Saturday, 2 November 2019

Review: The Swan Inn Newland - Malvern

I'm going to be honest, when it comes to restaurants in semi rural areas, vegan-friendly isn't a phrase that instantly springs to mind.  Trendy areas in city suburbs yes, that's what I think of, but I've found that the further out you go, vegan-power isn't so strong.  But before anyone shoots me down, I'm generalising here of course, I'm just talking from experience.

However, bucking the trend in the district of Newland on the outskirts of Great Malvern in Worcestershire, is The Swan Inn.  

Malvern Hills View - The Swan Inn
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

When you pull into the car park, the Malvern Hills stare down at you offering stunning scenery, whilst the pub exterior on the other side beckons you in with its homely 'Darling Buds of May' vibe.  Cottage style, with lots of pot plants dotting the pathway to the red front door, you feel like you're visiting an old friend.

Inside, the bar area to the left has a retro feel to it with dark furniture and thick carpet.  Bric-a-brac to the hilt, I may have even spied a horse brass pinned to the wall.  To the right, we were led to the Garden Room which was their conservatory.  Dangly plants from the shelves and ceiling and mis-matched furniture dressed with ornaments, gave it a whimsical charm appeal.  My Mother enjoyed pointing things out in between a bit of indulgent people watching.

Vegan Menu

If we're going for lunch, we're going for lunch not sandwiches is my Mother's stance so we both opted for something hot to eat.  The vegan menu was bountiful and not what I expected, so a very pleasant surprise to see so many options.   I chose a hearty sounding Seitan Bourguignon, Horseradish Mash and Seasonal Vegetables.  You don't see seitan that often on menus so I jumped at the opportunity to have it.  Cooked well, nicely doused in gravy, it was supported by a subtly infused mash and chunky vegetables.  A homely style cooked meal, it was filling and tasty.  My Mother had Salmon with Stir Fried Vegetables which she enjoyed and also commented on the good sized portions, although she had a bit of food-envy when she saw my dish.

Honey & Bee Pollen Ice Cream
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

The Swan Inn make their own ice cream on site and for £1.50 a scoop, you can sample their many flavours.  I opted for Honey & Bee Pollen and my Mother had Damson & Gin flavour.  Both absolutely delicious, they were an absolute bargain as a dessert/palette cleanser.

Damson & Gin Ice Cream
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Leaving there full and content, I was pleased that this place was recommended to me.  I would definitely return as there were many other things on the menu to try.  The owners are very proud of their vegan array and rightly so, I feel they've put in more effort than some who claim their forte is vegan offerings, so bravo!  The fact that you get some stunning scenery thrown in for free, is a sheer bonus.

Note:  We paid for our food and drinks in full.  The venue did not know we were visiting or that I am a blogger or that I would be conducting a review/article.