Tel: +44 (0)1753 655 776
Address: 2 High Street, Iver SL0 9NG
Cuisine Type: Modern British
I’m a city girl through and through, probably always will be, but much as I love London it’s nice to escape every once in a while – if only to remind yourself that there are still places the congestion charge doesn’t apply. Now that I’ve eaten at The Swan at Iver, I have one more reason to do so.
And a very good one at that. The premises of this gastropub have recently been tastefully refurbished, retaining many of the period features such as the exposed wooden beams while sensitively incorporating some modern touches. There is a bar (with a separate menu) the main dining room and outdoor tables, which are perfect for the summer.
But the best thing about The Swan at Iver is the food. Dominic Green, head chef and co-owner, knows his stuff, and not only does the menu read well, they deliver top notch cooking to match.
Before I get to the main meal, I have to rave about how good the bread is. Freshly baked in-house, and it shows. Seriously, some of the best I’ve had. Apparently, the restaurant has had enquiries as to whether loaves are sold to take away and believe me, when they are, I’ll drive back to Iver to stock up.
I started with British asparagus, pancetta and deep fried Brie – sweet asparagus tips with just the right amount of bite, browned pancetta and crunchy breadcrumbs encasing a molten Brie centre on a bed of mixed salad leaves, while The Bloke ordered spaghetti of razor clams with lemon and garlic, a dish capturing the taste of the sea with this sadly underused ingredient. Highly recommended. Other options to whet the appetite include warm salad of smoked haddock, soft boiled egg with dill yoghurt dressing, or roast scallops with white onion purée and chive oil.
The quality of cooking continued with the main course, mine of pan fried grey mullet, cooked to perfection with a crisp skin over a moist fillet, accessorised with tender calamari rings and warm crushed potatoes and chives, and The Bloke’s of melt in the mouth confit duck leg with braised savoy cabbage, boulangère potatoes and a swirl of cassis sauce. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, then how about grilled salmon, mushroom and pine nut ravioli, Serrano ham and basil emulsion, or pork T-bone with roasted apricots and truffled croquette potatoes?
Generous portions meant that we didn’t really need dessert, but who can resist the likes of white chocolate ice cream profiteroles with chocolate sauce, or retro classics like rhubarb and custard? A stronger willed individual than me, though that isn’t too difficult… We went for strawberry and blueberry sorbet, fruity and refreshing, yet almost as smooth-textured as ice cream, and espresso crème brulée, the rich and creamy coffee base contrasting with the glassy sugar topping.
The menu changes frequently, both to make use of produce in season and to give you a reason to go back, and many ingredients are sourced locally. Given the standard of cooking, The Swan at Iver represents real value for money at £19.50 for two courses and £25 for three. Lucky locals have a great place on their doorstep; everyone else has just found a reason to visit Iver.