Tuesday, 15 September 2015

An inspector calls and great fun in a barn .

Another month flown by, which we started with a meandering trip out to Clavelshay Barn Restaurant for a Somerset Chefs Club dinner. The venue is on the out skirts of Taunton and we went down roads that we didn’t know existed, maybe we shouldn’t have driven down some!! But what stunning scenery and abundant wild life we passed on our way, The Barn was equally impressive, an awful lot of work, care and love have gone into this fine old building. We spent the evening with a great mix of people, a few of the guys from The Beach Hotel were there, and its amazing to watch and listen to their take on the wonderful food presented to us during the evening, some overly enthusiastic and some quite shy, but all with a genuine love of the trade, so we will still be able to eat out in years to come. Olivier and his team supplied a mouth watering menu of , crab, belly pork, gurnard, lamb and a truly yummy strawberry and lemon dessert, I’m not elaborating to much on the dishes because hopefully you will travel out to taste these treats for yourselves, well worth the drive.

That was our treat for the month over; we then steeled ourselves for the crazily busy month ahead and we were not wrong, the room and table booking were crazy, with no let up. We’ve met some amazing and lovely people and hope that we served them well and that they enjoyed there time at The Swan.

One gentleman that did enjoy his time with us was the AA inspector, he did a dine and stay with us, so after breakfast he revealed his identity to Paul, they then proceeded to discuss the findings of his inspection, busily unaware of what was going on, I continued prepping in the kitchen, whilst in the bar a little later getting some ale for my rarebit Paul called me over to introduce me and tell me the brilliant news that we had gained another rosette and the room rating had gone from 4 stars to 4 star gold, Paul didn’t come down to earth for about a week, whereas it look me about a week for it all to sink in, so well done Team Swan, 2 AA rosettes and 4 star gold rating for rooms, a brilliant accolade for Bampton and Mid Devon.

Strange that on the night the inspector ate we also had a previous winner of Masterchef dining as well, good spotting from our eagle eyed staff, he was amazed that he had been recognised as it was a few years back, thank goodness he enjoyed his food too.

Only a few days later we were approached to appear on 4 In A Bed, this was not the first time we had been asked, but once again we declined, neither Paul or myself are overly fussed about having our photos taken, so viewing ourselves on TV sounds like our worst nightmare, the thought of being so closely scrutinized is really not something we feel we have to put ourselves through, normal days can be quite challenging enough.

With Steve the manager away for the quiz evening, which normally is his forte, I had to step up to the mark. To say looking at a room full of expectant people is scary, probably an understatement the evening went well. This month was in support of the Riverside Hall a building run by and for the people of Bampton.

One evening whilst waiting on tables I got talking to 2 lovely couples, one of the ladies had used my Panna Cotta recipe, so later on whilst clearing the desert plates I was asked about the Pistachio  and Olive Oil cake, when I told them I had also made that, hubby piped up that he wanted to marry me, my reply was I'm afraid I'm already taken but I will put the recipe in my next column…… so here it is.

NEWS JUST IN we have just heard that we have made the finals of the Devon Life Gastro pub of the year 2015 we are so excited, thanks to everyone that voted for us, award ceremony in November

Pistachio and olive oil cake
3         large eggs
200g-castor sugar
100g butter, melted and cooled
125ml olive oil
1/2         lemon juiced and zest
1/2         orange juiced and zest
50g         fine polenta
50g         plain flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
200g ground pistachio nuts

1.  Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2.  Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
3.Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on a high speed for a few minutes, until light and frothy. 4.In another bowl, mix the melted butter, olive oil, and orange and lemon juices together.
5.Fold this into the egg mixture.
6.Sift the polenta; flour and baking powder together then fold in the ground pistachios.
7.Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture, taking care not to overwork the cake batter.
8.Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35–40 minutes until a cake skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

We served a chocolate sorbet with this cake, warm or cold it will take almost anything, cream, fruit or even a jam

Lastly can we trouble you to vote for us in The Trencherman's Awards 2016. this is a truly high award to receive as it represents the best in The South West. so we thank you for ttaking the time to vote for us  

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