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Swan, Walton on Thames

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user reviews of the Swan, Walton on Thames

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

a nice looking pub in nice surroundings but price is to high on drinks and the bar snacks must have a 100% mark up on them avoid unless you have more money then sense
einstein - 14 Dec 2013 09:15
This is in many ways the definitive “five out of ten” pub. As it’s a Young’s pub, the beer is terrible, but they do make some kind of amends by adding two Meantime guest beers at the end of the bar. From the menu it’s clear that they really don’t like vegetarians (and it’s very much pub standard food at restaurant prices), but the staff are so helpful and genuinely nice that they score some points back with the service. They do their best to squeeze a riverside view out of the beer garden, although perhaps don’t do their best with the toilets. A very definite five out of ten.
elegiac_stanzas - 24 Jun 2013 11:23
Came in here for first time today for Sunday lunch. Decent enough food though beef was a bit tough. Came with friends and 4 kids. Would return. Marshmellow on draught was nice. All in all, only been here once but would say it's better than earlier reviews suggest. That said, I can imagine when the weather's good and the garden's full, you could face a nightmarish wait for food.
thehonesttruth - 14 Oct 2012 19:16
My rating has gone from a 2 to a 1 for the food. Previously could be relied upon for a decent roast but went today with two visiting friends, and it has fallen further off a cliff. Don't get me wrong, it's a good setting by the river for a beer, but the food should be avoided. They had run out of half the menu, including the Sunday roast, and the food ordered was horrendous. Expensive and very low quality - seriously a KFC would have been enjoyed more. That bad, and embarrassing to take friends / family to.
Gengus100 - 25 Sep 2011 19:12
Went for food and rinks this evening..will I never learn.. Entranced back by the well planned garden, cosy corners and view over the river it is easy to think the food and service will match the surroundings..
However, disappointment yet again.. The vegetarian choice is outstanding in its limitations!! Only one vegetarian main - pea and mint risotto and no vegetarian dish on the daily specials..
My partner and I opted for a side salad and side of fries due to the lack of choice..
The third member of our party was disappointed to be told that there were no mussels left . Shame they didn't let people know what was not available before selection was made..
We also had a selection of artisan breads and dipping oil, this consisted of two types of bread and a pot of balsamic vinegar mixed with oil - not proper dipping oil and not the correct consistency or mix.
The food was pricey as well as the drinks - over 6.00 for a glass of house red..
As the food really was nothing special it does not warrant the high prices. Paying for the view is one thing but if this pub just made an effort it could be a fantastic place.. shame really
sarahfc - 11 Jul 2011 22:31
We have had some great Sunday lunchs here, but went in for a Saturday lunch today and was very poor. How can a pub get a sandwich so wrong? Soggy bread, off-cuts of ham, and anaemic dry chips. Complained at the till and I got a sorry, but still charged the full amount. Could be a great pub, but won't be heading back anytime soon.
Gengus100 - 18 Jun 2011 16:45
If it still is, StoutChappie, you may need to clear your cache! I'm not getting this one.
Trev - 28 Jan 2011 19:05
nice setting by the river, busy on sunny days but very overpriced, food was ok but for the price we left unsatisfied. ok for a quick drink in the afternoon.
jklm - 27 May 2010 17:02
I DON'T KNOW IF I AM ADVISING YOU OF SOETHING YOU ARE ALREADY AWARE OF, BUT WHEN I VISITED YOUR WEB-SITE I COULDN'T FIND ANY REFERENCE TO A CERTAIN FACT WHICH I THINK WOULD BE BENEFICIAL AS A POTENTIAL DRAW TO YOUR PREMISES. IN 1910 YOUR PUB WAS FREQUENTED BY THE WORLD FAMOUS U.S. COMPOSER JEROME KERN. IN FACT THE THEN PROPRIETER'S DAUGHTER (EVA LEALE) WAS SERVING BEHIND THE BAR AT THE TIME & IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. THEY WERE MARRIED OCTOBER 25TH.1910 AT ST.MARY'S CHURCH WALTON.SUCH A WORLD RENOWNED PERSONAGE AS MR KERN WOULD CERTAINLY BE DESERVING OF A WALL-PLAQUE OR AT LEAST SOME RECORD OF HIS PATRONAGE. HE WROTE OVER 700 POULAR SONGS, MOSTLY FOR MUSICALS SUCH AS SHOWBOAT & IS REGARDED IN THE SAME VEIN AS IRVING BERLIN & RICHARD ROGERS. I HOPE THIS IS OF INTEREST TO YOU.

kern - 10 Feb 2010 17:02
Like this pub, lovely setting, good choice of beer.
Unfortunately it is pricey and the staff is often moody and not very friendly.
BeerLover73 - 4 Nov 2009 17:29
Although the pub has been "Youngs'd" and is now more of a restaurant, the beer here is actually kept pretty well, and it it's quite decent place for Sunday Lunch by the River. Could do worse than this, bit pricey though
tricky_dicky - 4 Nov 2009 16:08
Best pub in Walton-on-Thames since the John of Gaunt (the pub with the suit iof armour hanging from its exterior) closed back in the last 1970's).
as_johnson - 22 Oct 2009 12:35
This place has gone hugely downhill. now outrageously over-priced. A burger and chips that less than two years ago cost 6.95 now costs 11.25. A pint of Peroni is over 4 quid! The Anglers next door is far more sensibly priced. A real shame as two years ago I would have given The Swan, my local, at least 8 out of 10 - it now gets a deserved 3.
cabletastic - 18 Oct 2009 18:14
Hey Teejay..

