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Sunday lunch at The Swan

I never know quite how to refer to my late husband’s stepfather. Is he my father-in-law? My ex-step-father-in-law? Whatever the technical description, Peter clearly counts as Family, and we make a point of keeping in contact. He has a regular summer annual holiday with friends in Wales, and has to drive practically past the end of my road on the way there and back. So we have instigated a tradition of meeting up for a pub lunch to break his journey.

Some years, he’s heading home on a week-day, so that limits us to a pub within spitting distance of my workplace. That means sacrificing food quality for convenience. Other times, such as this year, he’s passing through on a weekend, which offers considerably more choice of places to eat. We’ve had a number of very pleasant lunches together at the Inn at Welland, but I left it too late this year to book a table there. It gets very busy, especially for Sunday lunch, and the only table they could offer me was inconveniently early.

I then remembered that my team from work had gone to The Swan at Hanley Swan for our Christmas lunch last year, and I had been pleasantly surprised by how good the food was. You need to book in advance there too, but fortunately they had a table available for Sunday lunch. The Swan has a reputation locally as being something of a gastropub, so I was pleased to have a good excuse to see what they are like.

I am delighted to report that they lived up to their reputation. The centrepiece of their menu was, as you would expect, a traditional Sunday lunch with a choice of meats (beef, lamb or pork). Neither Peter nor I could manage that much to eat at a lunch time, so we both had a large salad with slices of Herefordshire beef. It was delicious. The desserts also looked really tasty, though I confined myself to a coffee. There was a sign on the table saying that they’d need it again after two hours, but that was plenty for a two course lunch and a good gossip. I’d certainly be happy to eat there again.