After surviving our 8th Bampton Fair at the end of a glorious October, we launched straight into a coffee morning on the Saturday, well done to Bampton Afc for the hundreds of cakes and the boys doing the washing up, very impressive, with over £300 raised. Morris men and folk entertainers surrounded us; the music continued into the early hours, so a massive welcome back to ‘After the fair- folk festival’ you were missed last year.
The following Sunday was Remembrance Sunday and is always a well attended event at the war memorial followed by a service in the church, its nice to see the little ones from the cubs and scouts get involved.
The next weekend sees a practice run of the Christmas menu, one of the local cricket clubs hosts their end of season do and awards ceremony, they get a set menu minus the Christmas pudding and we get the practice. I’m glad to say it was a success all round, nothing was to stressful in the kitchen and they all had a great time.
The next day is the Third Sunday in the month when we hold a quiz night, for a local group or charity, this months was arranged by Katrina from Bampton Business Group and The Toucan in aid of festive decorations for the town, with such a fantastic turn out we had to borrow the chairs from The Bridge House (a great place for something really tasty) thank you Nigel and Caroline, also a BIG thank you to Les who stepped in at the last minute as quiz master, he did a brilliant job. All in all with a group holding a fundraiser of there own upstairs a massive total of £800 pounds was raised.
With all this talk of Christmas, Paul and I feel a little like all our Christmases have come at once, it started out on the 6th at Sandy Park with The Devon Life Awards; it was like the Oscars the tinkle of glasses and the ring of laughter as we awaited to be seated for our meal, everything was supplied and sourced locally, including the wine, bubbly and soft drinks. As the time approached for the awards the only thought on my mind was how terrible was I going to look and sound on the big screen of the previously recorded clips all the finalists had had to make. So when the golden envelope was opened and the immortal words were uttered “and the winner is “… best Devon Gastro Pub is The Swan, I didn’t even hear it, to say we were shocked is an understatement.
You will find us about 12 mins in
On the 17th we were invited to The Trenchermans awards at The Watergate Bay Hotel Newquay as finalists in the Dine and Stay category all courses were cooked by chefs from the guide, Mark from the Masons Arms Knowstone presented the fish course, which was simply stunning. We came runners up which we find truly amazing.
We think this is amazing to watch.
The 19th saw us at High Bullen Golf and Country Club, as finalists in Devon Tourism Pub of the Year, with over 140 entrants we were excited to walk away with a bronze.
Mixing it up with the cream of Devon
Mixing it up with the cream of Devon
So for The Swan and all its team and customers it has been one truly exciting month, now we look forward to the Christmas festivities, which brings me to this weeks recipe and with new laws being introduced regarding allergens one of which is high on the list is gluten
GLUTEN FREE CHRISTMAS DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TORTE (looks like a brownie and tastes lush)
225g dark chocolate
175g caster sugar
½ tsp mixed spice
140g ground almonds
2 tbsp cornflour
50g white chocolate
1. Melt dark chocolate over a pan of hot water or gently micro wave, leave to cool slightly
2. Meanwhile whip the egg whites to soft peaks, add half the sugar a spoon at a time to form a soft meringue
3. Whisk the egg yolks, mixed spice and the rest of the sugar until doubled in volume.
4. Fold half the white into yolk mix
5. Then add the remaining ingredients, gently folding in, firstly the melted chocolate, then the remaining egg whites, ground almonds cornflour and finally the roughly chopped white chocolate
6. Place in a greased and lined 21cm cake tin. Cook for 30mins at 170 oC gas mark 3, then turn off the oven and leave for another 15 mins
7. Leave to cool
8. Serve with any of your favourite Christmas treats, rum soaked fruits, liqueur cherries, brandy cream or butter, or even whip up your own liqueur cream using 3-4 tbsp of your favourite tipple, 225 ml double or whipping cream and 2 tbsp of icing sugar (just Whisk together)