The Swan Inn
view of airfield deliberately obstructed
I had decided to have lunch at The Swan Inn. Had I not already decided, I would not have eaten there, as I was appalled at the marque and vans that were deliberately obstructing view of the runway from the main road. Something locals may wish to reflect upon.
A special Airshow menu. There was nothing special on the menu, other than the price, therefore reasonable to assume Farnborough Airshow being used as an excuse to rip off customers.
A chalk board advising 20% discount with voucher if you register to receive their newsletter.
Registration made, voucher printed and presented.
I have come across bad service, but nothing to compare with the reception of my voucher.
First girl looked at it with distaste, called over a second girl. She spent at least five minutes scrutinising it, trying to find grounds to refuse it. Finding none, she told me to go to a different part of the bar. This I did, but finding it busy, I came back, made it very clear their behaviour was unacceptable.
A third girl who looked like she was moonlighting from school, then intervened. Grudgingly, she accepted the voucher.
I also ordered a drink, to be told does not cover drink. The beer was served in plastic, not a glass.
Second girl told me voucher required two courses. Nothing on the voucher to say so, even though she tried very hard to find.
Third girl asked where I was sitting. I pointed to a table in the bar.
No, you cannot sit there, the offer only applies to our restaurant.
I asked was the menu different.
She said no.
Earlier, I had said I wished to sit on the veranda, to be told no. No reason was given. I then said garden, to be told it was £30 to sit in their garden.
But odd, I am being asked where I am sitting. On walking in, a sign saying ask to be seated.
Maybe I should have pointed out their own sign.
Maybe too, I should have pointed out their very prominent sign saying subscribe to their newsletter and receive a 20% discount voucher.
Or drawn attention to their website (actually I did):
Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll give you a voucher for 20% off your food bill!
I then settled down to what I excepted to be a long wait.
Impossible to relax, moronic pop music blasting out.
Surprisingly not a long wait.
beer battered haddock
Haddock and chips. The haddock served upside down and plonked on the chips. The so-called chips, potato wedges, that most people would have thrown out. Mushy peas, in a tiny little pot the size of an egg cup.
No salt and pepper on the table. I was not asked if I required. I looked around and could not see any. No one inquired was my meal ok.
I was not the only person not happy. Other people I spoke to, were not happy either.
The kitchen closed at three, not open again until six. What world are they living in?
Ropes were across the door on entry, and across the door leading down to the veranda. Rope trailing on the ground, ideal trip hazard walking into a dark pub from brilliant sunshine outside. One of the girls (not who served me) did trip as she came in from the bright sun.
After the girl tripped, it was pointed out a trip hazard, but no action taken.
In the absence of a discount voucher, haddock and chips £10-95.
Again from their website, I think someone’s idea of a sick joke:
An historic building set in a fantastic location, The Swan Inn is now open after a major refurbishment and this welcoming, independently run gastro pub boasts a stylish beer garden with unique views over the London-Farnborough runway.
Enjoy quality, freshly-cooked food with locally sourced ingredients … Our popular lunch and dinner menus serve traditional and healthy pub alternatives, and our friendly staff will gladly take you through the seasonal menu and daily specials.
Gastro oub it certainly is not, whether locally sourced ingredients, I know not, apart from the fact the haddock came not from the nearby Basingstoke Canal, and there is nowhere local growing potatoes or peas (which were mushy not fresh), and the stylish garden (an area of grass with tables) costs £30 to sit in, and if what I experienced is welcoming, one wonders what unwelcoming is like.
The garden, for which it was being charged £30 to sit in, even though you were a customer, is on the centre line of the runway. It is not safe. It is within the PSZ (Public Safety Zone), defined by 1 in 100,000 risk contour, within which cannot build, cannot allow people to congregate, as deemed too high a risk, ie not safe. The 1 in 10,000 risk contour lies just short of the garden.
The best place to observe the planes, unless you wish to view the underside of a plane landing or taking off, is outside and to the side of The Swan Inn.
In light of the fact The Swan Inn was deliberately blocking local residents passing along the main road of a view of the airfield (many were enjoying that view earlier in the week), I suggest locals show what they think of this pub by boycotting it.
Apart from blocking the view, there were vehicles parked on the footpath, forcing people out onto a very busy main road. Police on cycles came by, stopped for several minutes outside the pub, but took no action. Nor did they take action on drinks being consumed outside the pub.
The Swan Inn was refurbished some years ago. Before then a very rough pub. A quality pub, good food, may work in Farnham or Godalming or Guildford, but not Farnborough. Revisiting a couple of years ago they seemed to have repositioned themselves at the lower end of the market, their clientèle being rowdy drunks. The outside of the pub is now looking the worse for wear.
The Swan Inn is owned by TAG who also own the airfield.