Over the years I have enjoyed many a meal at The Swan, the food has always been great, the ambience good and the staff attentive. So I was looking forward to the booking I had made for my sons birthday. However, I was disappointed within minutes of arrival when we had to wait some time to be shown to a table - even though we'd booked. We were then shown to a table in the conservatory which was full of a large party making speeches and us! We couldn't talk over the noise of 'here heres' and felt we were intruding.
We asked to move - after twenty minutes of searching for a waitress - and then had a much better table. We waited some time to be served and had a long wait for our food. However, when it did arrive it was very good.
The prices here are on the high side, but the quality of the food is usually high too. So no complaints there, but we did feel on a bit of a downer given the lack of anything like good service. It did seem that they were very short staffed.
Thinking this was just a bad night I returned the next day for lunch with my daughter. Sadly, again we had a wait before we could find any staff so that we could ask for a table. This is NOT good service people - at least have a desk where customers can wait. We had to ask at the very busy bar. Once we were seated we asked the waitress to take our order only to be told that we needed to order at the bar. Really.....at these prices and the bar so busy? Back to the bar for another twenty minute wait then.
When we had finally ordered and it arrived, the food again was good, although not as good as in the past I have to say. However, when I went to find someone to settle the bill I was charged an extortionate amount and immediately queried the bill as it was around five times higher than I had anticipated. The server read off a long list of food orders and when I said that we had only had a sandwich and a serving of pate she asked me if I was sure! I may not have the best memory in the world but I can remember if I have eaten one dish or three for lunch!! Eventually she worked out that she had charged me for the previous table's lunch as well as my own and I had a wait whilst this was sorted.
All in all, the service is so poor that it makes for a bad experience despite the high quality of the food. Such a shame!