Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Eating pedigree pork helps keep rare breeds alive

We’re encouraging our diners to eat pedigree pork in a bid to help keep rare breeds being reared in the area from dying out.

Eating porkers such as Oxford Sandy and Blacks, sometimes referred to as the plum pudding or Oxford Forest pig, brings money into the porcine industry and helps breeding programmes develop.

Buying meat from these more unusual breeds who have had happy lives living near us in the heart of Devon is not only better for the diner, as they produce much tastier meat, but it’s also good for the producer as it makes it viable for them to keep these breeds going.

Our ethos has always been to provide good food, sourced locally wherever possible, while supporting other businesses in the community too. We’re hoping that by giving our customers more information on the provenance of the meat they are eating it will help them understand the importance of animal husbandry a bit better and also promote our wonderful suppliers who do such a fabulous job protecting rare breeds. It’s all about awareness really.

You can’t get any fresher or tastier produce than stuff reared nearby and also because we know our suppliers well, we know their animals are treated with respect and have happy and good lives.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Food Fashions

We’ve seen food fashions come and go but we have always been ahead of the trends.

In the past five years, posh burger bars seem to have taken over the high streets, we luckily have always prided ourselves on our homemade burgers, whether it’s beef & chilli, lamb & coriander or chicken & guacamole, a new one is in production.

People nowadays are not only more food aware, with cookery programmes on every channel, they are also more into the healthy options and they want it to be tasty. Our customers are much more likely to choose an alternative to potato and love to try all the new and exciting grains, beans and pulses that are now readily available, a long way from boiled rice, which was once deemed exotic.

Vegetarian dishes are not exclusive any more, and thank goodness, the cheese and pasta frozen bake is well in the past. We normally have at least three choices on our specials board and these can change daily. Not all of these are ordered by a veggie, we have some ‘proper’ meat eaters that opt for one of these dishes from time to time.

With the fact that even the local veg shops are stocking a more varied and exciting selection, the idea of whipping a new vegetarian dish up is no longer boring, added to that the abundance of fresh herbs and spices we can get hold of, the sky’s the limit!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

We’ve served up 10 years in Bampton

We’re celebrating this month (March, 2017) after dishing up a decade of evening meals and lunches in Bampton.

We have run two of the town’s pubs and the secret of our success is based on offering the very best in seasonal, regional ingredients alongside always trying to provide outstanding service.

Donna, who co-runs The Swan, said: “I’ve always been passionate about good food and I often fantasised about one day owning and running my own pub, and I really pestered Paul to do it. Now here we are, 10 years on, celebrating our anniversary in the same year that we have also had our pub placed in the top 50 gastropubs in the UK.

“We started out at The Quarryman’s Rest but took on The Swan in 2011and have never looked back. We recently posted a Wicked Wolf Gin and Thai Night on social media and sold out in 24 hours. We’re experiencing one of our busiest years so far and we’re only a quarter of the way in!

“We are so lucky living here in the Westcountry, we have local farmers supplying their beef, rare breed pork, lamb and poultry and the fishing communities providing us with the freshest Brixham haddock for our beer battered haddock and chips with crushed peas. On the menu at the moment we have locally-farmed salt brisket, Exmoor Ox cheek, Exmoor lamb and local pigs’ cheeks.