Review: The Swan Inn

Michael Underwood and Angellica Bell enjoy gastro-pubbing in Esher

As you know, we love eating out. Not that we do it all the time, but when date night comes around we want it to be a great evening and look forward to someone else cooking for us.

The Swan Inn located on the Claygate/Esher border didn’t disappoint. It’s recently been renovated having been taken over by Claude Bosi, who held two Michelin stars at his previous restaurant Hibiscus and who is also currently head chef at high-end London restaurant Bibendum. He’s also turning his hand to the British gastropub and has brought his creative talents and flavoursome foods to middle class suburbia much to our pleasure.

The restaurant is the perfect balance of simple, modern, eclectic design alongside the cosiness and warmth of a British pub. The relaxed atmosphere is enhanced by the unobtrusive music playing through the speakers and the restaurant manager, Joe Hendriks’ calm, friendly manner as he recommended wine for each course. The menu has something for everyone, and if you’re not a meat eater, you won’t feel short-changed. There’s a choice of seven starters and mains, some nibbles if you’re particularly hungry and two steak options if you need a fix of red meat.

To start, we chose the prawn cocktail (£9.75) and the aged salt beef with a crispy hen egg (£8.50). They were both delicious and luxurious with the cocktail generously packed with prawns and Claude Bosi’s Michelin-starred influence clearly visible in the salt beef dish. For our mains we selected the pan roasted halibut (£21.50) and the fillet steak, medium rare (£30). Halibut can be tricky to cook properly, but this was beautifully flaky and well-seasoned. The steak was also perfectly cooked and complemented with homemade onion rings, fries and a pepper sauce.

Finally, for dessert we chose two classics; the fruit crumble (£6.75) and the sticky toffee pudding (£7). We prefer a good crunch to our crumble topping, but the fruit filling was full of flavour and the custard took the dish to another level. The sticky toffee pudding was also nice.

Top tip if you go along for dinner; order a glass of the Victoria Opitz dessert wine. It’s so good and finishes everything off nicely!

The Swan Inn, 2 Hare Lane, Claygate, Esher, KT10 9BS

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