We'd wanted to try The Swan for a little while.
Nestled in the Somerset Levels in the beautiful village of Wedmore, it's got a huge reel of awards & write-ups... & with Tom Blake from River Cottage leading the kitchen, we knew we'd be on to a pretty good thing. What we didn't expect was the buzz of the bar on a rainy Saturday night in January, & the rustic, quirky feel of the place. We were right at home as soon as we walked through the door!
The restaurant has a laid-back vibe (& a cool light made up of lots of vintage lampshades). The relaxed feel of the dining room was kept intact, even when it was full to the brim with friends & families laughing, drinking & enjoying what the pub describes as "delicious & unfussy" food. Our french onion soup was certainly that & we moved on to the battle of the burgers - mine veggie & Graeme's, the real deal. After a fair bit of wine (great selection by the way), we agreed it was a tie. Both were added to our 'Best Somerset Burger' List.
OK, we don't really have a Burger List. We haven't got quite that sad yet (but if we did, they'd be on it)!
Anyway, here's three other things to shout about...
One: everything's locally sourced & we're big fans of that. With bread, buns, cakes & biscuits all baked daily on the premises, (& meat, fish, salad, seasonal veg, yoghurt & coffee from nearby suppliers), the phrase 'love local' is definitely alive & well here.
Two: Thierry Lacassin, who leads the front of house team, does it with a friendly exuberance & attention to detail that keeps everything running brilliantly. We totally blame him for us having too many Bailey's coffees, as he was far too good at noticing when our cups were empty!
Three: there's only a few stairs to climb to bed, as The Swan has 7 en-suite bedrooms of all different shapes & styles. We loved ours. It was happily very 'Somerset Cool' with a huge 60's-style bed, warm lighting & a smattering of film & music canvases. The Small Faces & Alfie (the original, starring 'My name is Michael Caine') added a funky touch to the walls - & I think everyone mentions the Bramley toiletries. Beautiful stuff made in the South West. You can buy them from the bar to take home.
All in all, if you're looking for a relaxed base from which to explore Cheddar, or the stunning local countryside, The Swan fits the bill perfectly. Don't groan - we didn't even mean to make that pun there. We thought swans had beaks! Honest.
Our review in three words: 'Quirky, stylish stop-over'.
P.S. Breakfast in the bar. Don't miss it. Great coffee & scrambled eggs on hot, buttered, homemade toast!