Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe

Afternoon tea, Bars, British·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe

Bronze Award


This all-day British restaurant and bar seems to hold all the trump cards since its 2017 refurbishment, with an enviable Thames-side location, views of St Paul’s, guaranteed buzz from the neighbouring Globe and now, a star chef in Allan Pickett. Best known for his short-lived 2015 restaurant Piquet, Fitzrovia’s loss has been Swan’s gain because Pickett’s beautifully presented, best-of-British cooking feels right at home here. Sitting above a more casual bar and diner, the second-floor restaurant has been smartened up, with a few flashes of peacock-blue and plenty of bare wood, leaving the wall of windows to do the talking. The menus run the gamut from bacon brioche buns at breakfast to roast UK cuts on Sundays, with lunch and dinner offering the same array of classic British standards, all supported by a well-organised lineup of global wines. A disarmingly pretty dish of marinated scallops arrives dotted with jet-black squid ink mayonnaise, bursting with Granny Smith juice, while a potentially stodgy combination of faggot and venison haunch in gravy buzzes with the tang of pickled red cabbage and damson preserve. Of course, the seasonal menu changes often but Pickett’s delicate knack for maximising flavours should elevate Swan’s kitchen all year round. On the downside, vegetarians have little choice, while pricier, heartier mains are unfathomably served without adequate trimmings. These points aside, the Swan’s second act deserves to break a leg.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Afternoon tea, Bars, British
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Waterside
Group dining [8+], Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating


21 New Globe Walk, Southwark, London, SE1 9DT

020 7928 9444


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm


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9 Reviews 

Susan A

28 December 2017  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
Great drinks party
We are very impressed by the Swan! We had a very happy drinks party for family and friends in a separate area at one end of the bar. The event organiser was totally helpful and the principal waitress on the day was commended by guests. We felt very welcome. The backdrop of St Pauls was dramatic. A variety of interesting food, including canapés and sharing platters, and drinks was pre-ordered, with extra drinks from the bar available on the day. The cost was good value as no charge was made for the space, which benefitted from the general atmosphere in the bar, although there was a room behind a glass door for smaller groups. Two people in wheelchairs were accommodated without fuss (disabled parking nearby). A memorably happy event enabled by the professionalism of the Swan, for which many thanks.

Emma O

22 December 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
An absolute must go to!
This restaurant is superb. The food is always spot on, the staff couldn't be nicer and that view is breathtaking. I have eaten here with friends and family many times and held many events here and Lucy and her team look after us every time. An absolute must go to that I think gets over looked, how it is not in the Square Meal top 100 in London - I do not know!

Sarah M

19 December 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Birthday treat
On finding out the The Swan did afternoon teas, I was thrilled to find they could accommodate my party of 10 on the day itself. The booking was attentively handled, including some to-ing and fro-ing about numbers and diets. I was even more delighted to find we'd been put in the Bullroom (private space at the end of the main restaurant). The food and service were both excellent - dietary idiosyncrasies carefully accommodated - and the sweet & savoury balance of the menu was spot on. (The bite-sized quiche and the mulberry jam were particularly tasty.) The "gentlemen" tried to finish their gentleman's teas - all but the rugby-player-in-training were defeated by the size of the plate, but all pronounced it excellent too. Doggy-bags (cake boxes) are available and were put to use on departure ... A fantastic view as always, a delightful venue which pleased all the guests, and a wonderful afternoon for all.

Debbie K

14 December 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Perfect Setting for a Team Christmas Dinner
We hired the River Room at the Swan and what an absolute delight it was. From the initial enquiry through to the event itself, everything ran so smoothly and nothing was too much trouble. The staff were amazing, attentive but not over the top. Food was exquisite and the choice wide and varied. The view over the Thames was breath taking and everyone said that they would return again on their own. Would definitely recommend

Ruth W

28 October 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Delicious Dinner
I recently took my family friends to the Swan for a dinner whilst they were over in the UK on holiday. We had a lovely table overlooking the River Thames and St Pauls. It was a busy Saturday night which gave the restaurant a great atmosphere. We all opted for different dishes and all sneaked a little bit of each other’s and I could not fault any of them, however the desserts were definitely the best course! Not big drinkers but we did have a last of English sparkling wine to start. Really great restaurant - will definitely be going back.

Anna K

25 October 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
I was there last week with my family and I had the best time!! Definitely go for the short rib of beef, it was so delicate and tender!Service was great too!

Keith C

24 October 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
Highly recommended
We had a fantastic dinner before seeing a play at the Globe Theatre a couple of weeks ago, which is immediately adjacent. The view of the River Thames and St. Paul's are a pure delight, so was the theatre menu, especially the chicken and ham terrine. The staff were most helpful, very attentive and even arranged for a taxi reservation for after the performance. Highly recommended.

Yvonne T

04 May 2017  
A great modern venue with plenty of atmosphere. The food is varied, with plenty of choice and staff available to tend the tables. The views of the River are a bonus!

Julie R

21 October 2016  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 3.5
Not too bard..........
Having tickets for an 8pm performance at the Sam Wannamaker theatre, I thought we'd take advantage of a slightly longer pre-theatre eating period to give the Swan a try. Booking was made a few weeks in advance, so it was somewhat odd that during the cursory phone call to confirm the booking I was told that the only menu available for our booking time (6:15) would be the pre-theatre menu. On querying that their website showed this menu to only be available between 5 and 6, I was given no explanation but advice to the effect of if we wanted the a la carte, we’d need to come at 6:30. No matter, as a glance at the theatre menu offered sufficient choice but I can’t help thinking that they have missed a bit of a trick, given that with best part of two hours in which to eat, we would have probably spent a lot more on the main rather than the set menu. Between the three of us I think we covered all choices on offer and whilst all dishes were adequate and well presented, there wasn’t anything to rave about. There are no extra dishes available on the theatre menu and again I think they’re doing themselves a bit of a disservice on the revenue front as each of the mains would have been enhanced by some additional accompaniment. Service was very speedy perhaps with an eye on the curtain up for the Globe and the room itself is fine although the river views on this stretch of the Thames aren’t really the best. Seating was not that comfortable (perhaps preparing patrons for what is about to come within either theatre) and my overall impression is that this is a place for a quick but decent meal, rather than somewhere to linger. Given the plethora of High Street eateries nearby, the Swan is definitely a better option but only with associated theatre reservations.
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