Summer weather + Sunday = Pub garden! We decided to test out the garden at The Black Swan gastropub in Ockham to see why it’s so popular.
Being a sunny Sunday the pub was packed, inside and out. Which created a good buzz but understandably made for a longer than usual wait for food and some overwhelmed servers. It wasn’t as issue for us but it caused some friction at the table near us as they were vying to get their order into the kitchen first.
Located on a country lane lined with hedges and farmer fields behind. The pub has masses of space around it and feels very country pub.
Inside has a country chic pub feel. Different rooms have a different characteristic – from an open fire to a vaulted ceiling. It’s a lovely place to be in winter. Though even on this beautiful day it was fully booked inside. Reservations practically essential for inside.
Lots of cute attention to detail.
Outside provides roomy outdoor seating for a few hundred. It’s is a mix of outdoor sofas, outdoor tables & chairs and picnic tables. Arriving right at 12 meant Marie could save her back by securing one of the tables with proper chairs.
Yet there were hardly any umbrellas, we counted 9. With the sun bearing down it was a bunfight whenever one was freed up. After an hour and some keen watching we finally got one, but left considerably more pink than we’d arrived. Remember your sunscreen!
There is also a very good (young) children’s play area.
Two kitchens support the large outdoor space. The regular indoor one plus an outdoor kitchen with bbq that serves up ginormous burgers that actually come with sides.
The menu is extensive even by gastropub standards. There’s also a reasonably large bbq menu on top of the normal menu. Yet there are only two salads, both listed under the starters with an option to have as a main. Neither of them appealed to us – crayfish or Oxford blue.
Ann opted for the ‘chargrilled swordfish, olive oil mash, grilled courgettes, roast tomato & gremolata. £16.50’ The fish was nice and the tomatoes insanely yummy.
Marie had the ‘poached fillet of smoked haddock, spring onion potato cake, sauteed spinach, poached duck egg, with white wine mustard sauce. £14.50’ The mustard sauce was a subtly flavoured and the duck egg really pulled the dish together.
Though stuffed we were intrigued by the ‘flourless almond & orange cake with orange sorbet £6.95’ (gluten & wheat free) so decided to share one. Mmm. It was super moist and delicious. Even the sorbet was outstanding and came perched on a piece of almond brittle. A truly superb dessert.
We enjoyed our afternoon at The Black Swan in Ockham. The food, though a bit pricey, was lovely and the bustle in the garden made for a pleasurable time. It’s important to come with a leisurely meal in mind, bring your hat, sunscreen and enjoy your time at The Black Swan lazing in the sun.
Old Lane, Ockham, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1NG
Plenty of parking
Dogs welcomed inside and out.