Thai meals from The Swan in Bradford are delicious

AS the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis bites deep into normal family life and throws our usual routines into turmoil we are now unable to visit our local pubs, hotels, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops.

It’s good to see some of those forced to close their doors by government decree come up with inventive but not necessarily unique ways of staying in business and serving their customers.

Among them is the Grade Two listed Swan Hotel in Bradford on Avon, a 17th century coaching inn known locally for its traditional pub food and wide selection of ales.

The Swan is also home to the Thai Chilli Restaurant and usually serves up mouth-watering authentic Thai cuisine six days a week as well as English food and its popular carvery every Sunday.

Hotel owner James Sullivan-Tailyour says they are “still open” for accommodation although the bar and restaurant are of course closed, and he has launched a new takeaway service which is also delivering to homes within a short drive.

As we’re obviously not able to enjoy ‘sit-in’ meals my wife Feona and I decided to sample the Swan’s ‘non contact’ takeaway service.

Booking through Just Eat, I left Fee to order and she chose two portions of egg fried rice (£6.30) to accompany one portion of fresh vegetable spring rolls with two pots of sweet chilli sauce (£4.95), and one portion of tiger prawns wrapped in crispy pastry (£5.95) for starters.

This was followed with one portion of Thai red curry with pork and pineapple (£10.95) and one portion of Thai roast duck with tamarind sauce (£13.95).

Our was placed at 7.06pm and Just East promised delivery within 50 minutes. In fact, James knocked on our door within 30 minutes with a cool box in hand to keep the meals warm, and then retreated two metres away to observe the new rules on social distancing while we collected them off the doorstep.

I was impressed with the prompt delivery and even more impressed with the food, so much so we dived in without bothering to take pictures, as we do when eating out.

Fee and I decided to share the food between us, so we each enjoyed two spring rolls and two tiger prawns, the red curry and the duck.

With the meals piled high on two plates, we retreated to the lounge to taste our food and I must admit to it being one of the best Thai meals I have ever had.

The spring rolls were packed full of vegetables, the tiger prawns were quite simply delicious, and the pastry thoroughly lived up to being crispy.

The Thai red curry was filled with succulent pork and pineapple chunks, and the roast duck was tender and well-cooked.

Each of the portions was individually wrapped or sealed in plastic containers, just as they are from any takeaway, no sign here that the operation had been set up in haste.

The bill came to £40.39 after a £4.21 discount offered by the hotel, and including £2.50 delivery/service charge, which I thought was good value for money.

JOHN BAKER

This is Wiltshire

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