Shropshire Star

The Newport pub that's a fun place to visit with families and dogs all made to feel welcome

As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Shropshire Star continues its new series, Love Your Local, which celebrates our local inns.

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Love Your Local: The Swan Inn, Newport

Shropshire has a rich history of being home to pubs dating back centuries, each with a story to be told and a unique character.

The Swan Inn, in Newport, is centuries old, but today the family that runs the business has a purpose to make it a venue where families can come and enjoy themselves. In fact the operators feel that turning their pub into a family-fun venue where children can enjoy themselves just as much as adults is their unique selling point. Not to be left out, dogs are also made to feel welcome.

Husband and wife team Ed and Danielle Davies run the pub together, along with the eight hotel rooms which have become popular in the town.

Danielle, 35, initially took over the running The Swan Inn in March 2021 alongside a business partner, but in August that year, Ed joined too. Since then the pair, both coming from sales backgrounds, have used their experience of customer service and and interaction to their advantage to make their experiences with customers a pleasant experience.

Ed, 39, previously worked in business-to-business sales, selling electronic equipment in Europe, but after Brexit affected his working relationship with the EU, he decided to quit and joined his partner, Danielle and join the hospitality industry full time.

Speaking about that change, Ed said: "It was a big career change, but there are also some form of similarities in the job because of the relationship you have with people.

"You have to be a peoples person in this job, and so I enjoy that aspect.

"The sales background of meeting and greeting people - there isn't a massive difference, of course the difference is the terms of trade, but essentially people are coming in to buy a product or service, so it makes it natural.

"It helps that we are very sociable people and enjoy meeting and greeting people - the interactions we get with customers is great."

They both also live at the pub too, along with their four children, who all enjoy the experience of having the business.

Alongside the pub is a hotel which has eight rooms available and Ed said this has been a popular place to stay in Newport.

Ed added: "We have a hotel which is available on - it's essentially like having two businesses in one, and we get a lot of trade from it.

"There aren't many places to stay around Newport and so it certainly keeps us busy.

"Plus the pub itself is quite historic, and from what I know, it is at least hundreds of years old, but I do not know how old exactly."

The pub is a very traditional looking pub both in the exterior and interior, with classic open fires inside that the customers enjoy, as it gives a warm, cosy feeling.

One thing that is unique about The Swan Inn, is that Ed and Danielle have made the theme of the establishment about making it a family venue.

Speaking about the family theme, Ed said: "We do a lot of events in the pub, and we have a lot of space on the grounds outside and so we have run a lot of charity campaigns and events on the grounds outside - utilising all the space that we have.

"We have run events such as kids Halloween events, a pumpkin carving event, and we will be hosting a Christmas grotto soon too which is a really popular event.

"We feel that this is our USP, by running a lot of family events. Some pubs are a bit sporty but we do not try and compete with that and so this is our unique theme.

"It is certainly different from the normal pub but it has been really successful for us, and it makes for quite a fun, pleasant atmosphere around the place.

"Customers and families come here knowing it will be a pleasant experience and kids will enjoy themselves.

"And this has been a hit with the community who have been incredibly supportive. We had around 80-100 people turn up to the pumpkin carving event.

"We really do utilise all our outside space to its maximum, and we've been able to host food festivals, open mic events and even do live music in the summer too."

Along with making families feel welcome at the pub, Ed and Danielle have also made the point that dogs are also welcome to enter the property. They feel that making it a place that welcomes dogs, also helps them and makes it a special place.

The Swan Inn will be hosting a special Christmas event on Saturday, December 10, where the team will be putting on a fantastic day including a kids Christmas party with market stalls with lots of food and drink, gifts - making it a cosy, fun, Christmas spirit-filled day.

The pub also hosts kids movie nights which Ed said is really popular.

Like many other pubs nationwide, the business has been affected by the ongoing energy and cost of living crisis.

Ed added: "It certainly is tough, and it is tough for any brewery in general, but we're happy that it does get busy around this time of the year approaching Christmas, and we feel that our family themed USP helps us, alongside the warmth feel of the pub and the events.

"We get a good blend of people coming in - it is tough but we are getting through it."