The list— No. 20

The Swan

Fishing, shooting and hunting. It’s just another day at the Swan in Bampton, Devon, which is claimed to be the oldest pub in the area and is just a short journey from Exmoor National Park.

Eat, drink and sleep at the Swan, which has a contemporary yet traditional interior and a relaxed atmosphere.

It’s got everything you need from an Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub – good grub, good drink and fine rooms.

Run by husband-and-wife team Paul and Donna Berry, the Swan hides nothing and is more substance over style, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot of thought hasn’t gone into each carefully crafted dish.

Small plates, not starters, consist of dishes such as ox cheek lasagne, duck liver parfait and scallops with Bombay potato, onion, curry.

Mains will set you back a modest sum and include the classics, along with some more modern dishes. You’ve got the likes of steak, kidney and ale pudding, fillet of Brixham cod and slow-cooked salt brisket. Yum!

Puddings are all reasonably priced and range from the lighter, such as white chocolate pannacotta, to the indulgent ooey, gooey sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream – we’re sweating for a liberal slab of that one.

This award-winning pub is going from strength to strength after receiving two accolades in November.

The Swan was presented with a Gold Tourism Pub award in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards and won Best Dining Pub in the Trencherman Awards 2018.

The 2017 Devon Tourism Awards judge the Swan displayed “exemplary service combined with top quality food”.

Trencherman editor Jo Rees says: “It is difficult to get into the guide in the first place – restaurants have to meet 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.”

Paul, who is a leading chef with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, explained: “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 scooped a plethora of awards for its food in the past few years including being voted Best Trencherman’s Pub in 2016 and receiving a Visit Devon Tourism Award, Pub of The Year Gold Award in 2015. It has two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence.

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

In 2016, the pub was named as a Highly Commended winner in the national tourist board VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2016. This Award places The Swan in the top five businesses for excellence in the pub category in England.

The Swan

The Swan
Station Road
EX16 9NG

01398 332248


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