My quest to check out all dog-friendly pubs of Milton Keynes took me to Swan Inn a few weeks ago. Nestled in Milton Keynes Village, one of the oldest villages of the new town, in fact, the very one that gave the town its name, Swan Inn is one of the few dog-friendly pubs in the UK that serves breakfast – till 11am that is, so forget that weekend lie-in, which is exactly what we did when we showed up nice and early on a Sunday morning, Doodles in tow.
A beautiful 13th century thatched country pub and restaurant, The Swan Inn oozes a rustic, rural charm. Exposed bricks, low wooden beams, quaint nooks and crannies make for a delightful space you can nosey around in while waiting for your order. Which is exactly what we did as the order took quite a while to get back – this may be because the venue seemed understaffed or perhaps accompanied with a pooch we were at the deserted bar area of the pub, and hence out of sight and out of mind.
The Swan Inn has a wide array of succulent dishes on offer. Everything is freshly made in the open kitchen and changes in line with the seasons, using the best local produce. On the Sharers menu, Brixham Market Fish Board looked delicious with oak-smoked salmon, grilled king prawns, Scottish mussel & cheddar crumble, salt & pepper Squid, paprika aioli and artisan breads while out of the mains Garden Pea, Wild Garlic & Asparagus Risotto, Shaved Berkswell Cheese & Spring Herbs caught my eyes. Along with the daily dishes, you’re spoilt for choice.
Too early in the day to court anything else, we ordered The Great British – grilled bacon, sausages, choice of eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash brown, baked beans & sourdough toast. If sourdough toast is not a dead giveaway that this here is a gastropub. To be honest, I was not a huge fan, as one who likes her full English with toasted brown bread with a dash of butter. The rest was a little underwhelming too – sausages and bacon lukewarm, hash browns served solid and tomatoes and mushrooms not particularly tasteful, surprising considering they pride themselves on using the best local produce.
If I am after a full English in a dog-friendly pub and The Swan Inn is the only option, I might be tempted to leave the doggie at home and opt for another pub, or wait for the summer months where al fresco breakfast options are endless. Yet, the venue is so quaint and cosy that I may be lured back soon to check out the lunch or dinner menus.