The Swan is about the classiest place to eat or drink in Stafford town centre. So much attention has been paid to details - and several different zones to choose from.
The coffee bar is airy and efficient - prices moderate. Your drinks can be taken into the adjacent front bay window reception area, the restored carriage 'tunnel’, or you can order them from the bar when the coffee bar serving room is closed.
Seating is mostly on comfy, if deep, brown armchairs and sofas.
Bars - two main bars, which do get crowded on busy nights. There’s one main lounge, also with the afore-mentioned brown furnishings. Lighting is just about right. Exits at the end of the lounge and the carriage area to the carpark and garden. Yes, bar prices are more than most places in town, but the whole atmosphere is nicer than most!
Garden zone - plenty of space for smokers, heaters in the evening - and a stage for entertainment. Summers the past year or so have featured DJs on Thursdays and live local [mostly] bands on Fridays. The latter should appear at 8pm. The one I saw - Rich Flava [good drummer, great lead guitar, flat singer ] - started at 9pm. Once the crowd gathers, you can’t see much at all. Sound is more than adequate, but the bars still had canned music playing inside!
Food - various snacks during the day in the coffee bar areas, deli platters and similar most of the day - 9” freshly made/baked pizzas @ average £7 each, with a selection of mixed toppings [including duck - which is rather nice and different] or 12” for a £1 extra. Mon-Thurs, order two pizzas and have a free bottle of very palatable wine!
Menu Fixe for lunch and dinner - interesting choices, beautifully presented and cooked. A la carte in the evening to splash out on. I’ve not tried the latter.
Staff are very helpful and the establishment attracts mums with youngsters having coffee and cakes, business clientele, 'ladies who lunch’, general shoppers, and gourmands alike. If you’re solo, you don’t feel conspicuous with a pot of tea and something to read.
Toilet facilities - the Ladies has 4 cubicles - inadequate for evenings when busy - women were complaining whilst waiting - kept clean though and the girl on Reception acted upon my report of lack of toilet paper!