Easter Sunday was just another working day for me. I hadn’t even thought about organising dinner until late morning when it dawned on my boyfriend and me that the supermarkets were closed. My cupboards were a bit ‘Mother Hubbard’ as we were staying away from home for birthday celebrations the next day so we really needed to find somewhere to eat out. Agonizing over the limited options close to home, we wanted something simple and quick so I suggested we try The Swan at Whittington in Worcester.
It had been about 6 months since I’d last eaten at The Swan, on a very busy evening and previously at lunch when the car park was so full I couldn’t find anywhere to park. It’s always been a very popular spot with locals and being situated just off the motorway, junction 7 of the M5 it’s in a superb location. The bar offers a selection of real ales attracting office workers to pop in for a pint and light bite at lunch and is just a short drive from Worcester city centre.
There is a selection of varied menus available; lunch, dinner, a new breakfast menu and a new Sunday menu which was on offer during our visit on Easter Sunday evening. I called ahead at around 6:45pm and asked if they could fit 2 of us in for dinner at 7pm. When we arrived the pub and restaurant was virtually empty, although it looked as though a section of the restaurant was being partitioned off for a private function or large group. We were given a choice of tables near to the bar area and The Swan’s Sunday menu, listing sharing boards, starters, Sunday roasts and mains.
I opted for the Longhorn beef burger and Mr R had the battered haddock and chips. There was a choice of sides and although it wasn’t on this menu I had seen somewhere that they did a mac n cheese. Our waitress said we could still order it even though it wasn’t listed. The mac n cheese was served piping hot in a cast iron casserole pot . It was a good mac n cheese, but could have been extra special with a grating of truffle or some crab mixed in with the sauce. The batter on the haddock was light, the fish cooked and not over done or greasy. It was served with some minty mushy peas – a true British pub classic. The Longhorn burger was garnished with 2 thick slices of brie, coleslaw, bacon, onion, lettuce and tomato; accompanied with fries and a red pepper sauce. The burger patty although homemade, would have been improved for me if given the option of how it was cooked. The beef just a little well done for my preference and I’m not sure the red pepper sauce added anything to the burger.
The star of the show was the fish platter which we shared as a starter. Included on the board were slices of smoked salmon, haddock goujons, crayfish tails, a smoked haddock fish cake, garlic & chilli king prawns, pickled cucumber, tartar and crusty bread. Everything on the platter was delicious, fresh and well presented. We loved the thin pickled cucumber and the crayfish, which I don’t usually care for was excellent. The bread was irresistibly moreish, soft and fresh. The miniature fish cake and haddock goujons had been cooked in clean hot fat, still light and crispy without over frying the delicate fish inside. The only thing that could have made this sharing board 100% perfect would have been to add a couple of wedges of fresh lemon, which I would have asked for if we hadn’t been so hungry that evening. We didn’t order a dessert this time due to being in a rush to get back home after a long day. Our waitress gave us the screw top for our half drunk bottle of wine, which we took home with us to enjoy with some Easter chocolate.
I’d recently noticed on The Swan’s Facebook page recently that they now have a gin tasting board which I’d love to have tried if I wasn’t driving. I didn’t notice it being promoted or on the menu when we were there, but I’d be a very happy bunny (no pun intended) if someone gave me one of those with another one of those fab fish platters!
Cost: £46 approx. (food only)
1 sharing platter, 2 mains, 1 side
Whittington, Worcestershire, United Kingdom – last visited in April 2017
Food hygiene rating – good 4/5 – date of last inspection 1st November 2016