You may remember the Weighbridge Brewhouse under the management of the people from the Three Crowns at Brinkworth. It’s USP was that it was the same format as the Three Crowns: no starters, large plates of meat, tons of veg and lots of cream and butter. It was the closest thing that Swindon had to Fayn Dayning – though it wasn’t really. I loved it – though these days my digestive system is less enamoured of rich sauces. The desire is strong but the gut is weak.
Anyway – you have to now forget all that.
Cutting a long story short, new management took over the Weighbridge and it all went horribly wrong. Details not needed – suffice to say it went pear-shaped. So the owners, the Upham Group, decided to take stock, do a Fagin, and think it out again.
The place has been refurbed both inside and out. The front courtyard is now astro-turfed and equipped with some super luxus outdoor dining furniture. A mixture of stylish bench seating and tables, chairs and cushions. All with huge parasols. It’s rather smart. I had my eye on the plant pots on the table I admit.
The astroturfed outdoor dining area at the restaurant.
While indoors, they’ve reupholstered the seating and installed these rather funky illuminated tress. Possibly slightly kitsch? But I love kitsch. It’s a cavernous place is the Weighbridge so they do fill the space and add atmosphere. Overall a big thumbs up.
How do I know all this?
Well, as part of their thinking it out again process, the management decided to do some dry runs, with invited guests, to try it all out and – crucially – ask for feedback, before they unleash themselves upon the public. And I , and five fortunate pals, were blessed with an invite. I now feel guilty that the building is not included in Swindon in 50 Buildings … I couldn’t get them all in … sorry …
What were our impressions?
Overall: really good. We’ll definitely go back.
Between us we picked a good cross-section of stuff from the menu. Again overall we were delighted but there were a few niggles – duly fed back at the end of the evening. Someone ordered a quinoa salad which was rather more green than quin … someone else felt that the lobster should have had a sauce and new potatoes rather than fries. While others in the group were delighted with their choices. I for one was happy to see a chimichurri dressing for steak alongside the usual cream sauce and pepper sauce. The sharing dessert platter got rave reviews and the sharing starters platter was also rather nice,
So a bit inconsistent – and needs sorting out. But nothing that would stop us going back.
Also fed back to them was to have low-level table centrepieces rather than tall vases. Nice touch to have them, but it got in the way of our view across the table. After we’d shifted it around umpteen times, Sandra, owner of Fabulous Functions UK and someone who knows a thing or two about table centrepieces, snapped off most of the stalks to create a lovely low arrangement that we could all see over.
Note to management – you’d do a lot worse than speak to Sandra about these things. #justsaying
So that’s it for the negatives. To pick out the positives of the experience:
a. We loved the new look – both inside and out.
b. It’s an interesting menu that will have seasonal variations
c. It has a lovely outside eating area – few and far between in Swindon
d. There’s lots of good places to eat in Swindon but they’re mostly … casual …what the Weighbridge represents is somewhere to go for something a bit special.
e. ABOVE ALL what impressed me was that the management are making a huge effort to put right what evidently went wrong. Kudos to them for that. And I think that deserves our support.
So if you’re one of those that went there in recent weeks and months and weren’t happy – give it another go. They’re working super hard to get it right.
The food pictures
Contact the Weighbridge
Call: 01793 881500
Their social media:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWeighbridgeBrewhouse/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeighbridgeBH – @WeighbridgeBH
- Insta: @weighbridgebrewhouse – https://www.instagram.com/weighbridgebrewhouse/
About the Weighbridge Brewhouse
‘Our building used to be a Weighbridge! At the turn of the industrial revolution Weighbridges were used in station yards and at railway depots to weigh goods before they were sent onto their destinations.
Our building is pretty big as it had to be able to house massive amounts of freight. It was nearly derelict when it was purchased and renovated and now is a fantastic dining space with room for 120 downstairs and 30 on our mezzanine level which houses a beautiful glass piano.’