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Take five with Donna

We managed to catch five minutes with our chef-patron Donna. To find out what makes her tick and about the background story behind our award-winning pub.

How did it all started?

“When Paul and I met, he’d been running other award-winning pubs with his mum in Buckinghamshire. I was chef-ing in and around Torquay and Babbacombe in Devon. But I really wanted to go into business together and dreamt of having a country pub with the roses around the door.

“We haven’t quite got the roses but everything else is as I’d imagined it really. I really pestered Paul into going for it and coming to the Westcountry to find a pub! To begin with the big debate was who was going to be front of house and who was going to be in the kitchen. I started out doing the front of house job but now our roles have reversed.”

What was the big idea?

“My idea was to run a wonderful country pub with stunning food and a warm welcome. I do think we’ve managed to strike the perfect balance here at The Swan between a traditional pub that suits the regulars and a more contemporary eatery with good décor, service, ambience and food to bring in clientele from further afield. We’ve also got rooms at the pub so people come and stay and use us as a base to explore the area.”

How much do you love your job?

“I am also really lucky to be able to do the thing I love as a job. On my days off you’ll still find me in the kitchen. I can’t get enough of it really.”