ONE of the most prominent buildings in the centre of Bradford on Avon is the Grade 2 listed Swan Hotel.

Known locally for its traditional pub food and selection of ales, The Swan is also home to the Thai Chilli Restaurant.

The hotel is well-regarded locally for serving mouth-watering authentic Thai cuisine six days a week, and its popular carvery every Sunday.

Armed with an invitation from hotel owner, James Sullivan-Tailyour to drop by, my wife Feona and I decided to sample their cuisine on the first Saturday after New Year.

The hotel bar was virtually empty, although there was a welcoming log fire in the hearth, and the staff seemed in short supply.

We sat down and ordered drinks - a pint of my favourite tipple, Old Speckled Hen, for me and a pint of orange juice and lemonade for Fee.

After looking at the menu, we decided to try the Mixed Thai Appetizer (£7.95) to start, followed by a Thai Red Curry (£10.95) from the Thai menu for me, and an 8oz Sirloin Steak (£14.95) from The Swan Pub Classics menu for Feona.

The friendly and attentive waitress brought out some Thai prawn crackers in a bowl and we munched our way through them while we waited for the starter to be delivered.

The mixed appetizer consisted of two sesame toasts, two spring rolls, two Thai fishcakes and two chicken satays on skewers, accompanied by some carrots and strips of cabbage and some dip sauces.

The whole was very nicely presented, with my wife declaring the chicken satay to be delicious, while I found the sesame toast a little greasy from the cooking oil, the fishcakes a little rubbery, and the two sauces lovely.

My Red Thai Curry with pork and pineapple arrived fairly hot and spicy, accompanied by egg fried rice with peas (£3.15). I tucked in with relish and found it delicious and really tasty.

However, at this point the meal started to go downhill, with Feona declaring that she was "disappointed" with the sirloin steak; she had asked for it to be 'medium' and it arrived slightly under-cooked at 'medium rare'.

Although edible, there was no pepper sauce offered, and the rest of the plate comprised some hand-cut wedge potatoes and some salad which Feona described as "just horrible".

She ordered another pint of orange juice and lemonade while we debated whether to try the desserts.

We ended up selecting one of my old favourites, sticky toffee pudding with cream, while Feona went for the apple crumble with custard (both £5.95).

Mine was again delicious, with the sponge light and crumbly, but with the rather strange addition of a slice of orange. The cream from a jug was plentiful.

Feona fared less well, finding her crumble to be just that - too crumbly - while the custard had skin on top, having been left for too long.

Our total bill came to £62.40. I suspect The Swan's Thai chefs are better at cooking Thai meals than traditional English pub classics.

John Baker