New Look For Summer

by Jo Kenny

Well it looks like Summer finally showed up. The problem I have with Summer is that I live in a flat. A flat without a balcony, which means no al fresco dining or BBQ’s for yours truly; time to get that tiny violin out.

I’ve gotta go get my kicks in beer gardens to enjoy a warm evening, which is not exactly a chore but I’m ever so slightly bitter at the smell of charcoal wafting from neighbours’ gardens all the same! Thankfully, I was invited one balmy Summer’s eve to leave my flat and visit The Swan in Woburn Sands to sample their Summer menu and fresh new look.

swan woburn sands review dinner table

I was pleased to find the pub freshly decorated with a lively, modern feel that was befitting of the warmer weather, but I could also imagine feeling cosy in Winter candlelight. There’s a few odd ‘arty’ bits about (eye spy dinosaur bones hanging on the wall) that certainly act as… talking points.

woburn sands swan review black pudding starter

Whilst there were Summery starters on the menu, Q and I were drawn to favourites of ours which are decidedly heavier but just irresistible to us! Black pudding potato cake with Whiskey hollandaise for Q; a hearty, rich portion that was inviting, if a little lacking in seasoning in the forkful I tried. In my opinion (biased cheese fiend alert) my starter, a behemoth of oozing, deep fried brie with apricot jam was the winner.

swan woburn sands brie starter

Are you ready?

swan woburn sands deep fried brie

There it is! Rich, gooey cheesy heaven! Lovely crispy panko breading too that had a satisfying crunch with each bite.

swan woburn sands swordfish

swan woburn sands steak

swan woburn sands review ketchup

swan woburn sands review chips

Q remained classic with a juicy ribeye and chips. The heat of the day lured me towards swordfish with tender stem broccoli, pineapple salsa and coconut sauce (how good does that sound?). Whilst the fish wasn’t the best I’ve had (always a challenge living so far from the sea) the other components of the dish made up for it; the pineapple salsa in particular was wonderful and the sweetness paired with the creamy coconut sauce perfectly. I even loved my broccoli and as a veg dodger, that’s a big deal.

swan woburn sands dessert menu

I took a photo of dessert menu so you could read it and agree what a strong dessert game The Swan have. I wanted to eat everything on this list!

swan woburn sands eton mess

Q cannot resist an Eton Mess, and this strawberry and mango version was perfect for a Summer’s eve. Also, top marks for managing to make Eton Mess (the ugliest of desserts) actually look pretty. My spoon wondered over a couple of times to this dreamy, light pud.

swan woburn sands cheesecake

My dessert was an architectural slice of New York Cheesecake. Cool, creamy and unashamedly rich. Not my smartest move on a hot day with a belly full of food but hey, I like a challenge. And more than a challenge, I like cheesecake. In the end I was defeated but I found myself shaving off a few more spoonfuls out of pure satisfaction for the texture.

Wow did this pub get busy! Come the end of our meal I popped my head around the corner to see crowds of people laughing and chatting at the bar. Did everyone live in a flat like me? The staff were incredibly friendly and ‘familiar’, like they were serving you on a personal level and not just a professional one, which may have a little to do with their popularity. I even spied a lovely looking terrace out the back, mentally noted for the next warm evening deserving of an evening drink.

Disclosure: our meal was complimentary. As always all thoughts are my own.

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