Restaurant reviews

The Black Swan in Ockham: A gem of a pub in deepest, darkest Surrey

Today, Charlotte blogs about one of Surrey’s best options for a pub lunch…

For Mothers Day, I was back home in Surrey staying with my Mum and Dad, so I wanted to go somewhere fairly local with my Mum.

After looking around at various Surrey pub lunch options, I came across The Black Swan in Ockham. I knew it was already a favourite of my Mum’s, so even though I had never been before, I was confident I was in for a treat!

The first thing I liked about The Black Swan was the lack of a set menu for Mothers Day. Mothers Day in recent years has become just as bad as Valentines Day in terms of restrictive and pricey set menus, so it was refreshing to find the normal Sunday lunch menu on offer. It was also quick and easy to book online, rather than wasting time on the phone. Brownie points already for The Black Swan before we’d even arrived!

On the day, we were welcomed into the cosy interior, full of wood beams and roaring log fire on one side and an airy, light space on the other side of the room. We were shown to our table and didn’t have to wait long before two complimentary glasses of champagne were brought to our table. I couldn’t drink mine unfortunately since I’m pregnant, but thankfully my Mum was more than happy to step up to the mark to help me out!

We decided to go for a light shared starter in the form of some bread and oil, even though some of the options on the menu were extremely tempting. The bread was light, fluffy, and the portion generous, but we still (thankfully) had plenty of room for the mains to come!

My Mum had opted for roast beef and, true to family form, had requested there to be no accompanying vegetables, just roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding! The staff were more than happy to accommodate this request, even letting her know that she only had to ask if she wanted more potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, or gravy. Sometimes pubs can get ideas above their station when it comes to things like this, so it was really nice to see how flexible and friendly they were.

I went for fish and chips and was not let down by my choice. The chips were cut thick, with fluffy middles and crispy exteriors, and the fish was encased in a delicious batter. The tartare sauce and mushy peas rounded the dish off perfectly.

My Mum loved her roast dinner and was a huge fan of the potatoes in particular. I had food envy over the sheer size of the Yorkshire pudding! Living in Yorkshire, I feel like I know a good Yorkshire pudding when I see one, and so I can happily vouch for the quality of The Black Swan’s offering!

We were pretty full after our mains but the waiter persuaded us to have a look at the dessert menu and we couldn’t resist sharing a humble ice cream! The pistachio flavour was a particular highlight in my opinion, and it rounded off what had been a fantastic meal very nicely. Next time, if I have slightly more room, I would love to sample what sounded like a gorgeous sticky toffee pudding for dessert!

The Black Swan was a really nice choice for the two of us, and also perfect for groups of friends out for a catch-up, but it’s clearly also a great choice for families. There were loads of kids there, what with it being Mothers Day, and my Mum and I have already earmarked the pub as a place to go for a nice lunch out once our little one arrives later this year!

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