Eating Out: Meal with a view

The Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge.
The Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge.

A Royal Airforce fly-past tribute is not something you’d normally expect to experience during a meal out but that’s exactly what happened at The Swan Inn.

I was sitting outside The Swan with my husband Mark when a RAF jet flew low over the inn, closely followed by a RAF helicopter.

And the reason? The Swan is a popular wedding venue and a RAF officer was getting married.

He was outside having his photograph taken with his new wife when some of his colleagues flew over the building in tribute to him.

It was quite an experience for all of the al fresco diners at the usually tranquil water-side pub at Newby Bridge.

Mark and I are lovers of the Lakes so we decided to travel out of the Lancaster and Morecambe area to try something new.

And we were delighted that we did.

The Swan Inn on the River Leven is a delightful and rather trendy country pub. It is elegant, sumptuous, historic and full of quirky design features. The pub stands next to a stunning 17th Century bridge which swans glide under and tourists flock to.

The oldest part of the current building was erected in 1623. It wasn’t until 1651 that local benefactors were given the choice of a wooden structure costing £60 or a stone crossing at the shocking price of £90. Thankfully, they reached into their silk purses and found the extra £30.

The hotel’s grand Georgian façade was added in 1766 – a time at which the hotel had become a stopping point for the Royal Mail stage coach. In recent years the listed building has been modernised and brought up to today’s high standards.

It was a warm day so Mark and I found a seat by the river.

There was something going on at all times and it was relaxing to just sit and watch.

The service was quick and the staff incredibly polite and helpful.

We weren’t hugely hungry so we decided not to have a starter.

For his main course Mark chose the Cumbrian bred beef burger with chips, onion rings, coleslaw and pickles.

I had the fillet of salmon with broccoli, asparagus, slow roasted tomatoes, new baby potatoes and salsa verde.

Mark’s burger was large and tasty. Usually a man with a bird-like appetite, he wolfed it all down as it was so delicious.

My plate of food was beautifully presented in a minimalist style. However, there was plenty to eat and the variety of flavours was a joy to the palate.

We washed everything down with a pint each of ice cold Peroni. Marvellous.

There were many other interesting dishes on the menu which we’d like to sample at some other time.

After a little more people and boat watching we ordered dessert and coffee.

Mark had one of the inn’s specials – ‘Swanlicious’ ice cream with caramel and honeycomb pieces – and he loved it.

I had creme brulee with lavender shortbread which was sublime. The creme brulee was in a blue and white china cup – a stylish twist.

The coffee was also superb. A perfect end to the meal.

We left as the bride and groom were heading indoors, presumably for their wedding dinner.

I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Food - 9

Decor - 9

Service - 8