Skiff Inn (Swalwell)
Member Name: juicy_lucy
Skiff Inn (Swalwell)
Advantages: Good hearty food
Disadvantages: Bit smoky
This is a great place if you have been shopping in the Metro centre and just can NOT be bothered to go home and cook. Alternatively, use it as we have been using it- when there is just no way you can get to your kitchen because of building work.
The pub/ restaurant is actually very close to the Metro Centre and if you follow the obvious landmarks of TGI Fridays and Frankie and Benny's, there it is, nestled behind them.
There is plenty of parking around the pub and also just opposite where there is a large car park for the Holiday Inn Express and TGI Fridays. We often parked here and nobody has complained so I assume it's ok.
The pub/ restaurant is a relatively old building with a large conservatory on the side…this is the non smoking area, although the actual restaurant is also non smoking over Sunday lunchtime.
When you first enter The Skiff , you actually enter the bar. This is well stocked with different lagers and bitters as well as the usual spirits and soft drinks. What I have noticed is that as well as being a stop off for shoppers, this also becomes a local for many people, as the bar staff seem to know a lot of the people.
The bar area is a long room with tables dotted around the edges, and is decoarated in an olde worlde style- lots of wood panelling and Toby jugs as well as the expected boating paraphernalia.
(A little bit of history here…the skiff is so called because it was opened in 1800 by a North East hero, harry Clasper, who, along with two other men, revolutionised competitive rowing. Quite how this was done, I have no idea but I was interested in why it was named after a small boat!)
As an off shoot to the main bar area, at the front of The Skiff, is the relatively newly built conservatory, where you can have a bar meal in a non smoking environment;the whole area is designated as an area in which you can eat and there are condiments on all of the tables.
The restaurant is past the main bar area and is again decorated with wood panelling and dark tables although there is a huge window at the far side so plenty of light gets in , and it does not feel dark and oppressive.
There are actually 3 different menus: lunch, evening and Sunday.
As I said, we usually go on an evening, and have been on a few Sundays so although I have seen the lunchtime menus, I can't comment.
There is a wide selection of pasta and pizza dishes, ranging from £5.50, although at lunchtime all the pizzas are £5, which is quite good value. The lunchtime menu also includes wraps and sandwiches, all ranging around the £5 mark, and if the evening portions are anything to go by, they will be BIG!
The evening menu features a lot of traditional meals including fish and chips (my favourite) costing £6.95, steak and kidney pie at £6.45, mince and herb dumplings and various grills. The main courses are all served with vegetables and extra bits and pieces such as chips, and onion rings can be ordered.
Sunday lunch features the usual roasts- beef, lamb, pork, chicken, as well as some of the meals available on an evening.
The website actually has a full list of the menu for anyone interested
OTHER BITS OF INFORMATION…
TOILETS are at the moment undergoing refurbishment and are located at each side of the bar area- girls and boys separated. Beware, there is a warning that cctv cameras are in operation- the warning is on the door of the toilets, so I don't quite know what was implied by that!
OPENING HOURS Monday- Saturday 12-9.30, Sunday 12-5.30. They suggest that booking is advisable but I have always found that whilst it is usually busy, you can get a table, although this takes longer on a Sunday lunchtime.
WEBSITE is www.skiffinn.com, where you can check out the menus and sign the guest book should you feel so inclined!
For a hearty meal with big portions, this place is excellent.
The service is friendly and efficient and whenever we go, we don't have to wait long before being served.
I would say that it is not a place for anyone who likes nouvelle cuisine and meals served as dainty little platters, but rather for people who are hungry. We have been several times and the food is always tasty and leaves us feeling very very full- no need to snack beforehand or come back home and eat supper.
The restaurant area is non smoking on a Sunday lunchtime which I find is a good idea because I don't like inflicting little miss to a room full of smoke. However, smoking is still permitted at the seating area around the bar. As I mentioned before, the new conservatory is non smoking all of the time.
All in all, I would recommend this place for quickly served, traditional food in a friendly environment.
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Good hearty food at reasonable prices