The Swan Inn, Newton

by Jo Kenny

Looking for a delicious Summer dinner that we could catch up over, our good friend took us to a little pub just down the road from him. It’s a gorgeous Tudor building with cute touches like a bonfire and blankets out the front. A short walk through the warm, wooden lobby and you find yourself in a gorgeous pub garden with bridges and rivers and little hidden picnic tables.

Swan Inn Newton Newbury review

Newton Swan Inn Newbury review

We were given menus to peruse and left to our own devices; drinks and food were ordered at the bar.

Swan Inn Newton Newbury menu review

It’s your standard pub grub fare with a few contemporary twists, all priced rather peculiarly in whole, half and three-quarter pounds! After ordering and waiting in our peaceful surroundings with a nice, cold cider our food arrived swiftly to the table. I’ve gotta say the presentation was beautiful and had me really excited to eat.

Chicken chips Swan Inn Newton Newbury

This is probably the most good looking chicken & chips I’ve ever seen. Your very own little roasted poussin served with chips in a tin mug and a lavish garnish of lemon and half a bulb of garlic. Cue instant order envy!

Steak & ale pie Swan Inn Newton Newbury

An oh-so rustic looking steak & ale pie had us happily snapping away! The buttery mash and cabbage at the Swann Inn are executed very well: creamy and perfectly cooked.

Buttery mash Swan Inn Newton Newbury

Cabbage Swan Inn Newton Newbury

The next dish to arrive was the Swan’s cheeseburger, topped with a nice little addition of micro greens.

Burger Swan Inn Newton Newbury

Cheeseburger Swan Inn Newton Newbury

Unfortunately the verdict at the end of the meal was that the burger was disappointing: over-done and tasteless.

Pork loin Swan Inn Newton Newbury

I missed out on the wooden boards, you know how much I love food served on a board! My dish was pork loin with that lovely mash & cabbage, along with baked apples, salty pork dumplings and a truly delicious creamy mustard sauce. The main event of the dish though? Not fantastic: the pork was very tough and dry.

In fact, there seemed to be a recurring theme (with the exception of that lovely little poussin) that each dish was let down by over-cooked meat. The arrival of the duck breast confirmed it, without a hint of pink flesh in sight.

Duck Swan Inn Newton

Having had our fill of savoury and not quite yet satisfied a couple of us strolled up to the (very lack lustre) chap behind the bar to order some pudding.

Treacle tart Swan Inn Newton Newbury

I’ve got a horribly sweet tooth when it comes to desserts, feeling like I needed something particularly packed with sugar I ordered a very smart looking treacle tart.

Treacle tart Newton Newbury Swan Inn

Sadly it wasn’t nearly as naughty as I’d hope it would be. I expect treacle tarts to stick to the roof of my mouth and make my teeth tingle from the sweetness. Whilst the texture was lovely, it just didn’t pack enough of a punch. Still, the vanilla ice cream that accompanied was tasty.

Treacle tart ice cream Swan Inn Newton Newbury

My pudding partner in crime ordered the chocolate fondant. Which packed enough punch for both itself and the treacle tart. This pudding was small, rich and mighty. Once again, I had order envy.

Chocolate fondant Swan Inn Newton Newbury

I guess whilst everything at the Swan Inn looks great and pulls out all the visual stops that promise a fantastic meal, the flavour and execution of the cooking was inconsistent, which ultimately lets down an otherwise beautiful set up. The Swan Inn is by no means a write-off, but until they improve their shortfalls in the kitchen this is more a place for a casual bite at lunch than an impressive dinner.


Joy August 8, 2013 - 7:12 pm

Is this in Newton longville or somewhere else entirely?

Jo August 8, 2013 - 8:20 pm

This one’s a little further afield in Newbury!


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