I'd noticed that the Swan at Outlane, as it's always been known, had reopened this year and popped in last Saturday afternoon to suss out the menus. They read very well and I went back during the week for an early evening meal with family members. We were not disappointed.
Wednesday to Saturday (not open Mon-Tue) the Swan offers an early bird menu for £9.95, between 5pm and 7pm. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is worthy of some serious attention. There's a choice of about 5 starters, 5 or 6 mains, and a few puds for an extra couple of quid or so. Beautifully served and plenty of it!! The chef's background in fine dining is obvious - but without the fine prices!
There is an a la carte menu, too, and a burger menu, with sandwiches and light bites also on offer. Some pub food staples - lasagne, battered haddock, gammon and steaks - but also less commonly seen dishes, eg sea bream.
There is also a good children's menu available (and high chairs should you need one - unlike other local establishments). The staff were friendly and helpful. Although my party and I were there early, quite a goodly number of people arrived soon after us - clearly they had heard about the £9.95 menu.
We had creamy garlic mushrooms on toasted ciabatta - gorgeous sauce and beautifully presented; deep fried battered haddock, chips, peas and tartare sauce - pronounced excellent, the batter was crisp and dry and the fish was giant flakes; and smoked Cheddar and mozzarella sausages on creamy mash with green beans and a tomato sauce - I'm not a veggie but this was delicious. My little granddaughter made a fantastic effort with a huge portion of battered chicken nuggets (fresh breast fillet), home made chips and beans - any adult would have struggled! We shared one portion of a very delicious sticky toffee pudding, served with clotted cream and toffee sauce - yummy!
The wine list is very modestly priced - a nice Chilean sauvignon blanc is only £10.95, and the most expensive wine listed was, I think, £14.95.
This business really deserves to go well - they've made a great start, in my opinion.
I feel sure we will be going again soon; there's much on the menus that I want to try.
Just two points to make: the pub currently operates two tills, for food and drink separately. This means that you cannot run a tab for your evening there; drinks have to be paid for at the bar when you order them. Secondly, there is no sign outside which gives opening hours and food times.
The owner, Gerry, has made a great start at the Swan and I wish him all the best in a tough industry.
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