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“Sunday Lunch”
Review of The Crown Inn

The Crown Inn
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The Crown Inn
Ranked #20 of 24 Hotels in Swindon
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Sunday Lunch”
Reviewed August 4, 2012

I've lived in Swindon for many years, but have not eaten in the Crown before.
I and my girlfriend were starving hungry for something to eat today and we'd passed the Crown & its appetizing food menu boards outside many times, so finally we were lured inside to taste the delights on offer!

Drinks & food ordered, table chosen we sat down. I'd pumped for the roast lamb £6.95, my girlfriend... 3 sausages, 2 eggs, chips & beans £6.95 also (yum, can’t go wrong there, apart from having it hot and requesting a clean knife without food residue on it lol)
I, while waiting for the food to arrive was having thoughts of nice succulent slices of prime delicious melt in the mouth carved Lamb & mint sauce, nice big home cooked roast potatoes with some freshly cooked veg & lush thick gravy to make it perfect, maybe a Yorkshire pud too... mmmmm.

About 20 mins later, a young chap arrived to deliver my disappointment, he plonked down a nice clean white plate with an interesting small brown mass in the middle which consisted of... 2 small Aunt Bessie's frozen roast potatoes (luke warm), two small 2mm thin slices of boil-in-the bag so say lamb (luke warm), believe me I know what B-I- the Bag meat tastes like as I've had it many times in my terminally skint days! Topped off with dollop of mash potato & a ball of stuffing?
We had to prompt him for the veg part & mint sauce sachets which arrived some mins later.

My heart sank as I prodded the veg, this consisted of a brightly coloured orange gloop of Swede & carrot/cheap margarine liquidized mix, a few bits of cabbage and 2 ears of broccoli on the side to add colour.
At this point I was angry but very hungry too, so I dived in hoping it would be ok.
It wasn’t, the veg was lost in the swede gloop which was starting to make me feel ill, the lamb was devoid of all taste & texture, the insufficient gravy was probably all it came with in the bag no doubt.
Luckily my girlfriend’s luke warm meal was nice, but too much for her so I gained an extra sausage!

Well, by now having finished, I couldn’t wait for someone to take our plates and ask us how it was. (God I was so ready for this moment!)
The poor unsuspecting waitress asked us how our meal was… I explained how it was in a very colourful manner that made the pub go quiet & her call the manager to our table!

I explained my thoughts and problems with the meal to the manager, the fact that the meat was boil in the bag rubbish and the reason for saying so was because it had NO lamb flavour, tasted like cardboard & was the worst Sunday lunch I’d ever eaten.
She denied my accusations of course, stating that the (chef) uses a machine to slice a cooked lamb joint?? (I thought a Stanley knife was the usual tool for slicing cardboard!)
Then, to top it all she said, “Well, what do you expect me to do about it?” The answer I gave obviously was … “You can give me my money back” This, she promptly did.

It’s important to complain if you’re not happy, as so few people do nowadays; we shouldn’t have to pay good money for bad food, I have noticed this is becoming a trend in these difficult economic times, I wont put up with it & nor should anyone else.
It’s so easy… Give us great food and we’ll tell others & come back for more, so increasing profits duuhhh!

And, if the Crown Inn & Arkells brewery get to read this, “Please buy some proper Lamb/Beef joints, carve them yourselves, ditch the ding machine & liquidizer and make your own roast potatoes!!, this will cost you more money but will generate double the takings!
Thank you & good luck to all those hungry hapless motorists that are passing this place on a Sunday around lunch time.

Room Tip: Keep going toward the centre of Swindon.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cashman156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2012

I've only eaten here three times and my first visit was at the end of May 2012.

On all 3 occasions, the food has been brilliant, esp. the steaks. The price of the food is very reasonable.

The members of staff are friendly and very welcoming.

It’s definitely worth a look and I'll definitely be going back

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JimmyG82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pembrokeshire, Wales
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Good food at a reasonable price - nothing 'posh' just great pub food. Accommodation for an over night stop was fine. A bit 'short' on the tea/coffee in the room - only decaf and 3 biscuits between two of us!
Staff really friendly and welcoming. Free WiFi was a bonus and very fast.
Would stop there again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shoalshook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2011

My wife had visited this pub once before for lunch with colleagues, and was impressed with it enough to suggest an evening visit for us to try their dinner menu.

First impressions were favourable, the pub has a large car park and the outside seating areas are very inviting and nicely presented. Some parts are under cover and it offers lots of separate areas so that a bit of intimacy for groups of friends could be enjoyed. It was also nicely illuminated with Christmas lights rather than the usual cold glaring floodlights.

The interior again was inviting, and the pub had that cosy traditional feel and look about it. In keeping with the outside areas, the pub offered about four separate open plan rooms, fanning out from the bar. The decor was nice and had a rustic look about it. The only room that could have benefitted from any changes was the main dining area; it was furnished and carpeted with a compliment of very dated tables and chairs from the 70’s - whereas the other areas benefitted from lots of nice solid farm-house wooden tables and chairs.

