Visit: 30 October 2019, lunch for two.
On a recent visit to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Cookery School we stopped for lunch at The Swan in Testworth, which is about 6 miles from Le Manoir. It is located in a beautiful Grade II listed Elizabethan coaching inn, sharing the building with an antique centre. The French team who run The Swan are very welcoming and they serve excellent French cuisine with a great wine list.
We were warmly welcomed and shown to a table. We started with excellent lobster ravioles and a very good Périgord foie gras. To accompany the foie gras, you can buy Château d’Yquem 2003 by the glass, which was a very nice surprise. For main courses we chose grilled seam bream fillet with roasted red peppers, chorizo and herb dressing, and an excellent French rabbit with a truffle and girolles farce, both of which were absolutely excellent.
We were completely surprised that we had stumbled into this fabulous restaurant that serves some of the best French food I have tasted. The owners, Antoine Chretien and Camille Veron, and excellent staff, were very professional, friendly and provided a superb experience.
This is a restaurant that I highly recommend.
Outside the restaurant:
A glass of Château d’Yquem 2003 to accompany the foie gras. This is a particularly fine dessert wine, a French Sauternes that scores a massive 4.7 / 5 on Vivino. It has honey, dried apricot, peach and pineapple notes on the palate. It is beautifully sweet and incredibly complex. One of the best wines in the world, and one of my top top selections:
To accompany the main courses, we chose a Domaine Lafage Tessellae Chardonnay 2017 white wine from Coyes Catalanes, Southern France. This scores a 3.6 / 5 on Vivino. It’s a Languedoc-Roussillon medium bodied white wine made from Chardonnay grapes. It has pear, melon and green apple notes, with citrus after tones. It pairs well with lean fish, pasta, poultry and makes a good aperitif: