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The Swan, Bloomsbury, WC1

7 Cosmo Place
Phone: 02078376223

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Swan

A listing in the 2019 GBG drew this visit,and what a let down.It's a Greene King pub,long and thin with a traditional exterior but a very corporate interior.The long bar extends down the right side,opposite are a mix of high tables with some red leather bench seating while at the back more normal dining tables and a black leather bench.What ruins the interior is 3 flatscreen ,one mounted in a picture frame above a fireplace all screening daytime TV .Awful.Every table has a vast corporate menu with food pictures for the hard of thought,but I suppose this is hotel land and tourist central.
Food arrives via a dumb waiter and is served by dumb barstaff,and I can only assume that the presence of 8 handpumps has got the local CAMRA branch wetting themselves.The actual range on my Saturday afternoon visit was GK IPA,Abbott,Old Rosie Cider,Sambrooks Wandle,Wimbledon SW19 and Hammerton N1 (slightly sharp,£2.40 rip off half).Two pumps were conditioning which is a deceit copied from 'spoons.
In reality a dull ale selection ,rip off prices in a boring pub with a very transient customer base where the staff dont really care.The CAMRA branch mistake quantity for quality.

On 21st October 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2054 recommendations about 2054 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Danny O'Revey left this review about The Swan

Small, thin pub with bar running along one long wall, padded leather benches on opposite wall with tall tables & stools inbetween.

Dark red ceiling and a few mirrors & subdued lighting, despite a few rips in the seats it feels comfortable.

8 real ales, including local selection, well kept

On 25th July 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1276 recommendations about 1253 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Swan

Down a pleasant pedestrianised street, close to Great Ormond Street hospital, this is a narrow but surprisingly deep, single room Taylor Walker pub. You enter the pub past a reasonably appealing outdoor seating area with a few sturdy looking benches arranged under an awning. As you make your way into the building, you initially find yourself in a fairly spartan space, with a drinking ledge and high stools to the left and a plain space with room for minimal seating over to the right, somewhat hemmed in by the appearance of the bar a little further on along the right hand wall. The servery is nothing much to write about, coming straight off the Taylor Walker conveyor belt with its straight dark wood counter and modern looking bar back with neatly organised bottles and a hop lined top. The room has a chequered tile floor around the bar, an exposed floorboard runway through the centre of the room and to the rear and some carpet down the left hand side. High tables and stools run down the middle of the room opposite the bar and some L-shaped banquettes follow the left hand wall, broken only by a small, modern looking fireplace, with some standard tables and chairs to the rear of the room. The walls have been covered with modern wallpaper and a red anglypta band can be seen above. A few pictures and mirrors in tacky gold frames could be found around the room as well as corporate looking blackboards listing the usual promotional stuff. Various Euro 2016 national flags were hung around the room and a TV screen to the rear was showing muted rolling news whilst some non-descript music chugged away in the background. A standard Taylor Walker menu was placed on each table and I enjoyed watching a French couple puzzle their way through it before coming to the bar to take a photos of all the hand pumps and keg taps. Contributors to the French version of Pubs Galore perhaps?
The pub is currently listed in the Good Beer Guide and there was certainly a handsome row of handpulls to have a go at. Options on this visit comprised Taylor Walker 1730, Sambrooks Junction, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Greene King London Glory, Hop Stuff Pale Ale, Hammerton N1, Windsor and Eton Conqueror and Redemption Trinity - a reasonable mix of predictable duffers and established London-based breweries. My pint of the Pale Ale set me back an upsetting £4.50, but was pretty good and served up by a very friendly German(?) barmaid. Her Australian colleague also seemed very friendly and became engaged in an excellent pub conversation with a fellow countryman who enlisted her help to help him use a pocketful of change to buy his pint. Customer (picking coin from huge pile he's dumped on bar): "What's this one", Barmaid: "That's a 2", C: "What, £2?", B: "No, 2 cents", C (in complete disbelief): "What the hell am I going to buy with all these two cent coins?", B: "And those are one cents", C: "Stupid bloody Poms!".
I'm no great fan of Taylor Walker pubs, but I thought this one seemed to avoid a lot of the usual pitfalls, such as bland corporate interior, disinterested staff and dubious quality beer. Perhaps the room's compact width helped make it feel a bit cosier. Either way I enjoyed a good, if expensive, pint here and would rate this up there with the best I have found in Bloomsbury thus far.

