Swinbrook: Pub Lunch For French President And Prime Minister 'An Honour'

31 January 2014, 16:40 | Updated: 1 February 2014, 10:17

An Oxfordshire landlord in Swinbrook says he's 'honoured' that David Cameron and Francois Hollande chose his pub for their working lunch earlier.

Mr Cameron and Mr Hollande dropped in at The Swan Inn in Swinbrook near Burford earlier for a working lunch.

The Prime Minister invited the French President to half a pint of ale and posh pub food at his local - but the pair toasted a defence and nuclear entente with French wine.

It's after announcing a two-year £120 million feasibility study for a new armed drone and joint work on an unmanned counter-mine craft at nearby RAF Brize Norton.

Mr Hollande appeared to enjoy the visit to the boutique Cotswolds gastropub on the banks of the River Windrush, which has featured in Downton Abbey and belongs to the last surviving Mitford sister.

The pair enjoyed locally-sourced potted shrimps, rainbow trout and Bramley apple and raisin crumble.

But despite announcing a new defence deal, it remained in doubt whether they had reached any agreement on which country has the best food.

British officials said the two leaders sampled ale from the local Hook Norton Brewery at the pub, but accompanied the meal with French red and white wine.

Landlord Archie Orr-Ewing said that while the Prime Minister had visited a few times, it was the first time he had hosted a president:

"They were a bit short on time - we managed to serve a couple of half pints of Hook Norton, our local brewery, at the table but there wasn't time for pork scratchings at the bar.

"It wasn't really a boozy occasion and it wasn't really about wine anyway, it was more about the food. We gave them our normal menu and those were the dishes they selected.

"They seemed to be getting on preety well. It was fascinating to watch them in action. There was a bit of a language barrier so they had interpreters, but they had a good lunch and a good chat."

"We are honoured that they chose our establishment to do business.''

Established in 1885, The Swan featured as a set for Lady Sybil's elopement with the family chauffeur on hit ITV show Downton Abbey.