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“Very disappointing”

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Bistro @ The Swan at Hay
Ranked #28 of 32 Restaurants in Hay-on-Wye
Price range: US$26 - US$33
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations
Description: Located in the Victorian market town of Hay-on-Wye in the Welsh Marshes, The Swan hotel is set in a snug 'n' cosy grade 2 listed Georgian coaching inn. Literary luvvies and local food lovers are regulars in the hotel's two restaurants ��� the formal dining room, which serves dinner and Sunday lunches, and the less formal bistro which serves lunch and informal dinners. The hotel also has a garden ideal for summer al fresco dining. Head Chef Harry Mackintosh has created a traditional British menu with favourites including the pan-seared scallops with sunblushed tomatoes and orange sauce; the duck breast served with herb mash and chorizo cassoulet; and the classic Eton mess with crushed meringue, Chantilly cream and raspberries.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Uncomfortable atmosphere, awful cheesy 80s music in the bistro restaurant. Food very disappointing. Liked.......umm.....two very sweet waitresses aimed to please and worked hard in light of the waiters seen larking about.

Visited April 2014
Thank FionaN20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
St Helens, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Eating experience”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

The food I had was quite nice but overpriced for what I got. Not a lot of choice on the menu. It was well presented and hot and overall not too bad although my friend was less than impressed with her meal.

Visited February 2014
Thank MargyB54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Girona, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Excellent and gluten-free lunch”
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Don't know what it's usually like for service, but we stopped in the Bistro at around 12:30 on our way through Hay-on-Wye, searching for a good, gluten-free meal. Hard to find in Hay! We were early and had the bistro to ourselves. Lovely meal in sort of shabby-chic surroundings. Could have been cleaner (crumbs on the table, dustwebs on the window), but still a welcome change from eating in a dark (atmospheric?) pub. The food was delicious. I had the partridge pot roast and Gary ahd the goat cheese and pear tart. Plan to return.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank PeregrinaSantaFe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Expected to see John Cleese”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

My daughters booked this bistro as a surprise for my 50th birthday. We arrived to be told by the receptionist/ waitress that they had no knowledge of the booking, even though my daughter had the reply email on her phone confirming this. We were shown through to the restaurant, where three of us were seated on a cramped bench opposite the draughty door (with fluorescent exit sign). A waiter, who definitely needs more training in his people skills proceeded to lay the table for us, he gave my husband and my Dad a knife and fork, the rest of us just got forks, then he went back to folding his napkins behind the bar.....it was like Fawlty Towers. I complained to the receptionist/ waitress, who then re seated us at a better table. No one takes your drinks orders, my husband had to go to the bar, he asked for a bottle of wine with our meal, the barman/waiter picked up a three quarter full bottle and had to be told we would prefer a full bottle, he then had to go to fetch this from who knows where. I ordered a pate for starter which was supposed to come with chutney, instead came with three gherkins. We had rib eye steak for main course (the only steak on the menu) which was very nice.We passed on the dessert, bread and butter pudding was £9. We were only staying in Hay on Wye for two nights but would have not returned here. Staff definitely need some training.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank maisie012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
98 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Food is good, service a touch hard to come by”
Reviewed 9 September 2013 via mobile

I think the staff are manning the reception as well as the bistro in this fairly central Hay location. Nobody manning the bar gives a slightly deserted feel to the place, however, food when we got it was tasty and satisfying. A great range of local cider and perry add an attraction.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TaffsterLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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