Swan & Edgar
© Anya Belikova
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu May 7 2009
A pub that doesn’t serve bitter, that has no written wine list, and where the chef advises against ordering the steak might not seem like the best of starts. Despite this, Swan & Edgar is a delightful place. The real ale (unspecified) was ‘on its way’; they have two handpumps installed. The wine list is brief – less than a score of wines – and still only verbal at this stage. And the steak? They weren’t happy with the quality the previous night, so were thinking of switching supplier. At least they warned us.
Swan & Edgar is tucked down a quiet residential backstreet in Marylebone. Yet it’s easy to spot because of the outdoor tables and long, filled bookshelf fixed a few feet over the entrance. Inside, the bar’s constructed of old paperbacks, candles burn on the small tables, and an iPod was playing Tracy Chapman on our visit. On tap were two lagers, Amstel and Asahi; we settled for an Argetinian merlot at £15.
The single-sheet menu comprises classic pub dishes from a scotch egg through a good-looking cheeseboard to bread and butter pudding with custard. Our roasted cod was two generous portions laid over crushed new potatoes, with a light cream and mustard sauce, at £9. A better cook would either have seared the skin to crisp it and cooked it until the flesh was just translucent, or served it without the skin if it were to be poached or cooked in a moist medium. The sauce lacked direction – it resembled just a bit of cream and mustard (not a proper sauce at all), and too much of it. The wild boar and apple sausages were good quality, if a little dry, which is what happens when you use a high proportion of meat. The accompanying mash was lumpy and underseasoned, the Bisto-like gravy slightly thin, but again, fair value. Ingredient quality is perhaps the strongest point, from the Melton Mowbray pies to the Wiltshire ham.
The bar’s so intimate that by the end of the evening we’d worked out the bar staff’s names, and even learned snippets about their lives. Mark also runs the Bourne & Hollingsworth bar in Fitzrovia; the blonde barmaid Anya is clearly a good friend. And the woman with the Morningside accent (listen carefully, you’ll just hear it) is Andria. There – no further introductions needed. Just pop round anytime for a Pimm’s, G&T, or glass or decent wine.
Swan & Edgar 43 Linhope Street
- Venue phone:
020 7724 6268
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 4-11pm Mon-Fri; 11am-11pm Sat, Sun
Tube: Marylebone tube/rail
Meal for two with wine and service: around £40
Swan & Edgar
- 43 Linhope Street
- 020 7724 6268
- 43 Linhope Street
- Swan & Edgar
Average User Rating
3.4 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
Smashing! Of course I miss those days when Swan and Edgar was my morning coffee destination in Piccadilly Circus yet now we are spoilet with this cosier version. The only thing is, how to sip a glorious glass of cabernet sauvignon without getting neck ache in trying to read all those titles. Me?? I'll suffer neck ache anytime.
Went there twice in February, and I am constantly stopping myself from falling into the temptation of going back as I am on a tight budget. The food is perfect, and I don't understand how people think the portions are tiny as stated in the comments bellow. Helpful and friendly staff, gorgeous low lit atmosphere. I will certainly go back.
How to spoil a lovely little local. As below portions were so small, we had to cook something when we got home and the quality was poor. My miniscule pieces of meat were mostly fat and the fish was rancid and nothing was hot. Add to that the waitress was very unpleasant. The wine was good, but did not make up for a very disappointing evening. I recommend only to go here for a drink .
Great atmosphere and nice food. Who cares if they don't stack up your plate to American sized portions?
We had dinner here last night with my boyfriend's family and it was absolutely fine. I had fish in a lemony herby crumb which came in a huge portion. The wine was good, and I thought the place was cute, if a little kitsch. It's a good choice in that neighbourhood, and great if you're dropping guests off at Marylebone station afterwards.
Very sweet pub but only eat there if you have a very very small appetite. Food is very tasty but the portions are ridiculously small. £14.50 for literally 5 mouthfuls of steak and 2 sliced up new potatoes with some fried onions is not good value. Would be nice if they sold crisps too, rather than very pricey selection of bar snacks.
Such a disappointment. A pub that doesn't serve ale, whose food portions are tiny and prices are over the top. There's no coffee either. Really really disappointing