The Swan at Birlingham, near Pershore, gets new owners and a new look

Malvern Gazette: NEW OWNERS: The Swan at Birlingham NEW OWNERS: The Swan at Birlingham

A POPULAR country pub near Pershore has new owners and is getting a bright, new look.

Thought to date back around 500 years, the Swan at Birlingham has been bought by the Russon family – well known in the area after running a number of local pubs and restaurants in and around Stratford-on-Avon.

Peter Brunt from Colliers International said the ‘roses around the door’ pub - which sold off an asking price of £439,950 freehold – would hopefully re-open later in July.

He said: “The Swan Inn was rightly renowned and regulars can be assured it will be in very safe hands now the Russons have taken over the reins.

“This is an idyllic country pub with thatched roof and roses around the door in the tourist hotspot of the Wychavon between Worcester and Cheltenham. In terms of archetypal English pub it’s truly got the lot.”

Zoe Haines said the family had big plans for the Swan Inn – but were determined to preserve its traditional country character.

She said: “We are aiming to beautify the building, moving the bar and creating a more contemporary interior, refurbishing the conservatory as well as updating the gardens and restoring the property to what it should be - a traditional black and white thatched inn.”

The Russon family has operated many pubs in the area including the Howard Arms in Illmington, the Ferry Inn in Alveston and the Russons fish restaurant in Stratford, but it is the first time Zoe and husband Will have taken over day to day responsibility.

Zoe said she was excited by the prospect of having the entire family lending a hand.

“At the moment it is very much a drinkers’ pub but we want to add classy food alongside traditional pub favourities. There will also be lots of fish dishes!”

Peter Brunt – who specialises in finding new owners for pubs and hotels in the greater Cotswolds region – said being in close proximity to Worcester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Evesham gave the Swan a rich catchment area as well as thriving visitor trade.

Comments (4)

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10:52pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Worcester1651 says...

So this means that the pub is going to look great outside and really posh inside and the locals who love to have a pint and a chat and play a game of dominoes or darts will not be able to because of all the food being served . It will be another pub with no locals but outsiders. Bang goes another community pub !!!
So this means that the pub is going to look great outside and really posh inside and the locals who love to have a pint and a chat and play a game of dominoes or darts will not be able to because of all the food being served . It will be another pub with no locals but outsiders. Bang goes another community pub !!! Worcester1651
  • Score: 16

12:44pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Andy-Apache says...

I think it's a sign of the times. Pubs *must* expand their services in order to survive. I know a few publicans, and all will say the profits on alcohol alone are not enough (due in the main to high taxation) to maintain a profitable business, so one must serve food in order to stay afloat. It can work though. For examples around Malvern, see Nags Head, Chase Inn, Wyche Inn, red Lion etc.
I think it's a sign of the times. Pubs *must* expand their services in order to survive. I know a few publicans, and all will say the profits on alcohol alone are not enough (due in the main to high taxation) to maintain a profitable business, so one must serve food in order to stay afloat. It can work though. For examples around Malvern, see Nags Head, Chase Inn, Wyche Inn, red Lion etc. Andy-Apache
  • Score: 2

10:46am Fri 20 Jun 14

Lord Newbold says...

It is just another attempt to make an excellent thatched building more profitable and hopefully a tourist attraction.
When alterations are taking place surely they could create a special area were meals are not served setting out for the locals to play darts, cards dominoes, and skittles.
I say this because when smoking was banned from public houses and restaurants. They immediately created smoking areas to appease those customers who wished to smoke. On the other hand, they could just ignore the current regulars whom they have relied on over the years to keep the pub open.
Remember where there is a will there is always a way.
It is just another attempt to make an excellent thatched building more profitable and hopefully a tourist attraction. When alterations are taking place surely they could create a special area were meals are not served setting out for the locals to play darts, cards dominoes, and skittles. I say this because when smoking was banned from public houses and restaurants. They immediately created smoking areas to appease those customers who wished to smoke. On the other hand, they could just ignore the current regulars whom they have relied on over the years to keep the pub open. Remember where there is a will there is always a way. Lord Newbold
  • Score: 4

4:48pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Hezzageeza says...

I would like to clear things up here, this pub was most certainly NOT just a 'drinkers' pub'. My wife and I frequently ate there and very rarely went in just for a drink. The food was excellent with classy food as well as traditional country pub cuisine. The puddings were all home made and they were to die for, as many of the regulars and one time visitors would attest to. Not many 'gastro pubs' can make that claim.

This pub has been the heart of the community for a long time and certainly over the past 12 years under the previous owners it provided the sort of hostelry that the local trade wanted, a nice area to sit and have a drink, chat and a game of darts if you wished, great food in a separate eating area with a lovely traditional cottage garden. No planters or fixed benches and arbours in sight.

Please be sympathetic to this endangered species as not many traditional country pubs are left and please be considerate to the wishes of your local regulars whom you will be dependent on in the quiet months (and there will be some).....
I would like to clear things up here, this pub was most certainly NOT just a 'drinkers' pub'. My wife and I frequently ate there and very rarely went in just for a drink. The food was excellent with classy food as well as traditional country pub cuisine. The puddings were all home made and they were to die for, as many of the regulars and one time visitors would attest to. Not many 'gastro pubs' can make that claim. This pub has been the heart of the community for a long time and certainly over the past 12 years under the previous owners it provided the sort of hostelry that the local trade wanted, a nice area to sit and have a drink, chat and a game of darts if you wished, great food in a separate eating area with a lovely traditional cottage garden. No planters or fixed benches and arbours in sight. Please be sympathetic to this endangered species as not many traditional country pubs are left and please be considerate to the wishes of your local regulars whom you will be dependent on in the quiet months (and there will be some)..... Hezzageeza
  • Score: 11

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