The Crown Inn, Tolldown, Wiltshire

Situated a stone’s throw from Junction 18 of the M4 on the outskirts of the World Heritage City of Bath, The Crown at Tolldown has all the potential of a Cotswold-edge pub and in the past has been a favourite alternative of ours to the motorway services further East at Leigh Delamere.

A very popular pub with tourists and commuters, it has recently had nine en-suite rooms added in a separate detached Cotswold-stone built building in the grounds which are priced at a very reasonable £85.00 per night including breakfast. Given the location this is excellent value in our opinion.

Unfortunately our review today is not based on our experience as overnight guests but instead as casual diners! Usually we do rate this pub quite highly and would give it three forks but today’s review unfortunately reflects a mediocre experience in our view.

In our opinion there was a strange atmosphere amongst the staff from the moment we walked in, like something had gone wrong in the kitchen and there were a few stroppy faces about!

Despite this we decided to carry on with our review as it was getting late and we were getting hungry.

We both opted for the vegetarian sweet potato curry at £10.50 a head which seemed reasonable and we have to say was full of flavour, well spiced and generously portioned.

However the wine we ordered whilst ok to drink, caught us out somewhat as the waitress neglected to tell us that the wine list was on the table and therefore we missed it altogether (surely it is their job to point it out and help their customer?) and instead we just ordered what we thought were two house glasses of white wine, one Pinot Grigio and one Sauvignon Blanc.

We ended up somehow with a bill which had mistakenly included a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc which we hadn’t had (later removed from the bill) and we later also found that the Sauvignon (which was a very ordinary wine in our opinion) was priced at £9.25 a glass for a large glass! The wine really didn’t live up to it’s price tag and with no assistance whatsoever from the waitress, and instead a surly response in our view along the lines of “you had a wine list on your table so why didn’t you look at it” we were left with overpriced wine in our opinion instead of the two house glasses we had thought we were ordering.

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Be aware if you are on a budget because The Crown told us later that the do not have “house wines” – a first in our experience and of course they are entitled to do whatever they want but from a customer’s perspective we feel that warning the public that they might end up with a hefty bill unless they study the wine list is worth mentioning. Especially for tourists who may be caught unaware as they enjoy their holiday and don’t expect to have no input at all from the person serving.

Another aspect worth considering, especially if travelling on business is that whilst the pub has free wifi it doesn’t appear to work in our experience. This is the third time we have tried the pub and so far we have managed just ten minutes of continuous wifi coverage which is far from ideal.

All in all we were disappointed with our experience this time, which is a shame because the pub is well located and a lovely property and one we have always enjoyed visiting but based on today’s review and with some regret we can only give it two forks.

What we ate and drank:

1 Large Sauvignon Blanc
1 Large Pinot Grigio
1 Small Sauvignon Blanc
1 Small Pinot Grigio
2 Sweet Potato Curry

Total: £46.75

Details:

Tolldown
Dyrham
Wiltshire
SN14 8HZ

www.thecrowntolldown.co.uk

Fear On Food Rating:

Double Fork Rating

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