Posted 12th October 2013
A sunny Sunday and I fancy a roast in the country. One of the things I love most about Bristol is that you can drive for 20 minutes in any direction and you’re in the midsts of green hills and fields so after a quick Google for pub grub we headed off in the direction of Chew Magna to try the Bear and Swan.
The pub itself is beautiful. It has that warm, welcoming feeling furnished with untreated wood and a mismatch of furniture. The restaurant area is slightly more formal however flows naturally into the bar area (where we were sat) which is equally comfortable. It’s a good pub for real ales and my boyfriend, Sam, was happy to sit back and relax with a pint of Butcombe whilst we perused the menu and ordered our food.
The menu of the day looked good with a nice selection of roasts and other pub fare. I opted for roast lamb, Sam decided to go for the filet steak (I was paying!)
After ordering we were brought some homemade bread with rapeseed oil. I love restaurants using rapeseed. It shows a level of culinary intelligence and ingenuity which usually promises great things. I also love the nutty flavours from rapeseed – perfect with bread.
The food arrived in good time and on the whole was pretty awesome. Sam’s filet steak (ordered rare) was cooked just as he wanted. He said it was flavoursome, juicy and very tender.
Served with green beans and rocket, my, usually salad-dodging, boyfriend ate every mouthful. He particularly enjoyed the beans, nicely cooked with the right amount of bite to let the fresh summertime flavours come through.
My lamb was also very enjoyable, The portion was large – too big for me to finish! but I have a particularly small appetite and given that the roasts were beyond the £10 barrier (£12.50 each) I think it was a fair portion. The yorkshire was homemade and well cooked, gravy was rich and potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
Our experience was, on the whole extremely positive but in the name of being balanced, there are two worth mentioning. Sam’s chips. Homemade and beautiful tasting but we had to ask where they were and he was halfway through eating his meal by the time they arrived.
Niggle number two, the veg with my roast. It was well cooked and tasted great but, a bit on the boring side. Broccoli, swede,red cabbage. Everything else at the Bear and Swan was so good, I would have really liked to see something more seasonal and inventive rather than the usual suspects.
These are minor issues though, they wouldn’t stop me returning to the Bear and Swan. A beautiful pub, serving beautiful food. Well worth the drive out of the city.