The Swan is beautiful 14th Century inn, located in the shadow of the majestic Chappel viaduct, which is a pretty unique piece of landscape to have at the bottom of your beer garden! They’ve had the major nuisance of the bridge linking them to the Colchester Road being out of commission for six months, but now that’s been replaced, there’s no reason not to seek out this pub.
We’d been into the nearby Poplar Nurseries, and drove the 5 minutes to The Swan (passing The Barn Brasserie en route) via the small village of Great Tey. The pub has a big car park, and inside there are several beamed rooms that are well presented. First thing you see on entering (if you are a real ale buff and are on the lookout for this kind of thing) is the rack of beer barrels – their beer is served straight from the barrel. And it’s an Adnams pub, so the regular beer range is excellent enough, but they also have guest ales – today being Mauldon’s Silveradder, and Brandon’s ‘Rusty Bucket’, both from Suffolk. I opted for the Adnam’s Broadside, which was in great condition.
There was a wide range of food on the menu this Sunday lunchtime, with the usual roast dinner suspects, but plenty of alternatives for someone wanting something a bit different. Fish, sausages, and pies are pub specialities. We opted for some pan-fried scallops with chorizo and parma ham, and the seafood salad. The presentation was excellent – the seafood salad had masses of crayfish tails, salmon and prawns in a crispy pastry basket – and the food itself delicious. To be honest, the photos below don’t quite do them justice!
More information about The Swan from their website.