Food review

THE BLACK Swan in Devizes is back in action with a mouthwatering menu crafted by an award-winning chef.

The pub has been controversial in the past – known as a hidden gem for some but as a cluttered corner of town for others.

Back in 2014, it was rumoured that celebrity chef Marco Pierre White would take over the pub, before it emerged that antique dealer John Chapman had in fact become the new boss.

But now, the Black Swan finally is home to an esteemed chef, who comes with two AA rosettes.

Kev and Steph Chandler officially took on the Wadworth pub this year, and began work to bring its interior into the 21st Century.

Gone is the somewhat shabby interior that some may remember, and now a chic and trendy dining experience now awaits diners with a menu detailed by Kev.

The chef, who has lived in Wiltshire since the age of 10 has a vast career that began at the Bridge Inn in West Lavington which led, with many adventures in between, to a head chef role at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Marlborough.

With his extensive CV, he could have chosen to move to London and run a high-end restaurant, but instead chose to return to his roots, and take on a piece of Devizes history.

The menu boasts a vast array of local suppliers; such as Walter Rose and Country Cottage Cakes and Bakery, both in Devizes, and the Ludgershall-based The Flat Cap Coffee Roasting Company

I was out dining with a name very familiar to those of you reading the Devizes edition of the paper. Jo Moore is still a brimming fountain of knowledge when it comes to the town, and even now she still very patiently lets me pick her brains.

But the seasoned reporter, who has countless food reviews under her belt, didn’t notice when I tucked into my starter without pausing to take a photo.

She did the same, with her gin and citrus cured chalk steam trout, whipped ricotta and watercress (£9.50) before we realised our mistake.

My starter, pressed chicken and Jersey royal terrine, pickled veg, mustard ketchup (£8.50) was almost been entirely scoffed, but that does speak to how moreish it was.

In a slightly boring move, considering it was a food review, we opted for identical mains. Jo had said the fish was a speciality and I was also keen to sample some.

We had halibut on the bone, served with peas a la francaise, Jersey Royals and hollandaise (£24.00) washed down with some white wine. The portion sizes for each course were generous but not heavy, and the fish practically fell off the bone, it was so delicate.

Full from our first two courses, we opted to share panna cotta Due to my pesky gut, it needed to be adapted slightly to become an option for a coeliac, with a neat deconstructed dessert offered to ensure I could eat it safely.

It was a comforting evening and the Black Swan already has created a homely feel in their dining area, and when we visited the restaurant was full with diners.

Jo also enjoyed her meal and, in less words rather than more, added that the pub was now “the best of both worlds, with character but not clutter!”

The Black Swan Inn, 25-26, The Market Pl, Devizes

Breakfast, lunch and dinner served as well as a bar serving drinks

Telephone Number

01380 727777


To book a table, visit