A famous Cotswold beauty spot, gorgeous hotel and delicious dining – what more could you ask for? Nothing, as SoGlos found out first-hand; The Swan Hotel's Brasserie proves the perfect setting for a lovely Sunday lunch in the countryside.
Even a thundery Sunday couldn’t deter tourists from visiting one of the Cotswolds’ most famous villages, Bibury, with SoGlos enjoying the chance to play sightseer in our own county; soaking up the views and heading to one of the area’s most quintessential hotels.
Nestled on the banks of the River Coln and adorned with gorgeous greenery, the former coaching inn offers a picture-perfect backdrop for the village. Excited to visit the hotel’s brasserie, SoGlos wanted to find out whether The Swan Hotel delivers style, substance, or both.
To our delight, it turned out to be the latter – unique décor, friendly service and a deliciously tempting menu all combined for a brilliant experience. From the characterful floor tiles and feature wallpaper to the rustic log wall, the brasserie creates a welcoming ambience that complements the Cotswold setting to perfection.
Soaking up the sights and then feasting our eyes on the lunch menu, we found plenty of choice – not to mention temptation from the dishes passing our table; the brioche burger and Sunday roasts looked just incredible! Perusing the menu with a warm bread roll, our appetites were whetted for the main event.
After some dish dilemmas, my husband went for two trout dishes – smoked Bibury trout pâté with pickled cucumber, fennel and crostini to start; followed by a whole Bibury trout with gnocchi and wilted greens. As The Swan Hotel neighbours Bibury Trout Farm, you’re guaranteed the freshest produce – for fish fans, it’s is the obvious choice.
For myself, the falafel, hummus, and olive flatbread proved the most irresistible option for main; preceded by asparagus and mushroom soup with garlic croutons.
Flavourful with a good hint of spice, my seasonal soup was the perfect start to lunch. The garlic croutons added a little texture, while the earthy flavours and heat were well appreciated on a blustery, chilly day.
My husband also enjoyed a light start to his lunch; creamy trout pâté with tasty accompaniments all combined in a dish that was a treat for the palette – not too filling or rich, it was the ideal starter.
Onto the main, the flatbread looked and tasted incredible. The hummus was indulgent and creamy with a zingy lemon flavour, while the falafels were perhaps the best I’ve ever had. Accompanied with some vegetable crisps and salad, the meal was filling without being too rich – ideal for lunchtime.
We had high hopes for the trout and weren’t disappointed. An entire trout cooked to tender perfection with a crispy skin, it was as good as fish can be. Even better, the gnocchi had a delicious fried finish, while the greens were ‘just outstanding’, according to my husband.
British desserts don’t come better than sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice-cream – so we dived right into the decadent dish! With plenty of sauce and a gloriously rich sponge, it was the pudding that sweet dreams are made of, and a great finish to the meal.
Meanwhile my cappuccino came with a very welcomed surprise on the side – a chocolate macaron, which went down very well indeed.
Finishing lunch with smiles on our faces, it’s fair to say that the service at The Swan Hotel is nothing short of excellent; attentive staff who are only too happy to share menu advice, food presented with a flair, and course turnover that’s quick without being rushed – all the ingredients necessary for a great experience.
Always a winning combination, The Swan Hotel’s Sunday lunch menu offers delicious food and a great price. Costing £22.95 for two courses, and £26.95 for three, it’s great value when taking into account the quality of the ingredients and innovative menu.
It might be a no-brainer for some, but trying The Swan Hotel’s trout-based dishes should be on your foodie bucket list. We were told by the restaurant manager that the hotel gets fresh fish each morning, from Bibury Trout Farm. You can’t get fresher, or more local than that!
Monday 30 July 2018
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