The Swan Pangbourne Reviews

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Latest Reviews

★★☆☆☆

“Not what we expected!”

written by orchard8 on 28/07/2015

We decided to try the shared ploughman's meal. We bought 2 pints of lime and lemonade for £6.30. Not a good advertisement to stick to soft drinks. We did not have to wait too long for our meal but were very disappointed with its content. One sausage, a pork pie, a sausage roll, a gherkin,a pickled onion, sliced apple and a few chunks of ordinary tasting cheese with a few slices of bread, no butter included but brought when we asked for some. We had to ask for pickle,which to me is ridiculous when having a Ploughmans. Lovely waitress though.

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★★★★★

“The Place to Be”

written by brettjamison49 on 23/03/2012

We went for a cool Sunday lunch to The Swan Pangbourne. The food was as good as the service. The décor was also very appealing. In fact, everything was up to the mark.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Lovely setting, such poor food!”

written by ReadingKate on 29/09/2011

When arranging to meet friends in Pangbourne on 25 Sept 2011 they suggested the Swan as they had visited some years before! Upon arrival we were able to secure a table on the terrace overlooking the Thames, on such a lovely day a real treat! It was early lunchtime and not yet busy. We were meeting for a roast & on offer were Beef and Chicken, with veg, potatoes, yorkshire puds - all that you would expect! Disappointing is an understatement, the beef was smothered in gravy so much so that you couldn't see the grey overcooked meat! A small floret of broccoli, a couple of very large pieces of carrot and 2 roast pots! Yorkshire must have been frozen, lacking in taste, body and no crunch! The chicken only fared better as it was a half roast with gravy in a jug! We were still somewhat hungry after this meagre offering for £10.95 so opted for a pud! Apple pie and custard, sadly microwaved so the lovely looking pastry was now soft! 3 of us opted to share a couple of Cheese and Biscuits! A mistake! A lump of cheddar, another of Wenslydale (I think) and a Red Leicester - none had much taste! The biscuits however were crispy. I think from the appearance that these must have been plated in advance, the celery offering of a 2 inch piece was brown at both ends and was sent back - nothing was returned! The grapes about 4 loose on the plate were over cold and lacking in any nice appearance. At about 2 the pub ran out of roasts as had sold over 60 - I think these people were lucky! The staff were disorganised, rarely enough people behind the bar and a queue rapidly formed for both drink and food orders! Such a shame as a truly lovely location! Not an experience that we will be having again!

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★☆☆☆☆

“An awful experience! Probably the worst meal of my life.”

written by on 09/08/2011

From the roadside The Swan looks really inviting. An historic river-side English pub, it looks the perfect location. We arrived at about 4:30pm on a Tuesday 9th August 2011. There were about 20 other customers in the place. We ordered two kid's meals - Scampi & Chips and Sausage & Mash, and two adult meals - Surf & Turf burger and Ham, Egg & Chips. With two alcoholic drinks and two soft drinks the total came to just under £50. The food arrived after about half an hour, and that's when we realised what a mistake we had made! This is the lowest quality pre-packaged junk excuse for food available, apparently cooked by people with no culinary skill other than how to drop something into a deep-fat fryer and operate a microwave, and handled with not a shred of care or awareness for the customer experience. The first warning sign was the sad face of the caterpillar looking up at me from the lettuce on my burger. His body ripped and spreading black goo across the leaf. Luckily the bun was served open so I could see what had been prepared for me before consuming. I handed the offending leaf to the waiter(manager?) who apologetically took it away. I looked down at the burger and upon seeing three small orange curled 'things' I recalled the menu had read: Tiger prawns in tempura batter. This was not tempura batter. This was some sort of manufactured crust . The burger was a cheap grey, tasteless, disgusting disappointment. I persevered through a third of it but by this time I was so disappointed by the rest of the food on the table I had lost my appetite. The fried eggs were overcooked with crispy darkened edges and hard yolk. The scampi coating was like cardboard surrounding barely warm mush. The sausages were clearly microwaved with that tell-tale impenetrable texture. When asked, after about ten minutes if everything was alright with the meal, I told the waitress that it wasn't, stating that the children's food was barely edible and the adult's food was of the lowest quality. I told her that I didn't expect to pay for all of it and asked her to consult the manger. I didn't expect a full refund as we were in a situation where our children had to eat something before the drive back home, so they had all the mash, chips, ham and peas which were salvageable form the plates. The waitress returned after some time with the £13.90 which we had paid for the two kid's meals. Not an ideal compensation for such a terrible meal but I accepted and we left, safe in the knowledge that we would never return, and that I would use the power of the internet to make aware as many people as possible of the awful experience we had just suffered at The Swan in Pangbourne.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Went for a Sunday lunch on 22 may 2011. Have been...”

