Review: Stay at The Swan in Loddon
- Credit: The Swan
Sometimes, you just need a change of scenery... like a stay at The Swan, Loddon.
“You know,” said Mrs C to me one late spring morning, “we have not had a night away in ages.”
She was right. A combination of poor planning, timing, organisation and animal care meant that we had not been out of the domestic fortress for a veritable eternity.
So, when an invitation to The Swan in Loddon for a mini-break appeared, it seemed serendipity was smiling on us. A night away, bit of dinner, good breakfast, lovely spot... yes, please.
We have visited The Swan before, for meals, and found it a very agreeable place. Loddon must be one of our less appreciated market towns in the county; straddling the River Chet, it’s just a hop and a skip from Norwich but feels peaceful and quaint, easy-paced with a lovely main street lined with lots of red-brick buildings, of which the three-storied 18th century Swan is the most impressive.
Our room for the night is appropriately smart; there are three spots for guests dotted around the grounds and ours was tucked away in a quiet corner. They have invested more than a few bob in the accommodation and it really shows; everything was top-drawer, fresh, new and wanting for nothing.
Our room had a sublimely comfortable king-sized bed (they are all king or super-king sized), a toasty goose down duvet, en-suite bathroom with an excellent bath, plus all the facilities we now take for granted. Even Fido is catered for – our dog-friendly room had a super bed and, more importantly from the beasts’ point of view, a basket of treats from local dog baker and chocolatier Paw and Bone. Honestly, they looked good enough for humans, never mind the dogs.
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In need of sustenance of our own, we wandered over to the bar for dinner. It was buzzing, friendly, busy and full but not over-crowded. The Swan seems to have managed that happy knack of being both a good local pub and a destination, not an easy trick to pull off. We bumped into a colleague who has been a regular for a decade and had nothing but good things to say about it.
On our previous visits the food has been consistently excellent – executive chef Jason Wright and his team are wizards in the kitchen – and it’s still a treat to eat here. We landed on grill night, so it was a very good sirloin for me and swordfish steak for madam. Absolutely delightful.
I also had a superb ham hock terrine (with a cracking home-made piccalilli) to start; Mrs C a very fine heirloom tomato and pickled beetroot salad with goat's cheese fritters. The desserts looked fabulous too, but we could only squeeze in a scoop of local ice-cream.
After a relatively peaceful night – no fault of our hosts, but one of our dogs snores like a traction engine – we had a cracking breakfast and wandered off for a walk through the town and to the marina and the river.
It may have just been one night away, but The Swan and its excellent team made it feel like a proper break, a reset and a welcome reviver of spirits. Highly recommended.
Dominic and Rosie (and Ollie and Lexi) were guests of The Swan at Loddon. Rooms from £90 - £130. theloddonswan.co.uk