MARCO PIERRE WHITE, Michelin star chef from TV’s Hell’s Kitchen, has relaunched The Swan Inn at Aughton, Lancashire. BRITAIN magazine takes a look at the menu.
SINCE IT OPENED in January 2010, the Swan Inn, set in rolling Lancashire farmland, has been drawing diners from across the North West and beyond. As the brainchild of Marco Pierre White, the first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars and the youngest chef in the world to receive them, this newly refurbished restaurant was always going to be a winner.
“The future of eating out in my opinion is affordable glamour, straightforwardness, back to basics,” says the fiery Leeds-born chef who recently starred in the TV series Hell’s Kitchen, and who says he has never lost his northern roots. “Romance is the only thing that never dates, so I will invite my guests to step into a romantic environment.”
And deeply romantic The Swan is, too. From the walled courtyard just made for al fresco dining to the restaurant itself, this is comfortable, affordable and deeply relaxing luxury, and with a menu that honours local food in a brasserie style but steeped in the classics.
So the delights served up by chef de cuisine Simon Bower might include Celtic sea scallops with Bury black pudding, confit of Reggie Johnson’s Goosnargh duck, and Lancashire hotpot with pickled red cabbage, as well as Marco Pierre White’s own trademark dishes including parfait of foie gras.
Local cheeses are to die for, with a cheeseboard made up of five superb cheeses from Lancashire and the North West, and accompanied by a great wine list and wonderful selection of local stouts and ales, too. And desserts might include anything from treacle tart to sticky toffee pudding, all served in a wonderfully relaxed setting by friendly yet efficient staff.
Within comfortable travelling distance of the annual Grand National steeplechase at Aintree and the wonderful Martin Mere wetland centre with its rich birdlife, and poised between the elegant coastal resort of Southport and the gentle beauty of the fells of the Forest of Bowland, there are plenty of ways to work up a good appetite for some great north western food which draws on impeccable culinary inspiration too.
The Swan Inn, â¨Springfield Rd, â¨Aughton, Ormskirk L39 6STâ¨; tel: (01695) 421450; www.mpwtheswan.co.uk. Report by Carol Davis.