last weekend. We had never eaten there before, and were curious to see what it was like.

We should perhaps have been warned by the fact that there was hardly anyone in the pub - and none of them was eating. In fact, the chef was having a drink at the end of the bar!

The restaurant area was pleasant enough and the bar man/ waiter reasonably friendly. We ordered duck, from the "specials" board. On the board it said it came with leek and potato mash and vegetables, however, we were offered a choice of chips or new potatoes - we chose the latter. This should have been another warning that things were maybe not as we thought - where did the mash go to?

We expected a freshly cooked, maybe pan fried or roasted duck breast, because outside they advertised "home cooked food". What we got was a rather palid looking chunk of duck - yes, a breast - but a breast, so obviously heated up and pre-prepared by a catering supplier (if it wasn't, I don't think much of the chef's cooking skills), with an orange segment balanced on the top. Accompanying this was a handful of new potatoes, which were fine, a couple of broccoli florets and some very hard carrot sticks. The whole lot was barely warm and the portions very small.

Well, we ate it in about 5 minutes flat - there wasn't enough to take any longer - and didn't bother with pudding. We actually emerged still hungry.

I had asked for a glass of rose wine and was offered a mini bottle of it as my only choice, which again, is quite telling!

On balance a very disappointing meal and dreadfully poor value for money at £14.95 a head! I wanted to complain at the time, but my partner, for various other reasons, wasn't prepared to go down this line. He's still muttering about it, so maybe he should have let me!

I know anyone can have an off day, but if this was an example of how they cope with just 2 diners, how will they manage when (if) the place is full? They really need to up their game considerably. If we'd wanted a ready meal (because this is what the meal reminded us of), we could have bought one from a supermarket at a much cheaper price!

  • Visited April 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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