Top 20 gastropub hosts French Night in Somerset


TWO TOP Westcountry chefs from one of the nation’s top 20 gastropubs will be hosting a special French tasting menu pop-up event in Somerset this winter (November 2019).

Paul Berry, who co-owns the multi-award-winning, Swan in Bampton, Devon, and the establishment’s Head Chef, Olivier Certain will be at Clavelshay Barn between Taunton and Bridgwater on November 9.

Sue Milverton, who owns Clavelshay Barn near North Petherton, said:

“We are delighted to welcome these two wonderful guest chefs, Olivier Certain and Paul Berry, from the AA Inn of The Year 2019, The Swan, Bampton, to Clavelshay Barn to host our French Night on Saturday, November 9.

“Guests will be able to tantalise their taste buds with their classic French tasting menu, which includes canapés, cheese soufflé, cod brandade, home-made blackberry sorbet, coq au vin, pommes purée, a cheese course featuring Vacherin Mont d’or followed by apple tarte tatin, coffee and petit fours.”

It’s not the first time Olivier has cooked at Clavelshay Barn having previously worked as Sue’s Head Chef two years ago.

Sue added:

“Our loyal diners will be very familiar with Olivier’s cooking. He is an incredible French chef, who has a flair for creating some of the most fabulous food I have ever tasted.”

Olivier is now Head Chef at The Swan, which has recently retained its four AA Gold Stars as well as two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence for five years running and was named by the AA as the nation’s ‘Inn of the Year’ 2019.

It also polled in at number 20 in the ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub Awards this year. It was the highest climber in the list in 2018, when it was rated 28th.

The pub’s Chef-Patron Paul, who runs the business with his wife and fellow chef Donna, said:

“We’ve known Sue for a number of years and have wanted to collaborate more with her as time has gone on.

“Clavelshay Barn is located at the foot of the picturesque Quantock Hills in an idyllic location that’s just wonderful to cook and dine in, so we’re really excited and looking forward to helping Sue with this pop-up event. It also means many of our customers who currently cross the border to come and dine with us in Devon will now be able to book in to have a meal we’ve cooked closer to home.”

The Swan, which is located in Devon’s heartland, and its team are no stranger to awards. It was named Gold Tourism Pub of the Year 2018 at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards and was voted Best Dining Pub for 2018 in the Trencherman Awards.

Donna was also one of three finalists in the Devon Life and Trencherman Awards in 2018.

After the success of The Swan, Donna and Paul and their team had a vision to create a new concept style restaurant and launched Spelt at an old bakery shop in Bampton, offering a selection of dishes developed for sharing. Spelt is set to open this month (September).

Meanwhile, Sue started Clavelshay Barn, which has also won many awards, on her family farm when she and her husband, Bill restored and converted a 18th century stone barn into a restaurant with a focus on locally sourced, sustainable and seasonal ingredients.

Sue, who has recently changed the direction of the business, added:

“After 14 happy, successful and hectic years, I have decided that it is time for me to step back and take some time off to spend with my family. I am also a keen photographer and would like to be able to pursue this further too.

“This means that Clavelshay Barn closed its doors as a restaurant, in its current form at the start of September. However, it is not the end, just a new direction.

“From now onwards, we will be holding special events, pop up suppers and guest chef dinners like this one with Paul and Olivier. The barn will be available to hire for private functions such as parties and intimate weddings. We will also be running workshops connecting nature, art and food, subjects close to my heart.”

For further details of the French Night at Clavelshay Barn on Saturday, November 9, featuring chefs Paul Berry and Olivier Certain from The Swan, please call01278 662629 or email The pop-up night costs £45 per person. Booking is essential.

To find out more about The Swan, please call 01398 332248 or visit