Husband and wife-team Paul and Donna Berry, our chef-patrons, have been dishing up heavenly meals and hospitality in the heart of Devon for the past 11 years.
Both are talented, award-winning, industry-acclaimed chefs, who have gained a reputation for creating some of the region’s tastiest dishes while also serving up a warm welcome.
They have run two of Bampton’s gastropubs and say the secret of their success is based on offering the very best in seasonal, regional ingredients alongside top-notch customer service.
Donna had always been passionate about good food and often dreamt about one day owning and running her own pub, so she pestered Paul to do it.
They started out at The Quarryman’s Rest but took on The Swan in 2011 and have never looked back.
Before working together in Bampton, Paul ran his own pub in Berkshire (am I making this up Paul?) and Donna worked in various kitchens in South Devon.
Donna says: “I am really lucky to be able to do the thing I love as a job and on my days off you’ll still find me in the kitchen. I can’t get enough of it really.
“We close for food on Mondays, so we can re-charge our batteries. But on these days, when no one is here, I still spend my time in the kitchen inventing new dishes and experimenting.
“My big love is seafood. I enjoy it all. I get very, very excited when we get something different from our fish suppliers. I am a bit like a child in a candy shop when the delivery van doors open.
“I am such a devoted foodie that I like to go and see what everyone else is doing in the area when I can too.”
Donna and Paul have seen food fashions come and go but have always been ahead of the trends.
“We at The Swan have always tried to stick to our ethos of sourcing as much local produce as possible and using what is in season. So, with much talk of food miles over past years, we were already in the right place, to us it always seemed simple and really couldn’t work out what the fuss was about. The fact that if it’s not travelling hundreds of miles and is homegrown on your doorstep, surely means that its fresher and not going to cost you an arm and a leg?”