Wednesday, 22 March 2017

We’ve served up 10 years in Bampton

We’re celebrating this month (March, 2017) after dishing up a decade of evening meals and lunches in Bampton.

We have run two of the town’s pubs and the secret of our success is based on offering the very best in seasonal, regional ingredients alongside always trying to provide outstanding service.

Donna, who co-runs The Swan, said: “I’ve always been passionate about good food and I often fantasised about one day owning and running my own pub, and I really pestered Paul to do it. Now here we are, 10 years on, celebrating our anniversary in the same year that we have also had our pub placed in the top 50 gastropubs in the UK.

“We started out at The Quarryman’s Rest but took on The Swan in 2011and have never looked back. We recently posted a Wicked Wolf Gin and Thai Night on social media and sold out in 24 hours. We’re experiencing one of our busiest years so far and we’re only a quarter of the way in!

“We are so lucky living here in the Westcountry, we have local farmers supplying their beef, rare breed pork, lamb and poultry and the fishing communities providing us with the freshest Brixham haddock for our beer battered haddock and chips with crushed peas. On the menu at the moment we have locally-farmed salt brisket, Exmoor Ox cheek, Exmoor lamb and local pigs’ cheeks.

“Our ethos has always been to provide good food, sourced locally wherever possible, while supporting other small businesses in the community too. It is a great feeling serving a dish and knowing the provenance of every ingredient.

“We have a small but dedicated team and we’re supported by the community here in Bampton, which is a bustling market town. Unlike many similar sized places, we still have a vibrant high street with a traditional butcher, a baker and greengrocers, and we use all of them.”

The couple also say they have learnt a lot in the past 10 years, including the art of delegation and being sure to have time away from the pub to re-charge their batteries.

Donna continued: “I am such a devoted foodie that I just love to go and see what everyone else is doing. It’s relaxing to be the one who is waited on for once too and it’s always great to try out different dishes, and see how other people are doing things. We’re not people who are too precious about our own brand and who don’t like to recommend others in the same industry. There’s room for everyone and we genuinely applaud the good work others do. Rising stars do so much for the sector and boost its profile, so it’s good for everyone.”

With 10 years under their belts, Paul, who also celebrates his 50th birthday this year, and Donna are now relishing their next decade in business.

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