SquareMeal Review of
The Swan Inn Esher
Inviting more than ancient, this smartened-up hostelry at the edge of Esher is owned by stellar chef Claude Bosi and his brother Cedric. But unlike Claude’s Mayfair gastro-palace, Hibiscus, reasonably priced French and pub classics are the Swan’s remit. Start with snails in garlic and parsley, crab on toast, or perhaps the Bosi spin on Lyonnaise salad: a quartered lettuce, its leaves bursting with crispy bacon and creamy dressing alongside a gooey poached egg. To follow, you could choose the pub route (steak and Guinness pie; burger with Stilton and pickles) or go Gallic with a gloriously rich chicken-leg fricassee, gutsy Lyonnaise potatoes and green beans. After which, a delicate bowl of poached cherries and mascarpone makes sense. Once a grand house, the Swan’s spacious interior is classily decorated; outside, a large, paved garden heaves with locals in summer. Staff are fun and friendly, wine pubby rather than posh.