The Swan at Tetsworth
High Street, Tetsworth, OX9 7AB
We entered The Swan at Tetsworth through an idyllic garden, where wooden furniture and homely presentation lend a wonderful country-garden feel - never would you imagine yourself to be just a few miles away from the M40. The Swan serves as a veritable focal point for the local community, hosting a series of antiques lectures and private functions. '...scallops with a tangy beetroot purée...' We were warmly received and seated at one of the carefully restored Singer sewing tables that populate the dining room. Fresh lilies adorned each table, and a selection of paintings and bronze statues entertained the eye (some of which were for sale via the adjacent antiques centre). My companion and I opted for the special set menu: a diverse selection at £15 for two courses. To start, I chose the pancetta, rocket and radish salad with balsamic dressing, which was light, simple and thoroughly appetising, while my companion chose the delightfully inventive scallops with a tangy beetroot purée. For my main course, I chose the Spanish-influenced sea trout on a bed of chorizo, bacon and white bean stew. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked; complemented by the warming Catalan stew and garnished with micro herbs. My companion opted for the roast chicken breast with sautéed lemon potatoes and seasonal vegetables, served with homemade gravy. Dessert was the real treat here - I indulged in a cooling tropical trifle made with pineapple, coconut and white rum, served in a chilled glass and stunningly presented with a delicate coconut and pecan garnish. My partner chose from The Swan's wide range of homemade ice creams - the superbly interesting Earl Grey flavour with its bergamot infusion was a stroke of genius. The rest of this lovely coaching inn incorporates some 40 rooms, filled with a diverse selection of antiques and collectables, making your visit to The Swan unique as well as delicious.