The River Exe Cafe team have taken over The Swan in Lympstone and it gets a thumbs up from us!
Have you eaten at the River Exe Cafe yet?
Well, if you haven’t, or if getting on the river taxi isn’t your bag, the team behind the multiple award-winning restaurant have a new enterprise closer to home, a traditional pub, The Swan Inn in Lympstone.
We got the opportunity to pop along the other week to sample its wares.
Lympstone is a little treasure of a village tucked neatly between Topsham and Exmouth on the Exe Estuary, and it’s a lovely little stop off if your cycling, but – as we discovered when we visited Lympstone Manor – it’s also an excellent destination for a gastronomical treat. Owners David Foa and Paul Craven have recently taken over the pub and are working hard to retain its community-ethos while sharing their passion for locally sourced produce, warm hospitality and professional service.
It’s a lovely little country pub with exposed oak beams, large fireplaces (there is also a large beer garden for when Spring / Summer finally appears). The menu is brimming with locally sourced pub classics; Rump Steak From Greendale’s Jurassic Herd and Yellow Hammer Beer Battered Fish feature on the menu, and – as you would expect- there is a nightly specials menu of inspired fish dishes.
After struggling to find parking (it is at a premium so beware) we were welcomed by Kevin who cracked a few jokes and made us giggle. Throughout our time at The Swan we noticed that the staff were all very personable, making it their mission to engage with the clientele, giving it the feel of a community pub (having run a pub or two in my time I welcomed this).
On to the food!
Our starters were; Devon Rabbit Terrine, Pickled Garden Vegetables, Piccalilli Puree, Crostini. Being a pescetarian, I didn’t try the terrine, but it got the thumbs up from the hubby. I LOVED the pickled vegetables, and they were perfectly matched with the piccalilli puree (you can never have too much pickle IMHO).
I ordered the Grilled Halloumi & Quinoa Salad, Red Pepper, Sun Blushed Tomato & Pesto which was a lovely light start. The crispy roasted quinoa juxtaposed with soft flavoursome tomatoes complimented the perfectly grilled halloumi, the addition of delicious pesto made the dish for me.
For the main course I opted for the River Exe Moules Frites from the specials menu (I had just missed the last fillet of halibut with Exmouth Mussells, Lyme Bay Crab & smoked mackerel bisque). Also on the specials menu was Brixham plaice, fillet of salmon and Lyme Bay Skate Wing.
Mr EE had East Devon Pork Belly, Potato Terrine, Heritage Carrots Spiced Apple Confit with Black Treacle Jus – a veritable castle of a dinner.
I managed to stick to my no drinking rule, but I couldn’t resist the dessert. We ordered the beautifully presented Raspberry & Apple Mille-Feuille Chantilly Cream & Raspberries. It was as light and as tasty as it looked and beautifully presented. We were impressed but then Kevin brought out the pièce de résistance…
… The Honeycomb Cheesecake. Beautifully light and fluffy, it was a melt-in-the-mouth treat that tantalised my taste buds and got us fighting over who was going to eat it!
One thing I love about the foodie scene in Devon is the passion for locally sourced produce, and the support businesses offer each other.
The Swan is a lovely pub, it has a friendly/local feel to it, the menu is the perfect combination of staple gastropub grub and inspired fish dishes, the staff are welcoming, and the desserts are killer! Make sure you add it to your ‘to do’ list.
Cost: around £35 per head
Location: Picturesque but can be difficult for parking
Food Offering: Tasty combo of high-quality, locally sourced pub food with a smattering of serious seafood dishes. The Swan shop local with Devon Quality Fish, Greendale Farm, Exmouth Mussel Co, West Country Fruit, Crusty Cob Bakery.
The Swan Inn is open every day from 9.30am – midnight, closing at 11pm on Sunday.
The Swan Inn | The Swan Inn, The Strand, Lympstone, Exmouth, EX8 5ET | 01395 270403
Disclaimer: We were offered a review in exchange for a meal, as always opinions are all our own.
Tags: Devon, dinner, Eating out, Exeter, fish and chip, gastropub, honeycomb cheesecake, lympstone, moules frites, river exe cafe, The Swan