SquareMeal Review of The Gallery Restaurant at the Swan
With a forest of centuries-old beams, standing timbers and inglenook fireplaces, this elegant family-friendly hotel and spa is “full of charm” and traditional to the core. But while the setting might seem straight out of tourist-brochure heaven, the cooking is refreshingly sharp and modern – especially in the “exceptional” Gallery Restaurant. Lunchtimes are “particularly relaxed”, but the place puts on its glad rags for “fine dining at its best” in the evening. Dinner might open with confit pork cheek, piccalilli and pea shoot salad or a smoked salmon Scotch egg, before seared halibut with cannelloni, braised turnips, shrimps and razor clams or roast corn-fed chicken breast accompanied by pearl barley, confit shallots, baby leeks and crispy chicken wings. Veggies get a look-in, while desserts might include rhubarb cheesecake with honey ice cream. As for drinks, go for Suffolk real ale or one of the highly quaffable wines by the glass. If something more casual is required, head to the airy, open-plan Brasserie or the Airmen’s Bar (appropriately decked out with wartime memorabilia).