We’re Donna and Paul Berry, a husband and wife team, who have run pubs in Bampton for more than 12 years, we’re behind Spelt, which is a restaurant based in a former bakery in the heart of the picturesque Devon market town.
We also run the multi-award-winning Swan in Bampton too. It is ranked at 20 in the ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropubs and the AA named us as the nation’s ‘Inn of the Year’ 2019-20.
Our pub has a plethora of other accolades including being named Gold Tourism Pub of the Year 2018 at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards and being voted Best Dining Pub for 2018 in the Trencherman Awards.
We also retained our four AA Gold Stars and two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence in 2018, for the fourth year running, and Donna was a finalist in both the Devon Life and Trencherman Awards.
Here at Spelt, we started from scratch with a blank canvas and put in kitchen equipment, furnishings and fittings to create our restaurant. The bakery began life in the 1700s, so Paul came up with the name Spelt, which is an old-fashioned grain.
Designed to appeal to all Bampton’s eclectic residents and visitors, our new restaurant has three open-plan areas each decorated slightly differently, one with a fireplace and chandelier in a reds and purples colour palette. Another is funky with retro pictures and then the middle area is clean, bright and modern.
The inspiration for Spelt came from our love of Barcelona, which we’ve been visiting for a number of years now. We love the Spanish idea of sharing food. However, Spelt is not a tapas bar but it is something similar, being more about the flavour of the food than fine dining.
We serve a collection of dishes that have been developed for sharing, so no starters as such and no mains either, so if two people are going to eat, possibly they’d have four or five plates of food.
It’s an exciting time for us but we will not be taking our eyes off the ball at the pub. We have a deep-rooted passion for The Swan, and it is just as important to us today, as it was more than eight years ago when we took it on.