Henley-in-Arden has a new gem in its crown: The Black Swan. Nestled on the visual feast of a high street, in one of the prettiest towns in England, this Grade II listed pub with a tudor history has been given an extensive refurbishment whilst retaining many of its original features.
The pub’s iconic black and white frontage and low ceilings have been beautifully preserved, providing a glimpse into the history of the building. Although interior has been refreshed with a modern twist, it still creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere that appeals to both traditionalists, and also those with more contemporary tastes. Inside at the front boasts a gorgeous inglenook fireplace, wooden floors and cosy snugs ideal for those looking to cosy up on the colder UK weekends.
A glimpse into The Black Swan
One of the most notable additions when walking through the back entrance is the more modern oak-framed dining area which houses a bright and colourful garden and seating space – perfect for al fresco dining in the warmer months. The Black Swan strikes the perfect balance between history and modernity and welcomes everyone. From couples dining out to non-rowdy friendship groups, the most important thing for me as a parent is finding family-friendly tables and thankfully, they deliver in volume.
If you’re a local foodie looking for a new place to indulge in an exquisite culinary experience, The Black Swan truly has it all. I was looking out for other families as we made our way through to our table and spotted a couple with young children like mine. This was reassuring and nothing felt like too much trouble when asking. Without prompt, our wonderful server brought a children’s menu for Sebby and even gave us a high-chair for our younger baby, Evie.
I was intrigued to read on the back of the menus that the brand Heartwood Inns have been awarded the top three-star Food Made Good rating by The Sustainable Restaurant Association. This is the highest possible rating awarded to businesses leading the way in responsible and sustainable food sourcing. What this essentially means is that seasonal menus are on rotation to ensure the very best produce for that time of year. In effect; the chefs work with the seasons and not against them, further ensuring all ingredients are used when they are at their finest.
Dining at The Black Swan
From signature dishes to family-friendly options, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. When I first received the press release for The Black Swan, fairly priced dish options such as the Twice-baked cheese souffle with coastal cheddar sauce (£6.95) was being strongly promoted, and ended up being ordered by one of our family members. I think it’s fair to say that my dessert was exceptional, and was honestly one of the best Lemon tarts with Normandy crème fraîche (£9.50) I’ve ever eaten, anywhere. But you would think so for the price too as puds are a little one on the high side. In contrast, you definitely bag yourself a good deal as The Black Swan’s epic Sunday lunch menu is available until 5pm and serves two courses for £24 – or add a third dish for £6.
Sunday Roasts used grass-fed cuts of beef and lamb from the brilliant Aubrey Allen. I went against the grain and opted for the Half a roast grain-fed chicken (£19.95) which was a huge portion and was incredibly tasty. If you ask for more potatoes, you would usually receive in abundance however for some reason ours vanished and didn’t get brought to the table. I put this down to minor teething issues and staff were told. Diners can further ask for more gravy too if wanted. There is currently one other vegetarian alternative on the roast section, but other vegan options can be seen too. All roast dinners come with unlimited Yorkshires, roast potatoes and gravy. Various other meat/fish plates can be selected depending on preference and can all be accompanied by perfectly poured pints, cask ales, wine or cocktails.
A truly great family-friendly restaurant
As mentioned, the new inn brand is also wonderfully family-friendly and provide a specially created menu for children. As a cost guide, you’ll be looking at £7.50 FOR 2 COURSES or £9.95 FOR 3 COURSES – which in my opinion is brilliant. From classic favourites like pasta and burgers, to more adventurous dishes like grilled trout, each dish is carefully crafted to cater to their unique tastes. The inclusive nature of the menu ensures that everyone feels welcome and well-catered to, making it perfect for a family celebration, or if you just want to not cook that day.
The full list of menu options can be found via the website. Book your table today and experience the culinary delights of the new inn for yourself. There’s no doubt that the new refurb will continue to thrive and everyone on our table said how great the food and service was. Just be sure to chase up those potatoes if they happen to go walkies.
Things to note: The Black Swan has limited on-site parking, but alternatives can be found along the high street. The inn also includes a dog friendly area with complimentary water and treats.
I was invited for a voucher-comped meal with drinks in return for honest feedback. I paid additional costs that went over our voucher limit. As always, opinions are my own and haven’t been influenced in any way. PR photos have been used and labelled in this post. I do own the copyright to these photos.
23 High St, Henley-in-Arden B95 5AA