I’ve got guests coming. Specifically, The Nutbag and her band of little gumnuts are making their way over this side of the world in the summer (am using the term ‘summer’ very loosely here to help set her expectations). Sure, I’ve got a few pubs up my sleeve that I routinely pull out for guests, but this visit warrants something special. The Nutbag is a real connoisseur of dining. Besides, it’s all the excuse I need to drink at every decent pub I can find in the county.
So, let’s get to ‘work’, shall we?
It’s called The Black Swan but inexplicably features a white goose on the building. Who knows why. Who the hell cares? The menu is good. So good I could have closed my eyes and pointed at random and not been unhappy with my selection. We scoffed the flatbread pizza things with a side order of spicy fries but other plates coming from the kitchen looked just as good.
Oh and I loves me a good decor. This is a quite a floral extravaganza, but it really works. It feels genuinely well put together, not like some kitschy attempts at olde worlde charm I’ve seen.
I have reason to believe there is live music on Tuesdays, so it’s likely I will need a mid-week trek here to see how that ol’ joanna sounds there.
Not certain if this is a coincidence or they pay this guy to ride his horse past the pub every half hour, but it adds to the country feel.
And (more importantly) what about the bar offering? Good news. There are tasty ales on tap and the service is super friendly. The Husband has already mentioned arranging an all day session. He’ll need to find someone else to drive though.
Since I judge an establishment by its loos, I had to check those out as well. And the verdict?: not too shabby. Top marks for the Penhaligon’s liquid soap, marks off for the single ply. Bonus points for the shiny wall paper.
All in all, this one is a real contender. I’m almost sad I discovered it early in the journey, but it makes a credible yardstick for the process. A re-visit is definitely in order when I have more time. Especially on a sunny day when one could lounge about the massive grassy outdoor area, play boules and chow down on on pizzas from the outdoor pizza oven. Oh, go on then.
The Black Swan
Somewhere in Lower Withington (check the website)
01477 571 770
If you have somewhere you want me to check out, leave a comment. I have literally nothing better to do than eat my way around Cheshire. Bonus points if I get a discount.