Swaffham has a number of well-known quality restaurants within the vicinity of the market square, and just off of the main stretch is the famous George Hotel, which from the exterior looks a very nice venue.
We’d chosen a particularly busy evening and were informed only tables in the bar area were available – which was no great sacrifice to us since the layout meant we were in a quiet area of just three tables.
Unfortunately it did mean we had to order our drinks and food from the bar ourselves and our placemats and cutlery were stacked on the edge of the table, rather than being laid ready.
The menu offered a selection of basic pub food with a choice of slightly more inventive specials (such as game and Chinese dishes) on the board, so we took the ‘when in Rome’ approach and selected bar food options.
For me it was a traditional prawn cocktail served with granary bread, which was a little pricey compared to the other choices at £6.25. My husband chose a special of homemade chicken liver and bacon pate served with melba toast.
The prawn cocktail was very pleasant although a little more salad would have been nice. My husband’s pate had a lovely rich flavour and was also enjoyed with the homemade melba toast with which it was served.
Main options could be described as ‘simple’ choices – fish, chips and homemade mushy peas for me and an 8oz rump steak and chips for my partner.
Our wait in between courses was fairly short, despite us overhearing the waiter telling a group of fellow diners they were very stretched due to a large booking.
The steak and chips (a mere handful) was served with onion rings, tomato, mushroom and a varied salad – and was as expected but the meat did lack a little flavour. Again, the fish was a traditional pub meal served just as described, but I was a little disappointed with the homemade mushy peas which were a bit hard with a brownish tinge.
Had the George Hotel not been as busy I’m sure these slight oversights (most probably resulting from spending a little too long under the hotplate) wouldn’t have occurred and we could have expected two exceptionally tasty pub meals.
Certainly the two Papworth burgers that arrived shortly afterwards on the next table looked extremely appetizing!
It was time for us to call it a night at George Hotel without continuing to dessert. From what is a genuinely beautiful hotel, we were left a little disappointed by our main courses (although our starters had been nice) and hope to sample to real George cuisine on another visit.
At just under £40 for two drinks, two starters and two mains the pub meal was good value in nice surroundings.
THE GEORGE HOTEL
Station Street, Swaffham PE37 7LJ
Telephone: 01760 721238