Pershore Patty meets Barney Reynolds, Owner at The Swan Inn, Hanley Swan to ask a few personal questions and for a general nose.
Tell me a little bit about how you came to own or work in your business.
I have been in the industry since I left school with spells in bars and nightclubs and finally getting into dining pubs 15 years ago. When the Swan came up for sale a little over four years ago, being a local boy, I had to have it.
What achievements, awards or accolades are you proud of?
We are proud at turning this business from a failing village pub to one of the county’s best and busiest gastro-pubs. Having picked up several awards such as Dining Pub of the Year for Worcestershire last year, whilst awards such as that are welcome our joy comes from giving our customers a memorable time through great food and service.
Any news announcements, or events that you’d like new and existing customers to be aware of?
We are currently in the process of planning a whole new state of the art kitchen here at the Swan and trust me when I say the chefs are more than a little excited.
What makes your business unique?
I think we are the true definition of a gastro-pub. A term too widely used and often not liked by some in the industry. But we a re a real pub, with a great bar often overflowing with locals and we also do outrageously good food.
Favourite restaurant to visit if you get a night off?
Hand and Flowers – Marlow – Tom Kerridge, a friend of mine is the Sous Chef and their Duck Liver Parfait is a thing of beauty…..and their kitchen makes me cry with jealousy.
Last thing you watched on TV?
Minder. Nothing like the antics of Arthur Daley.
Which person in your life do you most admire and why?
Cheesy to say but my wife. She has not had an easy life when it comes to her health, but she just gets on with it with out a complaint.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
It was a travel cool box for one of our staff when they left us for pastures new. She loves to travel.
What’s your favourite smell in the whole world?
Fresh cut grass, nothing quite like it, or maybe a log fire in an old pub.
What’s your favourite kind of sandwich?
What is this Gavin and Stacy? Will I get in trouble with the vicar if I can’t answer? Ok it must be Cheddar cheese, cucumber, lettuce, and pickle.
Who would you want to cook your last meal on earth, and why?
Again, my wife, many years of perfecting a chilli recipe has led to the perfect dish.
What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
Yawning with out putting their hand over their mouth, drives me nuts.
If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Mussels, Chocolate and Heinz Baked Beans, though perhaps not together.
What’s your claim to fame?
I am related to the Danish Royal Family.
Which food & drink business (other than your own) do you wish you had created?
KFC, just so I could know what the secret combination of herbs and spices is.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If your turnover is a million pounds don’t spend a million and one.
If you could be anywhere else right now, where would it be?
On the piste in the French alps on a perfectly crisp clear day.
What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?
My Daughter popped home from University unannounced. Such a lovely surprise.
Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson.
Superdry Clothing. I can’t stop buying it. I need help……
As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
An airline pilot.
What is the perfect combination of pizza toppings?
Anything spicy . . . . the hotter the better.
What was the worst job you ever held and why?
Mowing grass at a campsite. It was far too easy and boring.
Queen. A song for every occasion.
What was the last thing you ate?
Mussels . . . see a previous answer. Can’t get enough of them.
Favourite cut of steak?
Sirloin, its all about that strip of fat beautifully rendered down.
What website do you visit most often?
I hang my head in shame when I admit that like most in our industry its TripAdvisor….. checking our reviews.
What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
Somersault over a bar. A skill learnt in my days running nightclubs.
What do you hope never changes?
Courtesy. Its nice to be nice as they say.
Any finally a question from those who are married to you…When are you coming home?
Like most in this industry I already am . . . . its just that my home has a hundred people eating in it.
This 17th century village Inn saw a substantial make over by its current landlord in 2015. The newly decorated pub and restaurant also boasts a real log fire and a conservatory which overlooks a duck pond and outside terrace area. Perfect for sitting and watching the ducks and geese pottering around on the village green.
The Swan Inn offers 5 individually styled and affordable en-suite guest rooms, which includes breakfast in the price. As well as being hugely popular with the locals, word is starting to spread further afield resulting in the popular gastro-pub to be voted ‘the best pub in Worcestershire’ by The National Pub and Bar Awards 2017.
According to Wikipedia Hanley Swan was an inspiration for the setting in the novel ‘Black Swan Green by David Mitchell’. The charming and picturesque village is situated just 2 miles from the idyllic Malvern hills and tourist hot spot, Upton-Upon-Severn in the glorious Worcestershire countryside.
The Foodie Card offer – 15% off the bill when dining (Mon-Thurs).