written by on 22/05/2011

Went for a Sunday lunch on 22 may 2011. Have been before for a ploughmans lunch where the so called fresh bread was stale and inedible, fell apart when you attempted to spread butter on it. Have ordered other meals and been dissatisfied . When we went to pay we were asked if we enjoyed our meal, we told them we didn't and told him what was wrong with it. He replied " oh well ".
We haven't been in for a while, thought it might be different for a Sunday lunch. Only one option for a roast, that was beef. We ordered two, it arrived within 5 minutes. Presentation was awful, it looked like a birds eye roast beef platter ready meal. The roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and carrots were obviously ready prepared frozen food bought in. They tasted like water, everything tasted the same, bland, no flavour what so ever. We also had two pieces of flavourless broccoli wand two pieces of carrot with no flavour.
Drinks were very over priced and the staff looked and acted like they really didn't want to work there. Saw one old man get severely scolded by a foreign waitress for trying to move a chair to another table as there wasn't enough seats for his family. Another waitress scowled at two elderly women who asked her politely where the toilets were located. She then grunted at them to wait and the elderly ladies looked slightly upset by her tone.
Our Sunday roast cost around £11 each, there wasn't much on our plates and what was on it, some of it was too horrible eat. We stayed literally for 30 minutes and left feeling hungry. Our bill for two small roast dinners, a coke, a lemonade and lime and a vodka and coke came to £33.
I will never return to The Swan at Pangbourne, great location but awful food, terrible value for money and rude, arrogant, miserable staff.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Staying at weirview across the road - service was...”

written by on 26/02/2011

Staying at weirview across the road - service was awful and slow - charged extra when they didn't have the item we wanted even after paying. Basically expensive, badly managed, stroppy staff, pretty damn awful... Pretty location frankly badly served by dodgy pub.

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★★★★★

“Excellent attentive service. Food served promptly and...”

written by on 17/01/2011

Excellent attentive service. Food served promptly and efficiently and was enjoyed by all 6 of us.

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Barabrith's Comment

Written on: 01/05/2012

Proprietor would say that wouldn't they!? Doesn't answer previous issues raised by paying punters.

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★★☆☆☆

“This once great pub seems to have continued it's slide...”

written by divemaster on 25/03/2008

This once great pub seems to have continued it's slide into total mediocrity.

We used to live in Pangbourne years ago and although, in our time there the pub went through many changes of hands, it was always a great place to visit.

Over the past few years, on many return visits to the area we have on several occasions popped into the swan and each time the experience gets worse.

We are not looking more than a simple pub meal and a pint or two of decent beer, not too much to ask of a pub you would think.

What we received on our last visit was a meal that was obviously prepared with no care, including a lasagne that seemed like it had been microwaved (and not even for long enough).

The bar staff although pleasant enough were incredibly slow in serving the small number of customers they did have.

When I asked to speak to the manager to have a quiet word I was told that he wasn't available and to quote the member of staff I spoke to he was "almost never there".

It seems to me this pub can survive purely on it's fantastic location on the river and has stopped even trying to provide a decent service.

I'm giving up on the place!!

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