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The Swan, West Wickham

4 High Street
West Wickham
Phone: 02087772083

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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.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Swan

Situated on a busy crossroads in the heart of West Wickham, the Swan is a large community pub which has retained much more of a traditional feel than any other the other pubs in town. You enter into the main bar through an entrance door flanked by stained glass panes with rose images to the right and a large racking unit full of the day's papers to the left. The servery is opposite and split into two sections, which hints at the room's former two-bar layout. The white, curved tongue and groove counter and dark wood bar back look good in combination and there was a foreign bank note collection affixed to part of the servery as well as a TV screen showing muted news coverage. To the right there is a carpeted space with sofa, armchair and standard seating options and a dartboard in the far right hand corner, the case of which was obscuring an unidentified framed sports shirt. Another TV here was showing Celtic's Champions League fixture and I also noted an attractive fireplace and a bookcase which appeared to operate as a book swap service. The left hand end of the bar is less spacious but had a nice brick fireplace, tropical fish tank and a TV showing a different Champions League fixture with the commentary just about audible. A small but appreciative crowd had formed in front of both matches, but there didn't appear to be any other customers here on a mid-week evening. From here, you can move through to a large dining room with heaps of standard seating options in a slightly less traditional room. This felt like a nicely proportioned demarcation between drinker and diner areas, although I wonder if drinkers might over spill into the dining side on busier days. Further on, there is a conservatory and patio seating area, neither of which seemed worth exploring in the dark. One area of the pub was being advertised as a function room, but I was unable to fathom out where this might be.
I can't say I expected to find much of interest on the bar, so it was pleasing to see the inevitable Sharp's Doom Bar was accompanied by Harvey's Sussex Best and Adnams Ghost Ship. The friendly, chatty barmaid served me a marvellous pint of the Ghost Ship for £3.55 - easily the best pint I found anywhere in West Wickham.
I had always assumed this would be a rather nondescript food-led pub, so it was a welcome surprise to find a pleasant public bar serving a well kept pint of ale. This place seems like a good asset to the local community, especially when compared to the town's other restaurant-style pubs, and would easily be my pick of the pubs in the local area.

On 8th October 2016 - rating: 6
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