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|Address:||21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT|
|Tel:||020 7928 9444|
|Price: £57.00||Wine: £18.50||Champagne: £46.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm (Sat-3.30pm) 5.30-10pm Sun 12N-6pm|
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Swan At The Globe is one of the best located bars in London. It makes full use of an unimpeded view across the river with its elevated position and a wall windows the width of the waterfront, through which the impressive dome of St Pauls looms large. I'm not sure how it manages it but in winter the bar feels cosy whilst in summer it's light and airy. Decor is simple with a mix of low squishy chairs, long wooden benches and high propping stools, all lit by some slightly quirky lightbulb pendants. Food in the bar is not really the draw (its British “tapas” would more accurately be described as British finger food in my opinion) but the cocktail list has high aspirations and quality/execution competes with the latest rash of London drinkeries. I had a few too many of the Lord Chamberlain on my last visit: a drink in which the champagne is “diluted” with gin and cucumber. Ha. The atmosphere is buzzy and fun, although the bar seems to be somewhat (blissfully) undiscovered; passers-by perhaps assuming that the bar is only accessible to theatre goers and theatre goers perhaps assuming you can't get back in to The Globe (both are wrong). It's a great place to have a drink when catching a show (the actors tend to come in post performance so you can goggle at them) but above all else this is an absolutely fantastic venue for any casual drinks gatherings: no irritating minimum spend limits (although they reserve the right to make a charge if your party doesn't show, fair enough) and no fuss with booking. We just organised a group of 40 or so for Saturday night drinks and were very happy with the friendly, faff-free approach and the area reserved for us. Table service can be a little slow, although friendly, but bar service is swift enough. This is an unpretentious, unexpected little gem on London's Southbank.