Head chef Simon Harris has a new menu. So I grab the whole family and get over there for a gastronomical Sunday lunch in the countryside
The Swan is a gastro pub in the quiet village of Salford on the outskirts of Milton Keynes (Kingston/Broughton/Brooklands side).
It’s an easy choice for gastropub dining that’s not too far at all from the middle of MK.
I have visited a few times here before, including for a bloggers brunch event, native lobster month to sample their specials and previous menu reviews but this is my first visit with head chef Simon Harris leading the kitchen.
Little touches I love about The Swan Salford:
The fire 🔥
We arrived on a very damp and grey Sunday in early April to be welcomed by this real fire. Cosy welcoming factor was immense.
The crazy number of coat hooks 😆
I hate sitting on my coat. I hate coats on the back of chairs and when the rain is pouring and the summer weather is definitely not in season yet, like when we visited, the whole family turned up with enough coats to start a clothes fight.
In the main bar area was a shelf with a big jar of dog biscuits in it. I thought this was so nice. I really enjoyed the dog watching. Dogs are part of the family after all and when our family finally get our own dog, we will remember that The Swan is still for us.
Calm and tranquil dining room
I dunno if it’s the countryside green shades used for decor, the spacious booths n tables, or what? But it’s an extremely chilled out restaurant space. Say ahhh and yam your grub.
Page break for cute photos of Half Pint and Squishee that I took when we were just getting seated.
Drinks were ordered. OJ for the Half Pint.
And for me, I couldn’t resist a Bloody Mary. Well, it was just hitting midday on a Sunday. Aren’t I just wonderfully appropriate? Mr LouBou being Mr LouBou had a lager. Squish being Squish had water. Sippy cup. Straight up.
Whilst we examined the menu* we nibbled on Warm Mini Bloomer & Garlic Butter and Campagnola Olives.
*OK, we didn’t really need much time with the menu because I bet like tons of you, when we knew we was coming to The Swan for lunch, we all couldn’t help but scope out the menu beforehand, but hey, it’s good to do that extra British thing and pretend to look at it very closely anyhow.
I started with the Pan-Fried Native Scallops, Clonakilty Black Pudding, Apple Crisps & Apple Dressing.
Yum-a-Nom-a-Nom! This starter is heavenly. I have a soft spot for scallops but definitely not for black pudding, or so I thought. I am converted. Black pudding and scallops really is a match made in heaven. With the sweet apple dressing and crisps. Ahh. One of those perfect tongue dazzling experiences. I want to eat this dish again and again and again.
Mr LouBou started with Ham Hock Croquettes, Pea Purée and Sauce Gribiche.
I stole a bite of these. They were tightly packed full of flakey chunks of ham hock. Not those croquettes that have the aroma of what they claim to contain but are mostly potato. Lovely with the pea purée.
Half Pint and Squishee were happy to nibble bread whilst we ate our starters. They were adamant that pudding is a much smarter course to a meal. I can’t wait till they find out that three courses can be so much better. 🤣
One of the things about The Swan that surprised me was there’s NO CHILDREN’S MENU. So, I’ll explain or more, The Swan will. This is taken from their website:
We don’t have a children’s menu, because we think they should have the opportunity to eat food that’s as good as yours, but our chefs are happy to make smaller portions or simplified versions of anything on our menu.
But in practice, fellow parents, it was so much better than it sounds.
Pictured above is what Squishee had for lunch and pictured below was what Half Pint had for lunch.
That’s breaded chicken goujons with two different types of chips you can see. One fat chips, one skinny fries. Our server was smart and savvy and offered the chicken and various accompaniments without needing prompting, they must know that they’re pretty darn foolproof for small ones.
Happy kids who yammed them*. Happy parents who got to eat their lunch in relative peace.
*Let’s be honest. The rocket or “green stuff” on the plate didn’t get much of a look in. Good try! 😆
It was Sunday. I’m a lamb lover. So for my main course I opted for the Roast of the Day which was slow ‘n’ low braised and roasted lamb shoulder.
The lamb was so good. Delicious. Roasted carrots were nom!
Eat your greens. (OK den 🤤).
Mr LouBou went for Pan-fried Sea Bass, Cauliflower Purée, Potato & Spring Onion Hash, Salsa Verde.
Spring on a plate. I grabbed a customary huge mouthful. The sea bass was perfectly cooked. Really well seasoned and had the most AMAZING crispy crispy skin. The hash it sat on was light enough to avoid being like mash but enough to it to avoid being slop and the romanesco cauliflower or broccoli, it’s somewhere between the two, was a tasty and quirky vegetable accompaniment.
As we was happily munching through our mains our server refilled the roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and gravy! Holy moly. Mr LouBou managed to make his sea bass dish into an epic kind of roast, he was very happy.
Time for a breather and cuddles after the main course and then it was back to work. Dessert time. 😍
Mr LouBou chose the Warm Custard Tart with Jude’s Vanilla Ice Cream.
Egg custard deliciousness. Special mention to the tasty vanilla ice cream which had it going on. Mr LouBou couldn’t wait to get his spoon into it that he forgot that I needed to take photographs and you can clearly see his big spoon mark in the ice cream (below). Oops! 😂
For my dessert I was back to the Sunday Specials board and chose the Dark Chocolate & Cherry Roulade with Chocolate Mousse, Chantilly Cream, Cherry Purée & Blackcurrant Sorbet.
Heaven! I needed a serving spoon to try and get a spoon of each of those delicious components but my spoon stacking skills were with me that day. The chocolate mousse was so good. It deserves to be the centre of it’s own dessert. I hope it makes a regular appearance on the menu soon.
Half Pint went for a scoop of Chocolate Orange Ice Cream alongside eating most of my roulade too! How do kids eat so much?!
Spring Sunday lunching as a family at The Swan got a very big thumbs up from the whole family. From attentive service to the delicious food, we had a great time.
Thanks very much for having us The Swan.
Date of visit: 08/04/2018
The Swan Salford
2 Wavendon Road