A modern British restaurant next to the Globe Theatre.
What’s in a view, eh? A lot, if the Swan – a modern British restaurant attached to Bankside’s Shakespearean theatre – is anything to go by. Get a seat facing a window; by night the riverside aspect of an illuminated St Paul’s is a stunner. It’s a lovely room too: smart, chic and airy, a foil to the rammed bar downstairs. And the food? Swan’s exec chef is one Allan Pickett, late of smart French restaurant Piquet, so it’s a bit disappointing that, for the most part, the modern British cooking is wilfully one-note despite the picture-perfect presentation.
Things started well. A dish of sliced, near-translucent scallops with tiny blobs of squid-ink mayo and apple was rich and singular tasting, the marinated molluscs possessed of a cool, creamy bitterness. A massive pork croquette with a tart burnt-apple sauce was equally good.
However, main courses were mixed. A Cornish fish stew featured an impressive pile of mullet, mussel, scallop, bream and nicely bitey saffron potatoes, but the white-fish elements were interchangeable tastewise. But it was better than both a salty plate of slow-cooked ox cheek and a pretty dish of pea and shallot tortellini that demanded a broth rather than the thick pea puree it came with.
Still, full marks to the ‘floating island’ dessert, a cloud-light poached meringue bobbing in a fine custard, flecked with tiny nobbles of pink praline and chopped pistachio. It was one of the prettiest puds I’ve seen in aeons, and is a must for the sweet-toothed.
Missteps aside, Swan is a decent option for canny pre- and post-theatre diners in this relatively barren stretch of the South Bank (though not a cheap one). And it’s worth a trip just for that view.
|Venue name:||Swan at Shakespeare's Globe||Contact:|
21 New Globe Walk
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £105.|
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Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:2
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- 1 star:1
It would be worth booking into the Swan for the setting alone - summer evening (very tasty) cocktails over looking the Thames are truly hard to beat. However, the Swan is more than just a pretty face, the food is - particularly for a pre-theatre menu - really very good. It's slightly on the pricey side - but what can you expect with the setting and its pairing to the globe. Earn off your meal with standing cheap seats - and you've nearly got a not-too-expensive dinner + theatre night out!
Best place to go after the show, before the show or during the interval, or while seating in the groundling queue, or just for a loud drink...
After sitting down for our 1.30pm booking at 2pm I was apprehensive. The guy next to me ordered a glass of wine three time in fifteen minutes but was repetitively being asked if he would like coffee. But the menu looked good so we ordered. During the wait we had two wines delivered to which my wife asked the waiter for tap water, as he walked away hurriedly we muttered that we need to ask 'our' waiter. Rude. The meals were bunch, and it was obvious that they cook in batches, not fresh for each order. The toast, black pudding, the muffins (under the eggs Benedict), rosti were rock hard. They were probably good a few days ago, but time had hardened them to inedible. The restaurant was chaotic, loud, and infuriating. How they proport to feed you in time for a show at the amazing Globe- I have no idea. Never again.
River View Menu: 3 courses & a glass of sparkling wine £24.50
River View Menu with a complimentary glass of Chapel Down English Sparkling Rosé. Not available on bank holidays, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers, not available on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays.Offer valid until Jun 29 2017