Lod­don Swan: We check out this his­toric old coach­ing inn

It was third time lucky for din­ner at the Swan in Lod­don

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - WORDS: Dominic Cas­tle Š PHO­TOS: Steve Adams

Tim­ing is ev­ery­thing. We’d wanted to visit the Swan at Lod­don for months, hav­ing heard good re­ports, but last time we booked the Beast from the East roared in and scup­pered our plans.

So we booked again. Mrs C was up­ended by the dog and dis­lo­cated a fin­ger. Some months passed and we booked again.

This time Mrs C took a header out of the back door and some­how man­aged to break her leg. It wasn’t look­ing good.

But, un­like the swan, she is a game bird and so a cou­ple of days af­ter be­ing plas­tered up we eased her care­fully into the car and set off for Lod­don. At no point was I mo­ti­vated by a de­sire not to have to cook, I might add.

The Swan is a hand­some old 18th cen­tury coach­ing inn which has pros­pered with re­cent in­vest­ments in the din­ing and ac­com­mo­da­tion ar­eas and on a warm sum­mer Satur­day evening it had a happy buzz.

Of ne­ces­sity we dined in the bar – there are two other din­ing rooms – and set to an ex­am­i­na­tion of the menu. Head chef Jason Wright, a fi­nal­ist at the EDP Nor­folk Food and Drink awards last year, likes to get hold of a clas­sic and up­date it, us­ing lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, of course.

Be­ing greedy, I have a soft, slightly melted, spot for a hunk of warm cheese and so the her­bcrusted Baron Bigod and red onion jam looked a win­ner. Mrs C, fond of cheese with a bit of mus­cle, picked the Bin­ham Blue beignets with pick­les and burnt ap­ple puree.

The Bigod was a trencher­man’s wedge of gooey good­ness; warm­ing it re­ally freed the flavours of this raw milk Suf­folk brie and the sharp onion pickle cut through with a nice acid zing. The beignets were equally good on flavour – a cou­ple more would have been nice – and the ac­com­pa­ni­ments were done well.

Le­mon sole ap­pears on menus in­fre­quently enough to be a bit of a treat for me and, as­sured by the lovely staff that it was fresh enough to have been flap­ping around only hours pre­vi­ously, I or­dered it. It was a pesca­to­rial plea­sure.

Sole can be a lit­tle thin; this was a full-fat fish, plump, juicy and cooked sim­ply but ex­pertly and was quite de­li­cious. Re­view­ers will say that some­thing ‘tasted of the sea’ as code for be­ing over-sea­soned, but this was bang on the money. The

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