The Swan at Southrop
The Swan at Southrop is one of those places you hear about for ages but never get to. It’s located deep in The Cotswolds in the insanely charming village of Southrop.
The Swan at Southrop first gained popularity when model Kate Moss began frequenting it with her then boyfriend, Pete Doherty. The two would often be spotted outside sporting uber-trendy clothes and pints of ale in hand. It was during a recent trip to The Cotswolds that I got to find out first hand why this restaurant in the middle of nowhere is so popular with those that know.
Covered in ivy from bottom to top, The Swan looks to be an inviting place even before you step into the blue door, which has been welcoming guests since the 17th century. In more modern times this pub and inn was purchased by husband and wife team Lana and Sebastian Snow, who have run The Swan since 2008.
Almost as soon as we sat down we began spotting ultra chic and very fashionable people. This was clearly the place where the rich and famous came to eat when in The Cotswolds. Not that I care too much for that sort of thing, but living in a small village in Sussex, I don’t get to see these things that often. At one point before we ordered my wife noticed a light green Range Rover pull up outside and said, “Wow, that looks like Gary Barlow. It is Gary Barlow!” Gary and the family were having Sunday Lunch in the private dining room at The Swan. It was surreal.
But it wasn’t until the food arrived that I truly understood why this place was special. My Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait with Red Onion, Apple Chutney on Country Toast was, and I’m going to try and not use hyperbole here, UNREAL! One of the best things this foodie has ever put into his mouth. My Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar Sauce and Mushy Peas were on top form for what they were.
The real stars were the dishes my fellow diners were tucking into, namely: Potted Shrimp with Melba Toast and for mains; Braised Shin of Beef with Horseradish Dumplings, Carrots Chestnuts and Mash. And Pork Belly with Veggies Wrapped in Parma Ham.
The Swan at Southrop is a rare pub. It manages to combine all of the ingredients we love in village pubs, namely; friendly people, down to Earth locals and a warm atmosphere. But it also has an urban feel to it. You never know who’s going to walk through the door next. It’s as good for people watching as it is for food. I highly recommend it!