On 29th June 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2423 recommendations about 2423 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Swan

Prior to the other night, I hadn't been here since a disastrous visit a good 15 years ago when I'm sure the pub was far more gloomy. Being a Taylor Walker pub it's still gloomy, but that has more to do with the owner than the lighting, being a tired venue with TV on, printed menus, games machines and the like. The clientele here are either tourists or elderly locals.
The barmaid was utterly useless. Despite clearly waiting, she served four other customers who clearly arrived after me and when she did get round to serving me, she couldn't speak a word of English.
Surprisingly, there's a very large selection of ales here, which says something, though what I known not: Belhaven's Golden Bay, Taylor Walker's 1730 Special Ale, East London Brewery's Cowcatcher, Knight of the Garter's Golden Ale, Hammerton's Life on Mars, Windsor & Eton's Guardsman, Wimbledon's Quartermaine and Truman's Budburst at a very competitive £2.00 a half; it was though rather dull.

This pub gets an extra point for the beer range, but I can't see myself coming here again, not least because the vastly superior Queen's Larder is right next door.

On 30th April 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Swan

Second Taylor Walker house on our pre-Christmas Friday mini crawl and I can also concur when being able to compare to the earlier Friend in Hand that this one is a cut above their standard pub offerings. Good traditional décor and the far end once you have fought your way past the throng at the front is a comfortable space both for vertical drinking and for seating in the many comfortable seating options available at this end.
But the thing that raises it above the others is an improved beer offering with seven ale pumps providing a good range from mainly local London breweries and a couple of decent seasonal specials.
Alongside London Pride there were a couple from the Hackney brewery including New Zealand Pale Ale one from London Fields, and a very nice Santa’s Little helper from Caledonian.
The only thing that was missing as the evening wore on was a decent atmosphere, and although there were quite a few in, food seems to be more of a priority here than the bar vibe and what atmosphere there was kind of washed over you.
So for us, a nice solid pub, but not one you would choose to spend all evening in, and we didn’t soon moving off to the much livelier Queens Larder next door.

On 23rd December 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Swan

Seem to be following in Real Ale Rays footsteps tonight.Anything but a typical Taylor Walker pub.(sorry Hondo) Nice rectangular pub with a long bar.Brightly lit with large chandeliers and stained glass lanterns. Nice and comfortable pub.Great selection of beers on cask,keg and bottled.London Fields -Shoreditch triangle and Black amer ipa,five points -railway porter and a beer from Bespoke brewery were some of the beers on the 7 handpumps.All tried and in good nick.If they keep up this beer selection I will be calling in regularly.

On 25th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 933 recommendations about 920 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Swan

I have raised the bar slightly higher here as we received a friendly welcome and good service, also their beers were well kept. I especially enjoyed their beers from two breweries in Hackney. The first was a pale ale from Five Points Brewery E8 and my second choice was from Hackney Brewery E2 and the beer named 2114. Also we tried the Bespoke Brewery Leading Light. I would defo return here.

On 19th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2975 recommendations about 2975 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Swan

Standard taylor walker pub. 5 real ales and food served.

On 5th June 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2692 recommendations about 2636 pubs]

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Nick Davies left this review about The Swan

Routine Taylor Walker affair complete with ten quid Big Ben Burger. Only the presence of Theakston's OP distinguishes it from the dozens of identical TW outlets around the capital. It does what it sets out to do perfectly adequately, but the Queen's Larder a couple of doors down is a far better option.

On 4th December 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 488 recommendations about 480 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Swan

Long, thin room with a narrow frontage and dark wallpaper meaning that it is pretty dark inside. Also somewhat plainly decorated, giving a somewhat soul-less impression. Five handpumps, offering guest ales such as Pedigree, GK Swift and Broadside (top condition, but curiously priced at £3.18) in addition to the regular Doom Bar and Old Peculier. Efficient bar staff and kitchen.

On 8th May 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

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