THE TEAM at a Devon pub are celebrating again today (February 2, 2018) after receiving a second prestigious accolade this week. The Swan at Bampton was presented with a highest climber award at the 2018 ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub Awards on Monday and won gold at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in Torquay.
Co-owner of the gastropub with rooms, Donna Berry, who jointly runs the pub with her husband and fellow Chef Patron Paul, said: “What a week! It was wonderful on Monday to hear that we were still within the top 50 gastropubs in the country and, also, to receive a special prize for being the highest climber in the chart, which is voted for by the industry. We’re now 28th in the country and among some great company.
“Now this! We just don’t know what to say, we’re now Tourism Pub of the Year 2018, across the South West. We’re absolutely delighted. These awards are a wonderful recognition of all we do here, the work our team puts in and the support we get from our suppliers and customers, we couldn’t do it without them. It’s amazing, thank you!”
The South West Tourism Excellence Awards, the culmination of a 10-month submission and judging programme, were presented at a black-tie dinner in the Arena at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay yesterday.
The pub and other tourism businesses from across the South West were named among the finalists for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in December. This year judges saw a record number of 647 entries from as far afield as the Isles of Scilly and Wiltshire, Dorset and Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
Judging involved studying website and review sites, looking at use of social media and, also, included 416 business visits, most of them unannounced mystery visits. Reports and recommendations were then submitted to an independent panel, which made the final decisions.
There were up to six finalists in each category and three were selected to win Gold, Silver or Bronze at the prestigious awards ceremony.
The Swan’s fellow finalists in Tourism Pub of the Year category were the Acorn Inn, Dorset, Pandora Inn, Cornwall, The Gurnard’s Head, Cornwall and The Luttrell Arms Hotel, Somerset. The Acorn Inn and Pandora Inn won the silver spot and The Gurnard’s Head and The Luttrell Arms Hotel took bronze.
Robin Barker, Director of Services for Tourism Ltd, who manage the Awards, commented: “Excellence is elusive. It requires patience, vision, consistency, commitment, drive, hard work, skill and often a bit of money. That’s not an easy list and I’d like to commend this year’s finalists for once again blowing the socks of the judges. You are a credit to tourism and the region is proud of you.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub Awards on Monday were voted for by food writers, executive chefs, celebrity and top hospitality industry chefs, pub guide editors, industry chiefs and food operators. Making those selected the industry’s choice.
The ceremony in York was organised by the publican’s publication The Morning Advertiser, which says the top 50 is the definitive list of the best gastropubs in Britain.
The Swan, which is an AA Four Star Gold Inn and the oldest pub in Bampton, has scooped a plethora of other awards for its food in the past few months and years, including being voted Best Dining Pub for 2018 in the Trencherman Awards and receiving a Gold Tourism Pub award in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards. It also has two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence.
As well as being famous for its food, The Swan also has three comfortable B&B rooms – a double with a queen size bed, another double and a twin. All three are en-suite and have luxury toiletries, towels and linens.
To find out more about The Swan, please call 01398 332248 or visit www.theswan.co.