ON A WET, windy, wintry night the last thing you really want to do is go out but that’s exactly what I did one Thursday evening as I decided to have night off from cooking. 

My port of call on this blustery night was Cygnets Restaurant at The Swan, Pontfadog. 

Cygnets is a small family run restaurant independently owned and operated by Ian, Jools, Naomi, Max and Holly Payne. 

Max is a young up and coming chef who offers a very tempting menu. 

He honed his cooking and hospitality skills at Sporties Restaurant & Bar in Alice Springs, Australia, on a travelling year in 2012 and most recently under chef Rob Edwards at The Oak in Glyn Ceiriog. 

For a starter I opted for the homemade pate served with toasted brioche and red onion chutney while my friend choose king prawns cooked in chilli and garlic butter served with crusty bread and a fresh salad. 

I am a pate fan and hate it when you don’t get enough bread to spread it on but this was not the case here. It was flavoursome with the duck and orange really tingling the taste buds. 

The only negative comment would be that its consistency was a bit ‘runny’ for my taste. 

My companion’s king prawns lived up to their name, sizeable and succulent. 

For my main I went for a veggie option – even though I am a meat lover. 

I choose the homemade vegetarian falafel burger in a toasted bun, served with two dips of your choice, hand-cut chips and a fresh salad which Max recommended I topped with brie, an excellent tip. I choose a sweet chilli dip and a garlic mayo. 

My friend went for the trout from Chirk trout farm literally a stone’s throw from Cygnets. 

My falafel was tasty and as for the chips, hand-cut and twice cooked, gorgeous. 

I was well and truly stuffed but still managed to sample my friend’s trout which was perfect. 

With no room in our tummies for pudding we opted for coffee. 

Despite the weather, Cygnets was worth venturing out for. 

If it’s good, home-cooked grub you are after with friendly service in light and welcoming surroundings, then put it on your places to try list. 

For the really hungry you could try Max’s ‘Cygneture’ Burger Challenge for £12.95 

This whopper dish has a double 6oz burger topped with smoked bacon, mature cheddar cheese and home-made onion rings all served with hand-cut chips, a choice of two dips and a fresh salad. 

Clear your plate and your name will appear on their special honours board.


Ambience 8/10

Service 10/10

Food quality 8/10

Children welcome – yes

Disabled access – yes