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“Lovely lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Swan Inn

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The Swan Inn
Ranked #1 of 15 Burford B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Albufeira, Portugal
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Lovely lunch”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Had lunch here with my husband on bank holiday Monday in the garden and the food was excellent. The staff were great and made us feel very welcome. Will definitely eat here again. A lovely country setting with chickens wandering around the garden.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RoyalOakBurford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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233 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    142
    49
    27
    14
    1
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40
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We'd read the reviews and heard first hand from friends of positive stories, so our expectations when booking were high. Did it live up to the hype? It was close, but ultimately it wasn't quite as good as we were expecting.

The excellent bits first: it's the Cotswalds. Come on, you do not get better picture-postcard perfect England than the Cotswalds. The Swan Inn is perfectly located on the edge of the village. There are countless beautiful walks you can lose yourself in. Worth a stay for that alone.

Our room also could not be faulted. We splurged on 'Debo's Room' and it was airy, spacious and very well equipped. The decoration and furnishings are as thoughtful as they are stylish. If you're a Mitford fan, the Swan Inn plays it up to the hilt with images of the family from various periods dotted around the place. (If you've never heard of the Redesdales, then the images might be a bit perplexing.)

The pub itself is also quirky and charming, but it is really a restaurant, not a pub. We did however witness three hardly locals actually drinking at the small bar, but they seemed mostly to be in the way of the waitstaff.

The not-so-good bits: both the staff and the food were variable. In all, we ate three meals at The Swan Inn - two breakfasts and one dinner. The first breakfast we ordered kippers. Unfortunately, what was served was inedible. Firstly, they were truly awful quality kippers - if you love kippers, you'll know how you can tell a quality kipper from an over-dyed piece of rubbish. This kipper was definitely from the latter camp. To make matters worse, the chef had decided to smother the kipper in dried herbs, and rather a lot of them. This seemed to serve no purpose other than to overpower the flavour of fish, and given how strong kippers are, that was no mean feat! They were also covered in some oily goo, the origin of which I couldn't fathom. I took one sad, sorry bite but that was one bite too many. What annoyed me more though was what happened next. The on-duty manager (who was not English and admitted she herself didn't eat kippers) then had the gumption to argue with us about them. She assumed we had never had kippers before and were not used to them. No, my dear, we are English and we eat kippers regularly - so we know a dud kipper when it is served to us. In hindsight, my guess is that the chef does not eat kippers either - he clearly isn't an aficionado of them. We stuck to the toast and the excellent coffee.

We approached dinner that evening with some trepidation, and ordered the steak. We needn't have worried - it was fine - but it was, at the end of the day, just a steak. That largely sums up the food - competent but not exciting. I must, however, call out the wine list - there were some good choices there, all at very good value.

The bad - the pub could do with a good clean. I found myself sticking to the floor a bit. It all just felt a bit grimy - the conservatory in particular needs a clean and a makeover.

There is one other comment I would like to make, and I am not sure how to phrase this without sounding like a Daily Mail-reading xenophobe. But hear me out. None of the staff who were working during our 3 days stay were English. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for multiculturalism. Certainly in London that would not be in any way unusual, probably expected, and I wouldn't think one jot about it. However, in such a quaint and quintessentially English location, I expected English hospitality - begin told by a local what not to miss, for example. The staff never engaged with us at this level, instead delivering perfunctory service. I do think the experience was the poorer for it.

Would I go back? Probably not - I'd seek out alternatives in the area, and check out the menu before booking. Do I regret my stay? No, I'm glad I went, and I enjoyed my stay.

Room Tip: Pay extra for "Debo's Room". Worth every penny.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BarrigntonIsTops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
158 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Excellent salt beef sandwich with rocket and horseradish and chips. A tad expensive and we didn't particularly want the chips though they were delicious.
Friendly staff.
We sat in the garden and were entertained by the chickens stalking a visiting dog.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank weekender79584
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014

Really enjoyable midweek lunch to celbrate mother's birthday, everything was lovely, great service, delicious food & excellent value for money. Best 'gastro-pub' meal I've had in ages, although with food this good it hard to refer to it as a pub!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FredandOllie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
202 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014

A 3 night weekend ...and a perfect spot.
Our room looked out over the Windrush valley...stunning views.
The staff were fun and friendly
the food was excellent - and the dinner/bed/breakfast deal was excellent value.
decent (if not exceptional) wine list - and great real ale.

Bed was comfy...we didn't want to come home
Highly recommended.

Room Tip: WE stayed in Asthall - which has great views - and is in the converted property across the road. I s...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

We booked through their website for a Sunday lunch. Since it was a lovely sunny day we walked from Burford. By the time we got there our table had being given away (we were 15 min late but they had our mobile number so they could have called us first). However after 10 minutes we were given a table and we ordered, the waitress forgot to mention that they had run out of chicken which was quite disappointing (as it was what most of us had ordered). We wanted to order drinks but the waitress informed us that somebody else would have been with us shortly. Our food arrived but still no drinks, in the end we had to go to the bar and order the drinks ourselves while the food was getting cold.
I had salmon on a bed of salad which was 16.50 pounds...the slices of salmon were so thin I was still very hungry by the end of the meal (it was more an appetiser than a main). My friends had the beef, the lamb and pork and we all agreed it was okay but surely not worth that price tag (all the mains are around 16 pounds). We all had desserts because we were still hungry. Desserts were much better than the main and cost 6 pounds.
The garden is really lovely so I would come again for coffee but definitely not for a meal. We have a 3 months old baby and there aren't any baby changing facilities, furthermore the door is really narrow so you can't get in with a pram.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gloriajones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pewsey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 March 2014 via mobile

The Swan was a charming pub, the service was friendly, quick and helpful. Our lunch arrived promptly and was delicious. We met the landlord Archie who came to our table and told us the history of the pub he made us feel very welcome. I will be going back again soon, but next time I will make sure to book as we got one of the last tables. Thank you to all the staff a very nice experience.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank C L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Swan Inn

Property: The Swan Inn
Address: Swinbrook, Burford OX18 4DY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Burford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Burford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Swan Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Swan Hotel Burford
The Swan Inn Burford, Oxfordshire

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