Ingham: The Ingham Swan
With one of Norfolk's most innovative chefs in the kitchen and a regularly changing seasonal menu, The Ingham Swan is a pub like every village should have, says LOUISE WILSON.
Owned and run by chef Daniel Smith, The Ingham Swan is the type of establishment every village should have – whether for a drink with friends, a lunchtime or evening meal or a hearty Sunday lunch – but alas it is not to be. However there is nothing to stop the occasional visit, which was exactly what we had planned one recent weekend, when the winter weather ensured all outdoor plans could be put on hold and we made the wise move to reserve a table for Sunday lunch.
Having already perused the website, some of our dining choices had been made before we even left home and after being shown to our table, over pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, we were swift to confirm our decisions.
For starters we chose the smooth wild mushroom and celeriac soup with chives and truffle oil and the sea salt and black pepper crispy calamari with lemon mayonnaise and lambs leaf lettuce – both were superbly contrasting and equally delicious.
Onto the main course, we opted for slow roast belly pork with fondant potato and roast beetroot and the pan-fried sea bass and lemon sole with olive oil crushed new potatoes, mussel broth and buttered spinach – once again both were beautiful – from the succulent pork with such rich flavours, to the lightness of the fish with the mussels adding a further dimension.
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It seems though that Daniel wanted us to try what he regards as the speciality of the house, the roast rib eye or fillet of beef, and as we had not made this selection we were treated to a small in-between-courses taster - it was wonderfully tasty and tender and we could understand why it would be a favourite for diners.
Finally onto pudding and once again the choice was a challenge as everything sounded so good – but we plumped for prune and almond tart with vanilla ice cream and the vanilla seed pannacotta with dark chocolate mousse and madelines. Once again, both were a triumph and left us confirming that a return visit in the future would be inevitable.
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With a pedigree that includes working for Michel Roux Jr at La Gavroche in London as well as at Morston Hall in North Norfolk and The Wildebeest Arms in South Norfolk, Daniel prides himself on his regularly changing menus that embrace all that is fresh, seasonal and local to the area and his food does not disappoint. I would suggest that you make a reservation as you wouldn't want to miss out on such a feast.
Sunday lunch is priced at �18.50 for two courses and �23.50 for three, with a supplement of �3.50 for the beef fillet.
There is an extensive wine menu, along with recommendations for each course, as well as beers from the local Woodfordes Brewery and a range of soft drinks.
The Ingham Swan
Sea Palling Road
t Prices: A la carte starters from �6.50, mains from �18.50, desserts from �6.50; dinner menu du jour �16.95 tow courses, �21.50 three courses; Sunday lunch from �18.50
t Vegetarian options: Good selection
t Wheelchair access: Yes