You maybe caught them on a good day or I on a bad day. You are right however on one point..never any problem finding a table....
Dirty glasses are never acceptable and the food was very poor value when we visited. Location however is good and I would give it another chance for drinks but not for food.


sarahfc - 9 Aug 2009 23:11
THE SWAN pub (Walton)...what a great pub on a sunny afternoon!!
I'm not quite sure what 'Sarahfc' (May'09) expects of a pub...(the Cordon Bleu food at the Hilton, Park Lane, is quite nice...!) but I found the 'Swan' to be excellent! I would seriously recommend it. The BBQ'd chicken was good; the menu choice was above average; the service was better than most you get these days; there were sufficient staff on duty, and ther ones I spoke to were polite+friendly (a good sign..!); the place was clean, neat &tidy; the clientele were all well-behaved and in good mood; the garden areas are spacious (no problem finding table in sun!); and the view down over-looking the river, watching the boats going by was exquisite!
What more can you ask of a local pub! It was absolutely splendid.
'Sarahfc' do you want to borrow my rose-tinted specs...?!! Teejay
TeeJay - 13 Jul 2009 14:56
Not impressed at all by the food or service. We often stop in Walton to eat, and tonight decided a pub meal would be better than the normal pizza express etc as all are very crowded.
We sat outside and I was excited at the menu, offering a varied veggie choice.

Of interest was the 'ample' and generous' options in prices. So....I selected a risotto, spring pea with salad and rocket...yum. I went for the ample at 7.50 as opposed to the generous at 9.50.
My partner went for the root veg pie.However this was not available, and son went for chicken club sandwich and chips (9.50 )
My risotto was a sad tasteless affair... a blob of rice in the middle of a large dish with a sprig of herbs on top....no salad and certainly not a 7.50 'ample' portion. It was tasteless. Very disappointing...

Partner had a replacement for the dish he had selected, a quiche type affair with a small side salad..ok but not value for money in a pub at over 7.50!!!!!! ( the original dish was veggie pie, mash and season veg!!!!)

Son has club chicken sandwich and chips - he loved it..but for 9.00, so he should... nothing special here when you look at the cost....

Also, i'm sorry to add service was not good.
Partner had very dirty glass and bar staff were dismissive of issues.

Conclusion....good pub for drinks by the river ( as long as glasses are clean..another issue) ..do not bother with the food unless snacking or lunch, and watch the cost of a lunch option...


sarahfc - 23 May 2009 00:17
Nice pub which is what you expect from Youngs these days, the staff were fairly friendly and the Special was very well kept. Not the best character you'll ever get from a pub, but a nice outside bit which is good for the summer.
The_D_Man - 27 Feb 2009 12:40
The inside of this place defies belief. never seen such a miraculous warren of a place inside. Not like a cosy little den, though: extremely rich and grand-looking. Very expensive drinks, young staff delivering table service, absolutely lovely garden outside. On a sunny afternoon, this place was bliss.
Greshon - 29 Aug 2008 14:33
I never would usually bother taking the time to write comments about an experience in a pub but I am inclined to make an exception in this case.

What a magnificent pub the Swan has become! I have just moved back into the area following five years living in France. A friend suggested we go there for a few drinks and something to eat on a Thursday night and I was pleasantly surprised to find it had undergone a facelift inside and out. A needed change from the old dreary run-down pub.

We were greeted by a friendly man who showed us to a table outside with a fantastic view of the river. He explained that they now provided table service in the garden so take a seat and relax. That we did! We were treated to the most amazing service I have ever experienced in this country.

The man who met us upon arrival turned out to be our waiter for the night which was a surprise because we thought he was the landlord. He waited on us hand and foot for four hours as well as numerous other tables even making time to stop for a bit of friendly chat. We had a decent three course meal and sat drinking superb wine recommended to us and marvelled at the efficiency of the staff.

No sooner our drinks had finished we were offered more. The waiter then disappeared into a small hut at the bottom of the garden and minutes later our drinks were rushed to us by another waiter. This went on all night. He went from table to table non-stop all night effortlessly bounding up and down the garden providing all the customers with the same impeccable service. I overheard the couple on the next table discuss how impressive they thought the service was and were debating whether it was necessary to leave a tip in a pub garden. They left a tip as did we.