Service at the bar was okay, but while there appeared to be about 3 staff front of house, only one was serving at the bar which meant a little wait as it got busy. The bar and waiting staff were youngish, but polite and 'adequately' attentive.

One (nice) alternative dining area (hidden round a corner) was reserved for their Wednesday night poker club, so we had to contend ourselves with the only free tables available which were in the main dining room, with its dated furniture. It’s worth saying that this room was very attractive and rustic however - except for the furniture.

We ordered a drink from the bar and but had to ask for my wife’s red wine to be put into a standard wine glass rather than the champagne flute it arrived it – the young lady behind the bar said that they always used the’ flute’ for small wines ???? A small 125ml red house Merlot cost £2.00 and a large one 250ml was £4.35. They also offered a range of bottles in the £8.50 to £11.50 price range. Not surprisingly for an Arkells pub, the only ales on offer were 3B and Harvest Gold, costing £2.65 and £2.95 respectively.

The menu choice was adequate - but further supplemented by their extensive specials board. Surprisingly, the specials offered similar meals to those on the menu, but at MUCH cheaper prices i.e. 16oz steak and chips for about £9.00 as a special - but £12.00+ on the menu. Although we had our attention drawn to the fact that a specials' board existed in the main dining room, we didn’t notice the one in the bar where the best deals were listed. As a consequence we missed out and ordered from the main menu instead.

The table cutlery arrived wrapped in paper napkins, a salt cellar and a bowl of ketchup sachets – no table mats. The meals themselves arrived quite promptly and my mixed grill was a very hearty serving which I would recommend. My wife’s fish pie however had to be sent back because the fish appeared to be undercooked (it was still opaque) and the whole dish was only lukewarm. The staff apologised and asked if we would like it re-heated, or have a fresh one prepared, or to choose something else. My wife opted for the burger instead. This meant of course that I was half way through my meal before her new meal arrived. Her burger however, was cooked the way she ordered it, and to her liking.

The total cost of our outing for 2 mains, 2 wines and 3 beers was £34.50. We weren’t offered any ‘compensation’ other than not being charged the difference in cost between my wife’s 2 meals – a saving of about £1.00. In conclusion YES I would recommend this pub, it does have a charm about it; the meals are ‘okay’ but look out for the specials before ordering.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Denis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2011

We visited this pub today and had one great meal and one not so good. This is very unusual because we have visited many times before and always had great food or awful food. I have a feeling it is very much down to luck and which chef is working. The gammon is on special at the moment and arrived burnt to a cinder and claimed to be 12oz. There was no way and not great on the pallet. My fellow dinner order a jacket potato with cheese, mushrooms and bacon (the cheese wasn't melted) and she said it was lovely.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dawniedarlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
208 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

The pub has a good sized car park with plenty of space. Although located next to a very tatty (closed?) garage and right on a busy junction, you are aware of neither when settled in the bar. Although we were not staying here, we did eat and drink in the bar. In addition to the restaurant (just off the bar), there are various little areas in which to sit, drink and eat. A cosy little seating area at the far end of the bar is enjoyable to use, especially if you can bag it to yourselves! Firstly the beer! This is pub owned by the local Arkell's Brewery and that is exactly what they sell! It's a pity they do not sell guest ales as I would probably become a regular if they did. Wine by the bottle is good value but be careful when ordering as there appears to be 2 different lists of house wines. The place has improved under the new management. The bar menu has a reasonable range but the specials board holds the kitchens secrets. The various steak specials (as opposed to the steaks on the main menu) are very good but like most british establishments are overcooked. I asked for rare and received medium-to-well (an 8oz rump plus a glass of wine for £5.99). A number of menu items were unavailable. The Fisherman’s Pie had a mash topping which, when combined with a choice of chips or mash (plus vegetables), ran the risk of potato overload - some gravy would also have helped.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coastalchris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2011

Maybe there is a second part to this hotel that I did not see, but personally I would not stay again. I was in one of the 'stables' overlooking the carpark.
The very friendly & helpful lady on reception apologised for the room before even opening the door, but that still doesn't change the dirty carpet or funny smell. The bathroom was alright, but again would benefit from deep cleaning to the bath and shower. The duvet was thin, the pillows flat and the matress springy and cheap.
At £45 with a very tasty breakfast it would be fine if you're not fussy about cleanliness, but I am and consequently I did not enjoy my stay.
I have given one star for the nice staff & one for the very nice breakfast. Premier Inn all the way in future.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Team_Kirby_Howse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Crown Inn

Property: The Crown Inn
Address: 73 Ermin Street, Swindon SN3 4NL, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Swindon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 24 Hotels in Swindon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Crown Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 21
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