Head chef Pete and his wife Emma lived in Enford for 12 years before the run down, village-owned pub came up for tenancy. With a move closer to their jobs in Hampshire on the cards, they were stopped in their tracks. This was their dream come true.
Following extensive refurbishment they opened in July 2014 as a proper community pub. “We’re not trying to be a gastro pub. We just want to be a pub that serves tasty homemade local food where people go if they don’t want to cook themselves, or just fancy an inexpensive meal out with family or friends.”
From all accounts they’re doing something right. Regulars love their favourites board with Chilli, proper pie, The Swan’s Burger and cheesecake amongst others – their chips are legendary. Their menu is dictated by their customers and a specials board features dishes such as wild sea bass with parsley cream, poached samphire and new potatoes. They’re busy 7 days a week.
It’s a cosy beamed pub with a roaring fire from autumn through to late spring. They do outside catering, there’s a shop facility where locals can order groceries and Hub in the Pub on Thursdays means villagers can get together over coffee and cake with all proceeds going to charity.
Their dogs Digger & Pickle welcome other pooches and there are toy baskets for children of all ages. They’ve recently opened a beer garden, held their first beer festival and have plans for a B&B.
We have Salisbury Plain on our doorstep and walk our dogs there every day. We love the peace and quiet it offers and the open expanse of the countryside.
Pete and Emma
Wiltshire Life Pub of the year 2017
We are running our Christmas hampers again so that people can order their Christmas dinner from us, collect all the ingredients they need on Christmas Eve and avoid the supermarket queues!
We love a walk in Savernake amongst its ancient woodland and majestic oak trees. There are plenty of marked paths and a real sense of history – do some reading up on it first and discover all kinds of adventure. We particularly love the area around St Katherine’s and the Grand Avenue, which was once used as an air strip and ammunition store in WW2. The bluebells are amazing in May and much quieter than other bluebell woods in Wiltshire. If you can, walk the forest at dawn or dusk when there’s a better chance of spotting the deer. If you’re really lucky, they’ll cross in front of you and the sunrise never fails to be spectacular.
Farmers have to deal with all kinds of issues but diversification has never looked better we think! The Old Potato Yard has our favourite café – Mipo, who serve the most delicious hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows but that’s not all! We love Planks Farm shop, the gift side of Mipo and also the Inner Yard, which sells unusual things for house and home (quite a lot of which can be found in The Swan!). The Pilates barn is popular too and we get our hanging baskets from the little plant shop there as well as a good nosy around the small antiques shop. A perfect way to spend a Saturday morning for us!
The single reason we decided to stay put. Salisbury Plain is on our doorstep and we absolutely love it! We walk our dogs, Digger and Pickle, on the plains every day and love the peace and quiet it offers. You can walk for miles with no fences or gates and enjoy great open expanses of our countryside. From the pub car park, you can be on the plains in minutes and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see parachutists from Netheravon airfield making their descent, the Hercules carriers practising at Upavon as well as deer. We can let you know of the best walks from the Pub. It’s gorgeous in the sunshine but there’s even a beauty in the rain!