Top 50 Gastropub strikes gold with two prestigious awards

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Top performer: (l-r) Arctic explorer Ann Daniels, Alan Knight from award sponsors Accounting & General, Donna and Paul Berry from the Swan and travel journalist Simon Calder
Top performer: (l-r) Arctic explorer Ann Daniels, Alan Knight from award sponsors Accounting & General, Donna and Paul Berry from the Swan and travel journalist Simon Calder

Related tags: Devon

The Swan in Bampton has been celebrating after it won two prestigious awards this month.

The Devon-based pub, which is number 50 on the Top 50 Gastropubs list,​ received a Gold Tourism award at the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards at a ceremony in Plymouth on Thursday 23 November.

It also took home Best Dining Pub in the Trencherman's Awards, held in Salcombe, on Monday 20 November.

Co-owner of the Swan Paul Berry jointly runs the award-winning pub with his wife and fellow chef-patron Donna.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted. It has been a very special week for us and these two awards are a wonderful recognition of what we do, and all our team delivers.

“I am lost for words. Two fantastic awards in one week... wow! We would like to thank our customers, suppliers and the whole team at the pub, everyone is part of this.

“It is amazing and a huge honour to have two more awards to display in the bar.”

Top-quality food

Judges at the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards said the Swan displayed “exemplary service combined with top-quality food”.

Meanwhile, the winners of the prestigious Trencherman’s Awards 2018 were revealed earlier in the week (Monday 20 November) at Salcombe Harbour Hotel in Salcombe, Devon.

The awards is run by the Trencherman’s Guide​, a long-standing and prestigious guide to dining in the south-west of England.

The Swan took home the best dining pub award and Paul told guests at the event: “Donna and I want to thank everyone who helped us achieve this award.

“Thank you to all who voted and for the love shown on social media. We are not the best pub in the south-west, we are one of a few very good ones. Our aim is to please and if we don’t do that, we fail.”

Trencherman’s​ Guide​ editor Jo Rees said: “It is difficult to get into the guide in the first place because restaurants have to meet a strict criteria with extremely high standards, so to win a Trencherman’s Award and to be considered the best of that illustrious community is hugely significant.”

Dedicated to sourcing

Paul outlined the secrets to the pub’s success and put it down to the local ingredients available to them.

He said: “We are dedicated to sourcing all the local or regional produce available to us, needless to say we are so lucky living here in the West Country.

“We have local farmers supplying their beef, pork and lamb, and the fishing communities providing us with the freshest cod for our classic cod and chips.”

The Swan has won a number of awards including Trencherman’s Pub in 2016, Visit Devon Tourism Award Pub of the Year Gold Award in 2015. It also has two AA rosettes for culinary excellence.

Paul said: “The AA inspector said we were really thinking outside the box and that was a huge compliment.”

Last year, the pub was named as a highly commended winner in the national tourist board Visit England’s Awards for Excellence 2016. This award placed the Swan in the top five businesses for excellence in the pub category in England.

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