Ahead of a family celebration weekend in Purbeck, we had a warm up dinner at The Black Swan in Swanage. There’s a cosy feel to the pub with most of the space given to two dining rooms with a garden outside. As well as a fairly traditional pub menu there’s a daily changing specials board with a fair spread of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
To start, Dad’s duck pate with pistachios was rich and creamy with pleasingly crunchy toast – and a healthy wedge ensured there was enough to go round. Mum’s baked mushroom with halloumi and pancetta was an earthy, meaty dish with hits of salt from the cheese and pancetta. Sarah and I shared crispy squid with sweet chilli sauce – crunchy batter and a good bounce to the squid.
From the specials board Mum’s salmon and dill fishcakes were fresh and tasty. Dad certainly had no complaints with his beef feather blade stew – a comforting dish if ever there was one. Sarah’s pork belly was nicely cooked, although the cider and cream sauce was a little sweet for our taste. A bit of crunchy crackling is always welcome though! I went for the gluttonous option – the Jurassic Feast featuring beef and pork ribs with fully loaded fries (cheese and shredded brisket). The fries were a highlight for me, albeit one that should probably only be an occasional treat.
With the generous portions there was no room for dessert, particularly with a weekend of food ahead of us. Prices are reasonable and represent value for money for what I’d describe as good, honest pub food. As usual the welcome was warm at The Black Swan with exceptionally friendly service. It was another busy night when we visited and booking is always recommended.
159 High Street