Restaurant Review: Gallery Restaurant, The Swan at Lavenham in Suffolk
Wind far enough along the rural lanes of Suffolk and you’ll eventually find yourself at the medieval town of Lavenham and its luxury hotel and spa, The Swan. Housed within one of the ancient and charmingly precarious 15th century chocolate box buildings that line the postcard picture market street, The Swan also plays host to the two AA Rosette dining room; the Gallery Restaurant.
Unlike the popular pub menus that are often found within this eastern region of the UK, the Gallery Restaurant presents diners with a simple but innovative menu that alters seasonally and highlights produce from Suffolk and beyond. Intricately presented and displaying full flavours, the Swan’s menu is curated by head chef Justin Kett with a driving force inspired by his passion and expertise for nature and creativity whilst showcasing the best of British all year round.
Within an elegant environment that is softly serenaded by their live pianist, from the high timbered gallery above, a smart, simple menu lets the dishes and their characterful flavours speak for themselves. Each course carefully narrowed down to four options, allowing for the kitchen to perfect each and every dish on the menu. We ordered grilled herrings on toast with parsley butter and lemon and duck rillettes with rhubarb spices and sesame. Other starters available on the day of our visit included a local dish of Suffolk asparagus with hollandaise sauce and a poached duck egg and a classic soup of the day.
Offering a balanced ratio of time-honoured ingredients and dishes, main dishes offer an elegant array for all. Braised shoulder of spring lamb, served with wild garlic and mint crushed potatoes is tender and rich with flavour whilst the generously served salmon and prawn fishcakes with spinach and lemon beurre blanc display delicate flavours although not as moist as its lamb counterpart. Other mains included pork and apple sausages, mustard potatoes and red onion jus and handmade tagliatelle again with wild garlic, asparagus and herb butter.
Holding strong and continuing with the quintessential English theme, dessert mirrors a local theme topped with a sophisticated touch. Crumbly rhubarb crumble is simply paired with a smooth vanilla ice cream whilst carefully presented with small purple pansies, is the baked vanilla cheesecake with poached blackberries.
Offering guests full-on English elegance, early afternoons within the Gallery restaurant is the British Afternoon Tea. Traditionally served at stages with either sandwiches or main dishes, The Swan’s tea is followed with the traditional heritage of scones and cakes with the choice of champagne for a touch of glamour.
Echoing the picture-perfect English setting of Lavenham, the polite and friendly service at Gallery restaurant within The Swan carefully encompasses the very English and beautiful county of Suffolk. This can be identified and savoured within the variety of dishes and the produce that is, in turn, is reflected within traditional grandeur of the wood beamed space and the Swan’s English garden beyond.
Address: Gallery Restaurant at The Swan at Lavenham: High Street, Lavenham, Suffolk, CO10 9QA, 01787 247 477, theswanatlavenham.co.uk
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