Life At The Swan in 2022
Having just seen out the old year in style this is your chance to answer the question, where did 2022 go? Take a look at this brief summary highlighting just some of the many exciting and entertaining events that have made 2022 at The Swan such a special time. There are even more memories on our website - take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the journey.
January and February
The year started with all hands on deck, or at least in the Kitchen, as Weekday Warriors and Volunteers continued to prepare the walls and equipment as the deadline for opening seemed still too far away. Multiple colours of plasterboard and new window frames continued the transformation.
The Coach House hosted a Virtual Cruise for all those who had won something in the 2021 Bingo Sessions and 2022 kicked off with yet more Bingo with our resident caller Richard Allen. Continuing the party mood the Coach House hosted a very special birthday as Rene, our oldest regular, celebrated her 100th birthday.
January saw our final coffee morning on behalf of Windsor Homeless Project having raised a total of £1,200 across the year and despite Covid. Family Friends were nominated as our community charity for 2022 and with one more fundraiser on their behalf still to come we hope to have done as well.
March and April
Tiling, painting and preparation by the dedicated team of Weekday Warriors saw the Kitchen looking better each day as the deadline for opening got ever closer.
At short notice a new covering was laid across The Courtyard. Although seen as an interim measure it is a vast improvement making a trip across the area less hazardous for all.
As well as supporting our local charity we hosted a Comic Relief coffee morning during which a plaque in recognition of the hard work of the Weekday Warriors was unveiled in The Bar.
April saw a very popular Gin Masterclass sponsored by Fever Tree. New skills were learnt and, hopefully, remembered.
May and June
After all that hard work May saw the long-awaited opening of our new kitchen. First to give it a spin were GR6 students and staff who launched their amazing EPIC Brunch menu. The following day we ran a Kitchen Test Day, serving complimentary tasters from the new menu to a packed house of regulars eager to try it out and give their feedback.
In June we celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, with a traditional afternoon tea party! Over the weekend, the sunny courtyard was packed as people came from across town to partake in sandwiches, cakes and scones, served on an eclectic mix of pre-loved retro crockery!
Building work also began on a refurbishment of the Stables, providing the School and the local community with valuable useable space on site.
July and August
In July, as temperatures began to soar, we celebrated American Independence Day with a themed BBQ and an evening of line dancing, expertly called by Jess. The pub was decorated in true US style and many arrived dressed accordingly to grapevine the night away at our first ever Hoe Down!.
Just as we all yearned to escape the extreme summer heat, snow began to fall as we celebrated Christmas in July!. At a bizarre but a fabulously unique weekend, kids delighted in visits from Santa and the Grinch, whilst mums and dads tucked into Christmas dinner, Yorkshire pudding wraps and maybe drowned a snowball or two!
August heralded our flagship weekend Summer Festival – SwanFest!.The excellent range of guest ales on the pumps each day included our very own Fest Beer, Feathered Friend, brewed specially by Micky and the team at WEBrew. Fun for the family included face painting and Guinness World Records attempts, there was live music every afternoon and evening and The Friends’ raffle made a fabulous amount towards our renovation fund.
September and October
Following a busy summer, September saw the start of a new school year for The Green Room and with the nights drawing in, our monthly Cheese and Wine night returned to the pub. It was warm enough for teams to sit in The Courtyard during our fortnightly Quiz Nights and the Cribbage Group continued to hone their skills in their Tuesday meetings. The Stammtisch German Speaking Group held their monthly meeting, as did The Book Club and our September Coffee Morning raised nearly £300 for Macmillan.
During September, The Swan also joined with the rest of Windsor and the Nation in paying our respects and remembering the extraordinary life of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
October started in the now traditional way with Oktoberfest, as we brought a bit of Bavaria to The Swan with German beer, bratwurst, lederhosen and live music.
Our third AGM meeting was held in The Courtyard and a weekend breakfast service began in the pub. Our very own Carly started her Stay and Play sessions for the under 5s and their parents.
October ended with CAMRA confirming that we are included in the 2023 Good Beer Guide and another opportunity for fancy dress at our Halloween Freakender. We were delighted to welcome Datchet Border Morris back for the first time since lockdown. They braved the rain to perform for us on Halloween itself, making it a very special Monday night.
November and December
Remember, Remember the 5th November with marshmallows around the fire, sparklers and live music from Back Track who had everyone up and dancing.
A week later, GR6 student and member of staff, Carly Abbott was selected as a finalist in the Plunkett Foundation's Young Person of the Year Award and attended the award ceremony at St Martin in the Fields. The Friends of The Swan nominated Carly for the award in recognition of her efforts in setting up the Stay and Play sessions, working at our coffee mornings and Jubilee celebrations and becoming a valued member of staff. Carly’s certificate is now proudly displayed in the pub.
Renovations took a break for the summer but started again in November, with the first stages of work on the roof meaning that the top layer of scaffolding has finally come down! Windows to the rear have been prepped and painted and repointing has continued.
At the end of November, our final coffee morning of the year was held for our 2022 local charity, Family Friends while December saw The Swan take part in Windsor's Living Advent Calendar as part of The Green Room's Winter Fayre. The staff and student's version of A Christmas Carol went down a storm.
Prohibition Night followed the next week, where those knowing the secret knock enjoyed cocktails and jazz. A festive evening of Christmas Carols with The Broom Farm Ensemble Brass Band and St Andrew's church was held in The Courtyard and Santa's Grotto welcomed little visitors each weekend. He even joined them for a special breakfast one Saturday morning.
The Friends of The Swan Christmas Market with craft stalls and live music from the Windsor Jazz Collective was a chilly evening, warmed by plenty of mulled wine and boozy hot chocolate, with strudel and chestnuts and craft stalls to pick up that last minute present. A special festive quiz rounded off the pre-Christmas festivities with champagne and selection box prizes, as well as a Christmas jumper competition! The Big Swan Quiz of The Year was our final event of 2022 won by regular team Hettie’s Heroes.
The Coach House now has a brand new, level floor and glass doors. This means that this is now a cosy space for private hire, as well as an excellent space for an evening drink with friends.
So, as 2022 – the first full year that we have been able to operate since opening, has closed with a wonderful New Year's Eve Party we look forward to more of the same in 2023.
We would like to thank you for all of your continued support of The Swan. We could not do this without each and every one of our investors, friends, customers and volunteers and we look forward to meeting you for a drink very soon.Have A Safe and A Very Happy New Year!