Date night isn’t a regular occurrence but when you’re invited to a pretty village gastropub with a good reputation and native LOBSTER is on the specials menu, you grab your husband, get him in a shirt and get rolling down the road.
Pulling up at The Swan on a warm summers evening you’d be forgiven for mistaking The Swan for an executive car forecourt. A row of impressive looking Range Rovers dominate the parking spaces at the front of the pub. So The Swan clearly attracts money, is that a sign of greatness? Not to worry about parking our modest car next to the executive vehicles though, there’s a huge carpark to the rear.
Husband and I have eaten a couple of times before at The Swan and aside from the food, I am always taken by the setting, the space and the décor. Nothing’s changed there. It’s a lovely place for eating. Sitting somewhere between formal enough to feel special but relaxed enough that you don’t feel unwelcome or that it’s too haughty.
In the restaurant at the rear at the pub, they have a glass window straight into the kitchen so you can see the chefs cooking up the dishes for you. It’s a unique feature and I quite enjoy being able to look over and witness the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.
The waitress was so relaxed and breezy that any idea that this place was pretentious or too upmarket for us melted away in seconds. In fact, all the waiting staff were dressed in jeans and various checked shirts, I loved this as it’s in keeping with the setting which is a pub/restaurant. Relaxed chic!
My husband was delighted they offer Blue Moon beer on tap, it’s one of his favourites.
As I am pregnant I was impressed to see a virgin cocktail menu! In fact, impressed they have a cocktail menu, period. But to be able to enjoy a non-alcoholic drink without being forced into fizzy pop or water is fab.
The English Rose mocktail that I ordered was made with cloudy apple juice, elderflower and cranberry. So delicious and totally made up for me missing out on the plonk. With intention of trying more from the mocktail menu, I couldn’t resist and ended up drinking the English Rose exclusively.
On to the food as I was starving.
For starters I ordered from the specials board, a pork and apple terrine and Mr LouBou ordered from the A La Carte starters menu with the chicken and ham croquettes.
Both were delicious. I am so glad that the terrine was on offer as part of the specials board as pâté/terrines are one of my favourite meal beginners and this was deliciously porky with a sweet and tangy chutney to enjoy with on top of chunky toast. Without it I would have probably ordered the same as my husband with the chicken and ham croquettes which with the herb aioli and bean salad was a very tasty starter indeed.
For mains it was back to the specials board and the native lobster that we were here to witness. We both ordered the half lobster each with skinny fries.
Arriving on a wooden plank, the half lobster was extremely easy to eat out of the shell. The claw had been de-shelled and was laying perfectly complete and ready to eat on top of the body. It was well cooked and deliciously buttery. I ordered mayo to go with the lobster and chips (classy, I know) and I’m not ashamed to say that the residual butter that lay in the lobster’s empty shell was a delicious chip dip too.
Lobster tends to be reserved as special date night food that is only eaten occasionally by my husband and me, but it needs saying that in comparison to other lobster dishes enjoyed this year, this was one of the best.
If lobster is one of your favourites, then you have one weekend left (Thursday 25 to Saturday 27) to get your butts over to Salford village to The Swan to enjoy the last outing of the native lobster specials for August.
For dessert (I know, we have mahoosive appetites) my husband was back ordering off the specials board with a honeycomb and chocolate brownie sundae and I ordered the iced strawberries and cream parfait.
My husband said the honeycomb and brownie sundae was the best he’d ever eaten. The odd spoonful that I was allowed to try confirmed that it was very good. A dark and rich brownie that wasn’t too heavy, satisfying crunch from the homemade honeycomb and the creamy vanilla ice cream which was the glue holding it all together.
The frozen strawberries and cream parfait from the main pud menu was served with a gingerbread crumb and poached strawberries. This was the right kind of creamy, fruity dessert that I live for. The poached strawberries were yum! Only annoyance was the gingerbread crumb was hard to gather up on the spoon to enjoy it properly with the parfait.
Then a cup of hearty Yorkshire tea to finish for me and an Amaretto coffee for my husband. I love the super cute use of an empty syrup tin for the sugar lumps to live in and the small dish of smarties provided. I honestly don’t know how I fit the smarties or tea in my tummy as I was so full, but somehow I managed it.
A perfect, yummy lobster date night with my very own lobster husband. Another good meal at The Swan at Salford is firmly cementing them as a favourite pick for eating out in MK.
The native lobster special for August 25 – 27 is butter poached lobster with new potatoes and samphire.