The Woodman does everything right, in ways, and in others it seems perfectly miscalculated (addition: other reviews are much less generous than the one on your screen now…click here, for examples). There is a wall of real ale kegs giving up to twelve gravity fed choices from Wadworth and White Horse, it is a large old inn and the rooms reflect it in size and layout, and it seems to have a large and varied menu. (And, if you’ll look below, the owner claims it “was voted best pub in 1652” over 300 years before the concept of voting for best pub…you’ve really got to read his bit before “the appropriate authorities” shut down this site and cart me off).
However, the place is clean but not in a merely hygienic way…it has an air of sterility about it despite all this. It is also disconcerting that the entire crew is tall blond polish ladies (or as Mark, below, points out, tall blond Slovakian ladies and one tall blond Faringdon native); normally this is nothing to complain about but there is a coldness in this particular collection that, more than anything, is probably due to the Prussianly (or Balkan or Cotswold) clippedness of the One In Charge. Even taking a booking on the phone she seemed to berate and belittle the customer. This could be hot, I reckon, and I still haven’t figured out the British psyche; but, it really didn’t rub me the right way.
Update! I got a personal message from The Owner! He seems quite upset about this posting but doesn’t seem to have read any of it. I stand by the fact that they have an impressive wall of ale AND by the fact that the eastern european staff were rude (and this must be the politically correct term because he, in another of a barrage of comments sent to SPAM, says “my Eastern European staff work like wildfire”). I see clearly that the disdain for the customer is policy and no longer wonder why the place is struggling despite otherwise doing most things right:
As the owner of The Woodman Inn, in the ten years i have owned this pub i have never known anyone cause such a stir amongst my regulars. Your comments do not help very much and your racist views of my staff have caused much distress. I would like to point out that to keep a Traditional British pub running is very difficult in these hard times, my staff work very long hours, electricity bills have trebled, council tax has doubled, gas bill you dont want to know, we battle everyday to keep this pub alive. So….. Thankyou for your snidey comments, with your personal quest into british pubs that are a great deal of peoples livelihoods.
Myself and my fellow regulars, locals, businessmen do not understand how an American can judge a British pub and its culture.
1.The Woodman Inn was voted best pub of the year in 1652, over 100 years before America became an independant state.
2. We Do not serve Bud Light? What is that all about? However we do serve Budvar of which the recipe was stolen to make Budweiser at a reduced ABV.
3. You must have been sorely disappointed that we did not have a’ Supersize Me’ Menu…..
4.I’m sorry we do not have a drive through, but the last time that happenned was by horse and cart delivering 11′s of Morlands Original.
5. Sorry… no Wendys Pancakes
6.And i will appologise for my staff not stating would ‘you like fries with that’ and ‘have a nice day’.
Anyway the point i am trying to put over is that you should stick to friendly fire, and shooting 17 innocent civilain women and children while they are sleeping , and not judging people who are working ninety plus hours a week just to keep a roof above their head.
I see you have deleted your racist comments about my staff, luckily i printed off a copy, and have passed it off to the releveant authorities!