Swan by the Globe

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Wednesday 6 July 2011 12.21pm
Fair warning to everyone living in the area. I have had two occasions to visit recently the Swan (the bar by the Globe Theatre), to meet friends, and on both occasions have been staggered by the astonishingly terrible service from disinterested and borderline incompetent bar staff, serving (if you are lucky), overpriced drinks of basement-level quality.

The *only* thing I can say that was not negative about our experience is that the place has some nice lighting.

A better choice would be to buy some cheap cider and drink it lying down on the street outside.

PS. Can’t comment about the food as have not, nor ever will, eat there.

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Wednesday 6 July 2011 2.20pm
I can second this opinion. unfortunately I did eat too. The worst service I have found in Central London for a long time combined with really awful food. AVOID.
Wednesday 6 July 2011 3.09pm
I actually had a bit of a different experience here.

Went for late Sunday lunch, to the restaurant upstairs, before going to the theatre. It was a nice meal, not amazing but better than ok food, friendly service and price not too bad considering it is in tourist London.

It is not Zucca standard by any means, but then that does make it easier to get in on little notice.

I had out of town visitors and it made a nice Sunday, especially as the weather was less than delighful!
Wednesday 6 July 2011 3.21pm
The fist poster and myself were talking about the 1st Floor bar area under the restaurant. Having a real chef upstairs obviously has no bearing on who is running this business downstairs.
Wednesday 6 July 2011 3.24pm
I have no comment to make about the Swan, but am deeply upset to see the association of cider with street drinking in the gutter.

Cider is a wonderful artisan drink, made from often-endangered old varieties of British cider apples, and is a jewel in the British boozer's crown. Good cider is far from cheap (although small producers do get a duty exemption, and large producers are taxed at a slightly lower rate than other forms of alcoholic drink).

The unfortunate thing is that "cider" is not a protected word, and can be used by producers of all sorts of nasty stuff which has been no nearer an apple than I've been to Uma Thurman (a great shame in both cases).

The cheap white, fizzy, overproof stuff that I think OP is referring to is nothing like real cider, and should be called many things - but "cider" is not one of them.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 6 July 2011 3.29pm
Unfortunately I share the same experience... The question i would like to ask is why this low quality standard is spreading so fast. most of the posts and reviews about local restaurants are quite bad. Specially the service standard is often rated very badly ..
I have noticed a general down turn in the last couple of years. I have no particular answers just questions..
Wednesday 6 July 2011 3.52pm
I think people just don't care that their cider has seen an apple in it's production. They just want cheap, fizzy, fruity, alcohol, and cider usually fits the bill. it's a real shame!

I make my own, and try to ensure that it is of as high a quality as possible.
Wednesday 6 July 2011 5.00pm
Maybe something in between.. I do my staff as well, but somehow I like to think that people who chose to run a business in "hospitality" keep in mind what this word means.

I think places like vinopolis doing stag/hen parties are part of this fall, as well.

As an italian I can speak better about italian places. Most of the italian restaurants in London are so bad that I would not put my foot in it. Sometimes I have walked away because I found the staff irritating already at the doorstep... Outwards is ok but if you are arrogant than bye bye.. How can they survive selling CHEAP(not by price) FAKE italian food with an arrogant behaviour as a side dish, I just don't know. Maybe a huge amount of constant recycle from visitors/ tourists/ and people who do not care.
Wednesday 6 July 2011 5.27pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
I have no comment to make about the Swan, but am deeply upset to see the association of cider with street drinking in the gutter.

Aha! Of course, humble apologies, I was as you surmised talking about a somewhat different drink. In fact as precision is often useful in these discussions, the specific product I had in mind was White Lightning – something which may be referred to as a very effective “intoxication accelerant” and no longer available these days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lightning_%28cider%29

I (sadly) do not have much experience of cider, although I do have some experience of drinking in the gutter – the image I was trying to convey is that on both occasions, drinking blindness-inducing raw alcohol while lying on my back in a rain soaked street would have been a more civilised and enjoyable experience than visiting the Swan.

Ivanhoe wrote:
The unfortunate thing is that "cider" is not a protected word, and can be used by producers of all sorts of nasty stuff which has been no nearer an apple than I've been to Uma Thurman (a great shame in both cases)..

Perhaps if Uma Thurman was to be sent some samples, she might be persuaded to become a patron of the SE1 artisan cider brewing fraternity?

Would you like to go with me?
Where?
Wherever I'm going
Are you *really* asking?
Is that your *real* answer?
Wednesday 6 July 2011 11.55pm
The Swan is just one of the SE1 riverside establishments that seem increasingly out to coin it simply from their (=our) location.

Go half a mile east and for instance the Thameside Inn, next to the ersatz Golden Hinde, by last Christmas was asking £3.95 for a large (250ml) glass of house wine. After two successive leaps it's now £5.25 - a 33pc increase in half a year. And people wonder where inflation comes from....

But walk across the bridge to the closest few City pubs from the same Nicholsons chain and the old price still prevails. By what manner of role reversal has the south now become dearer than "the other side"?-\
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