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New French head chef joins the Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa

Head chef Olivier Bertho outside the Swan at Lavenham

A new French Head Chef, Olivier Bertho, 52, has joined the Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa heading up the passionate team of chef folk with exciting new menus.  At the same time, the 15th century Suffolk hotel has refreshed its two restaurants ready for summer dining.

Olivier took up his new position after spending 18 years working with Woburn Enterprises, where he held various posts including Executive Chef, prior to which he spent two years as Head Chef at Mallory Court Country House Hotel, Leamington Spa. He moved to England from France in July 1993.

At The Swan, he will be working with a large team providing food for a variety of different guests and tastes from afternoon teas to formal dining as well as catering for special events, weddings and corporate meetings.

Guests can choose to dine in either the beamed and vaulted Gallery restaurant or more informal Mess Call 487 restaurant, overlooking the courtyard gardens. Both restaurants have had a welcoming facelift plus comfy new chairs; there’s also more space between the tables giving diners greater privacy and ensuring social distancing.


Wherever you sit, you can order dishes from three menus; the fine dining Gallery menu features more complex dishes such as corn fed chicken supreme with pea and ham croquette, sweet corn purée and edamame beans, while the Mess Call 487 offers simpler, classic food, may be a grilled sirloin steak and beer battered cod fillet and French fries. The Menu Cygne has been curated by Olivier Bertho to bring his French roots to The Swan and might include Moules a la crème or salad niçoise for starters and  pan fried skate wing with capers, lemon, shallots for mains. Oliver also has some innovative ideas for developing the hotel’s afternoon tea offer.

On warmer days you can also enjoy lunch, tea or cocktails in the sheltered gardens and hidden courtyard, while the Swan’s relaxed Airmen’s Bar is full of Second World War memorabilia from the United States Army Airforce who were stationed nearby. For a private party book one of the elegant private dining rooms such as the McCallum, this features a vast open fireplace and vaulted beamed ceiling. The hotel also has a civil wedding licence.

Both restaurants and the Airmen’s Bar are open to overnight guests, day visitors and local residents but prebooking is essential either online or by telephone. For further information and to book a table or hotel stay call 01787 247477 or visit

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