Simply superb Swan
PUBLISHED: 11:53 13 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:53 13 October 2015
Amy Gallivan and her partner Andrew enjoyed a candlelit dinner at the Long Melford Swan as a rather indulgent but 'oh so enjoyed' mid-week treat.
I’d heard some really good things about the Long Melford Swan and I couldn’t wait to see what this boutique restaurant had to offer.
The anticipation rose as we journeyed over from Woodbridge as I’d of course had a sneaky look at the menu prior to arriving.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a polite waiter who asked if we would like to start with a drink at the bar or be shown to our candlelit table. We chose to dine immediately, with Andrew choosing a golden ale and I, a crisp glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc (£7 per 175ml) from an extensive wine list.
Slightly spoiled for choice, with not only a main menu but also a set menu offering, I eventually chose the starter of a duck consommé, pork and prawn dumplings with chilli, ginger and pak choi (£8.50). Andrew chose A grade sashimi tuna, fennel, pink grapefruit with avocado sorbet (£8.75) all of which sounded delicious!
We were both pleasantly surprised when a warm complimentary amuse-bouche arrived; delicately arranged with whitebait, lettuce, paprika and Marie Rose sauce. I have to admit, it was little out of my comfort zone as I’m not often a fan of fish but he absolutely loved it and told me to get on with it!
As we enjoyed the ambiance of the evening, with only a spattering of fellow diners, our starters soon arrived and were met with appreciative ooohs of excitement.
My starter was delicately arranged; the dumplings and shredded vegetables in the middle and the consommé was beyond delicious, adding a real punch of flavour.
My partner, who enjoyed the sashimi tuna, said it was one of the most enjoyable dishes he had eaten in a long time and didn’t feel bad that he couldn’t offer a bite to our very greedy cat at home.
The main, arrived shortly after, with my partner opting for the Aubrey Allen fillet of beef, braised faggot, purple sprouting broccoli with an onion ring and fresh peppercorn sauce (£22) as he usually opts for red meat. I chose the loin of Suffolk lamb, brown olive gnocchi, chargrilled pepper and aubergine, wild nettle pesto, anchovy, with lamb jus (£19.50) being a roast lamb lover.
The lamb was beautifully pink, the gnocchi interesting but not stodgy in texture, as gnocchi can sometimes be, and the vegetables beautifully roasted, dressed in the jus. My partner’s beef was equally exquisite; to be honest I’d have chosen that too. He also opted for the beef dripping fat chips (£3.50) on the side which of course I helped myself to more than a few – mmm delicious!
To finish, and I rarely make it to the third course, I chose the peanut butter brûlée with caramelised banana and brandy snap (from the set menu) and my partner chose the strawberry trifle with meringue and pistachio sponge (£7.50).
I love peanut butter and spied that dish upon arrival, so I knew I’d go for that, depending on how much appetite I had left. It arrived in quite a large pan with banana and light brandy snaps on the side. To be honest, it was a little too much for me but I had just indulged on two other courses. Andrew devoured his trifle but allowed me a tiny taste which was beautifully fresh.
Andrew and I really enjoyed our evening. The staff were polite and professional and the décor and ambiance, relaxing. It was truly indulgent but an oh-so enjoyed mid-week treat.