Lunch with Dad – The Swan at Long Hanborough

Last Thursday, I met Dad for lunch. This is a biannual occurence and usually coincides with the journey from Liverpool to Oxford or vice versa. On this occasion though, we were just meeting for lunch which is a much nicer way to spend the day.

We chose the Swan at Long Hanborough, which is where we went last time. Dad knows the owner Steve Chick and we used to go to his previous pub, the New Inn at Minster Lovell.

We met on the one Spring-ish day in a long time but there was a bitterly cold wind. I always seem to choose those kinds of days to wear summery clothes and shiver and true to form, I was buffetted about all over the place. We met at half 12 and arrived at the Swan at about 1. It was fairly busy with groups of people and outside was awash with four wheel drives.

We were seated at the back. It’s an enormously comfy pub, free from the detritus of old country pubs but full of warm wood and clean walls. I suppose if I were to use my loathed phrase, it’s a ‘gastropub’ and the welcome is warm and friendly and the menu extensive.

We spent an extraordinarily long time choosing, jumping from salmon to steak, from lamb to pie to scallops. Eventually we settled on Salmon with a Sauvignon Shrimp Sauce on a bed of Mash and Leeks for me and a Serious Rump Steak for Dad.  I did like the sound of the Smoked Haddock and King Prawn Crumble and the Leg of Lamb Steak with mint and redcurrant sauce. There’s a huge selection of fish which is refreshing in Oxfordshire and lots of lovely sounding pieces of meat. There’s also a wide array of sandwiches and lighter lunches. Dad ordered a pint of Thatchers’ Gold as he loves draft cider (with the exception of the Strongbow end of the spectrum) and I had an orange juice and lemonade. We discussed ciders and perrys at length and apparently, the difference between these pear ciders such as Kopparberg and old fashioned perry is that they tend to use dessert pears these days.. Interesting! If I drink too much cider, I resemble Charlie Sheen on a bad day so I stuck to my drink!

Our lunches arrived and when I say they were enormous, I’m not exaggerating. Dad’s steak was the size of his plate, I have shoes smaller than that steak! It looked absolutely delicious and it had come rare-blueish, as requested.

My salmon was deliciously soft and flaky and the sauce was so delicious. Largeish prawns, perhaps not so small as to be called a shrimp, and the white wine went beautifully. I wasn’t sure if the mash with leeks would be too much but it went perfectly. I decided I’d made the right choice!

The pudding menu wasn’t enormous but I like it better that way. I struggle with too much choice as I couldn’t make a decision if my life depended on it! I went for the sticky toffee pudding, which is something I’d never go for normally but since my trip to Cumbria, I have been craving it again. Dad ordered vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate sauce.

I asked for ice cream instead of cream with my sticky toffee pudding and it was lovely. Extremely sticky and I could have perhaps used a little more ice cream to make it slide down more easily and it was a large portion, I definitely struggled towards the end. Dad’s ice cream looked lovely. We chattered about the usual things such as the Six Nations, Terry Wogan and Coronation Street!

So it was a lovely lunch with my dear old Dad on a lovely sunny Spring afternoon. Can’t wait till the next one.


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