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The Henny Swan, Colin’s Restaurant Column, Serene Swan

Author: Colin Walters Published: 23rd April 2016 06:13

 The Henny Swan

The Henny Swan, Colin’s Restaurant Column, Serene Swan

There is something about riverside pubs that make them very special. A summers day, a glorious outlook, some swans or other aquatic feathered friends serenely swimming, maybe some cows mooing gently in the field adjacent, a glass of crisp white wine or a pint of cool ale in hand, some good food… All of these things the Henny Swan can provide in spades… but when you are a few miles away from anywhere and even local people will likely have to drive to see you, what is it that will keep the punters turning up on a wet autumn Friday lunchtime?

I reckon excellent food and a decent pint (several excellent real ales on tap) or wine list is a pretty good start but when added to very friendly and helpful service and beautifully redecorated bar and restaurant with a beautiful open fire it gives you every chance of success.

I recently visited the Swan with my very good friend from Sudbury Cricket Club Louis Brooks a man who like me spends a fair amount of time in restaurants and pubs eating out on business. Neither of us had been to the pub for a few years since we used to hold the cricket club xmas party there. Lunch got off to an excellent start as we discussed out cricket club “state of the nation” and “potential future” when we were served some complimentary olives and peanuts, always a nice touch.

The menu was just as I like it, choice but not too much and a combination of very wholesome food with a slight twist. For starters Louis had some beautifully crisp outside and soft and fishy inside Cod Croquettes served with a Tomato and Onion Salsa. They were scrumptious, perfectly cooked and good enough to have made a main dish on their own. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I love Aubergines so to see Aubergine Fritters with a Wild Honey and Lemon Dip as a starter was a delight… and so were they, delicate almost crisp-like thin but in the lightest of batters and the dip was sweet and a perfect accompaniment. Even Louis who professed not to like aubergines thought they were sensational.

Louis ordered one of the day’s special dishes the Beef in Red Wine Stew with Pearl Onions and Duchess Potatoes together with a side order of green beans and shallots. It was everything you could ask for in a wholesome warming “winter” lunch or dinner and served so hot that you nearly needed an asbestos mouth to eat it. The beef melted in the mouth and I think Louis would have licked the bowl if he could have got away with it. I ordered the Sliced Lamb Rump on a Bed of Warm Vegetable Salad (Cabbage, Peas and Beans) with Pan Fried Potato’s. The Lamb was perfectly cooked just on the pink side and the vegetables were a glorious add on. This was as good a plate of food as I’ve eaten in a very long time.

Louis was fully satiated so could only take a coffee post stew but I managed to taste the Crème Catalan with Home Made Vanilla Shortbread and Raspberry Sorbet. It was supposed to be Orange but judging by how good it was, I’d stick with the raspberry. It was a quite superb finale to an excellent meal.

The pub is open for food from 12 noon to at least 9 pm seven days a week. I suggest whether it’s a nice day and you fancy sitting outside watching the swans or a filthy day and you want a warm by the fire to keep out the winter chill the Henny Swan would be as good a place to go as any and including a couple of glasses of excellent Merlot our meal for two at under £55, represented excellent value.


 The delicious meal



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