13 South Parade, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8PR. 01275 331100.
On a blustery cold Tuesday last week, we headed out to Chew Manga to sample the menu at the Bear & Swan.
A charming local pub with a thriving restaurant, we were really excited about this review. We were warmly welcomed by Connor the Manager, who was fantastic throughout the whole evening.
We had heard great things about the chef, Dan Edwards, who has previously worked at the Redan and the Marlborough Tavern, so we knew we were in for a treat.
We had spoken with Dan a few days before, as he wanted to check we were happy to have a tasting menu especially created for us - how could we refuse!
We sat in the dining area of the pub, which is really well laid out, the tables are not too close together and it was lovely and warm.
Our first dish was the Appetiser, which consisted of an Artichoke Veloute, an Ox-Cheek Croquette and an elegant pastry with horseradish puffed rice. The flavours were light and delicate, a perfect start to the menu. The croquette left you wanting more, and was a particular highlight.
The Starter was so beautiful, the presentation stunning and the flavours divine. Beetroot Canelloni, with walnut, compressed apple and sauce. The sweetness of the fruit complemented the savoury goats cheese and beetroot perfectly, creating a taste sensation that buzzed around your tastebuds!
The fish course was a small fillet of Hake, served with Lobster Bisque, Tender stem Broccoli and Samphire. The bisque was silky smooth, the hake crisp on the outside, flaky light inside, the samphire and broccoli flavours cut through the richness of the creamy lobster bisque perfectly - a true delight to eat!
The meat course was Venison Fillet, served with tender stem broccoli, parsnip crisp, potato fondant crisp, pea puree and poached pears. The red wine jus was so rich and flavoursome, and it pulled the whole dish together. The venison was cooked to perfection, tender and melt in the mouth texture, with a gorgeous seasoning. The whole dish was fantastic and my favourite of the evening I think ( I keep changing my mind as they were all so great)!
Dessert was Textures of Chocolate and was truly stunning. The rich chocolate fondant, the light mousse, pistachio cake and meringue with zingy passion fruit and orange made the perfect combination.
The dishes were light and just the right size, by the end of the five courses we were full but not uncomfortable. The presentation was stunning, each dish a delight on the eye and the tongue.
The Bear & Swan also offer stunning boutique rooms, perfect if you are heading away in the morning, as it's just 10 minutes from Bristol Airport, and so much nicer than a bland chain hotel.
In summary, we absolutely recommend the Bear & Swan! The pub was really busy when we were in, and you can order from their delicious and comprehensive menu (see below) or book in for their regular events that include tasting menus (vegetarian/vegan options too) like the one we sampled. Thank you Connor for being such a charming host, and to Dan, for spoiling us with the most delicious tasting menu.
A lovely atmosphere and a warm welcome, a roaring fire, stunning food and lots of local ales on tap - we love the Bear & Swan!
Husband & Wife living in Bath for over 20 years. All views are our own although we do get freebies along the way, which we will always tell you about.