The Mute Swan has certainly snatched a winner in terms of location, occupying one of the most sought after spots in the local area, right next to the perpetually glorious River Thames and beautiful historic landmark Hampton Court Palace.
One of The Mute Swan’s high points is the pub itself. Oozing character and charm, fuelled by the decor and layout, they provide that traditional British pub atmosphere that makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon family get-together.
A large curved bar lays at the pub’s centre, inviting you to enjoy a drink or three, whilst up the grand spiral staircase is the pub’s dining area. Their menu is available throughout all areas of the pub although upstairs sees a more food-focused environment whilst downstairs holds a more casual, bar-led ambience.
Feeling more than a little peckish we headed up the spiral staircase for a taste of their notably extensive menu. From soups and sardines to salads, steaks and sandwiches, you’ll probably struggle to find somewhere close-by that offers as much choice. In addition, their menu sees changes alongside the seasons, so you can guarantee a suitably seasonal visit every time you go.
To start (after some deliberation!), we opted for the Sweet Potato, Lime & Coconut Soup, Chicken Liver Pâté and Korean Chicken Wings. Without a doubt our favourite course of the evening, all three dishes greatly exceeded expectations. The soup offered exceptional flavour and was the ideal cure for what was a rather chilly pre-Spring evening. The pâté added individualistic flare to what is now a common gastro-pub favourite and finally, the Korean chicken wings truly went for gold.
At just 21-years-old(!), their Chef du Partie Marius is the mastermind behind the Korean chicken wings and has even recently won an award for the dish – we can absolutely see why. Succulent and packing a flavoursome punch, they’re a must-try.
A little excited, we hurried onto our mains. Sifting through the many options, we eventually decided on the Braised Shoulder of Lamb, Sea Bass Fillets and Fresh Mussels.
The sea bass was arguably the most interesting meal of the evening, with The Mute Swan offering a unique take on the traditional dish. Served up with cauliflower ‘rice’ biryani and cauliflower puree, this curry-esque delight showcased how unlikely tastes and textures can intertwine splendidly.
The lamb was pretty tasty too albeit a little on the expensive side. The mussels weren’t particularly to our taste however the accompanying tomato and chorizo sauce certainly made up for it – rich and packed full of chunky chorizo, it was exactly what the dish needed.
We couldn’t leave without sampling the dessert menu and so selected the Hot Waffle and Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream. Whilst the ice cream was as expected, the waffle was a highlight.
Aesthetically pleasing and topped with lashings of toffee sauce and caramelised banana, the attention to detail was evident and the dessert was an overall outstanding achievement.
Whilst much of the food impressed, a sizeable chunk of The Mute Swan’s appeal comes in the delivery of their product. With fresh daffodils decorating every table, welcoming in the Spring time, and the staff ensuring comfort and relaxation throughout the duration of your visit, it’s clear they value fine details when it comes to making sure you leave with a smile on your face.
Whether you fancy giving their menu a spin or simply grabbing a few drinks with friends, we’d recommend giving The Mute Swan a try. Take in the views, soak up the atmosphere and indulge yourself.
Head to their website here for more information.