Back in February 2008 I wrote a glowing review of the National Trust Heelis Cafe in Swindon next door to the shopping outlet.
Compared to the food offerings in the shopping outlet, if you are out Swindon way, pop over to the National Trust cafe and enjoy a delicious meal in peaceful and pleasant environment.
We visited the cafe again today and was, well let’s just say the quality has done downhill somewhat in some areas.
There were no childrens’ boxes available at the time of ordering, so rather than wait we ordered the children two sausage baps. The sausages were slightly overdone (probably under the hot lamp for too long) and the baps, well one was toasted and slightly burnt, the other wasn’t even toasted! Why? No idea.
My other half went with the Fidget Pie, well it was a pasty, that came with salad and roast potatoes, no not sure of that combination myself to he honest, it’s not as though we were given a choice. The salad was fine, but the pasty was a little short on filling so consisted mainly of pastry.
I went for a traditional roast beef dinner. At £7.50 I expected to get an excellent home cooked roast beef dinner… well I didn’t.
Yes the potatoes were home roasted, and were roasted and not deep-fried as is often the case in some restaurants, pubs and cafes. The carrots were fine, but the brocolli was limp, having spent too much time under a heat lamp. The beef was a real disappointment, wafer thin slices of cooked beef that had been re-heated in gravy. This is something that cheap catering does, and not something I expected from the Heelis Cafe. The Yorkshire Pudding looked and tasted like it was heated up in the microwave and to be honest I did wonder if the meal was from the day before (as we did order early at midday) and had just been microwaved. I was expecting a proper carvery and proper slices of roast beef, not the equivalent of a £3.99 meal from a supermarket cafe.
Overall having spent nearly £30 at the cafe I was very very disappointed.
Maybe I should have complained, but it’s not as though anything was wrong, it was just that the quality was nowhere near what I have had in the past from the cafe. I am guessing that they have a new chef. They appeared to also have stock problems, as they had no salmon and no flan either; remember they only have a few things on the menu.
As a result I will probably not visit again, or if I do I would check the menu more carefully before ordering.
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