[Kettleshulme, Cheshire] Swan Inn
Situated on the Cheshire/Derbyshire border, just outside Whaley Bridge, this is a small pub doing some fine food, several cuts above the standard “pub grub”. And, when I say small, I mean small. If you’re going, you’d do well to book. We hadn’t and were lucky to get the only one of about ten tables that were free.
There’s a range of sandwiches and snacky things. Gypsies’ eggs perhaps – a chorizo and wine stew, topped with eggs and then baked, or mushrooms on toast. The main menu makes great play of a commitment to fish stating that they are members of the “British Skippers Scheme. This allows any participating trawlers to email details of the days catch to participating members before each catch is landed. We can then reserve stocks through our wholesaler to be delivered and on the plate within 24 hours”. Now that sounds like a great idea!
And one of our dishes came off the seafood menu. Whitby-landed baby lemon sole was accurately grilled, the flesh just flaking off the bone. It was topped with a generous serving of sweet brown shrimps, warmed through in a spiced butter. Lovely concept.
I toyed with the idea of the Greek rabbit stew or the 22oz rib steak, cooked on the bone, with chips and gravy but it was impossible to resist the obvious pig-fest that featured local pork belly, long cooked and delicious with very crisp crackling. Alongside a local sausage, and chunks of Clonakilty black and white puddings. Both dishes came with separate servings of dauphinoise potato, carrot, crushed cauliflower and leeks.
Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.