I have recommended The Swan to many people since my visit and I will be returning soon. I thought the customer service in France was unrivalled. I think this place could give them a run for their money!!

Le magnifique!
ladyphoenix - 27 Aug 2008 23:12
I should start by saying that I didnt visit the Swan before its recent refurb (I was reliably informed it was in dire need of updating). However since it reopened Ive been a few times and have been rather impressed.

The Swan is a Youngs pub, so as is typical of their refurbishments, its been far reaching. Although I can see how if you were an old regular you may feel its now a bit bland or generic I do think theyve done a good job. Its been kitted out to a good standard and has a cosy, stylish feel inside with what looks like a good dining room area. The work doesnt stop inside, the huge beer garden has been revamped with good, spacious seating providing good views to the river - which is great, while the summer lasts...

The menu is simple but good quality, really just what you want from a good pub in the summer (they also have a good outside BBQ menu). Unfortunately, the first time I we went in the evening we were told they had run out of literally half the things on the menu from the night before and as they would have had a whole day to restock, dont think this was an acceptable excuse. As others have commented, the service can be a bit slow at times but the staff are all very friendly and attentive (enough for me happily leave a tip).

This pub has steadily improved each time Ive been and I think the small faults it has are due more to the new staff adjusting to a sudden rise in customers than anything else. Even with these niggles The Swan is leagues ahead of its neighbour The Anglers which must now surely be very worried as it will probably now only get it custom from day-trippers who get to it first along the river before they find the soon to be very good Swan.

Waillo - 18 Jul 2008 09:28
I have given this pub a 5 which i think is fair, we came here a few times and had a great time, nice and clean, and a good atmosphere, HOWEVER went there this week and had an awful experience unfortunately.
With it being a nice evening we thought it would be good to sit and eat in the sun, we waited 40 mins for our food toarrive only to be told the order had gone missing and we would have to wait a further 15 mins.
25 or so mins later we went inside as it was now cooling off.upon querying our order again we were told it would be a further 15 minutes!
so the meal arrived an hour and a half after ordering, only for the burger to be well overdone (looked like it had been left under the grill waiting for the 2 portions of fish to catch up)my wifes platter was also lacking in dips as theyhad run out.
We left after telling the manager we would not be paying as it was a trully awful night...

shame because we have been saying how good it is there..TIP, go to the anglers excellent service always!
edwardrr - 17 Jul 2008 13:16
This lovely riverside pub has been ruined. You may make your money in the summer with the river walkers but your core trade will not be visiting in the winter. Roll on November when you go into liquidation.
Womble - 12 Jun 2008 04:08
Had lunch today , LOVELY pub great style ,smart furniture ,a good selection of starters really tasty , mains good but not as good , good selection of wine but not cheap .Very expensive , great service , but strangley quiet , overall very good ,will be going back soon .
redwall - 2 Jun 2008 21:30
Me and my wife have been by a few times since the reopening - what a change! No more scruffy members-only public bar but a warm and friendly dining area and lots of comfy chairs and sofas to choose from. The wife loves the 'Alice in Wonderland-style ones'.

Ate there tonight, it was busy but still fairly calm. I had the piripiri chicken which was lovely, though my wife stuggled a bit with the huge portion of sausage and mash!

For after we had a couple of french coffees which were delivered with a homemade brownie on the side. Scrumptious!

I would definetely recommend anyone to visit, especially if it's for dinner, the staff are friendly and attentive.
micheal - 13 Apr 2008 03:12
Just openened after refurb. loks better but still AWFUL !!!!!

I was served RAW CHICKEN.

Do yourself a favour and go to The Anglers OR ANYWHERE ELSE BUT HERE !!!

RUBBISH
chilliman - 12 Apr 2008 13:58
Popped in Wednesday 26 March 2008, to find that the pub has turned into what looks like a big restaurant. The two small front bars have disappeared and been replaced with one larger room set out with laid tables for diners (where were they?).

The larger characterless rear bar is now the only bar, it has been totally re-furbished in what appears to be the new Young's modern dark leather and wood style.

The loss of the two front bars is a real shame, the quieter cosy one in particular was a real gem. One cannot deny that the pub was very overdue for a refurbishment, however a little more sensativity with regards to the pub's heritage could have been executed.

Where do the locals drink now? Up the road I imagine....

The beer, my pint of 'Ordinary' was a very short measure, I asked for it to be topped up. Somebody else in the bar was drinking something very murky, it looking much like a cloudy wheat beer. A quick scan of the pumps suggested that this was not the case - duff pint? Hope he wasn't ill.
nevardmedia - 27 Mar 2008 07:29
The Swan is currently closed for a refurb.
Womble - 19 Mar 2008 08:56
The Swan is a great place to pop in for a drink with friends and the food is great to. Its under going a what im led to belive a big make over which as the manager decribed it sounds great. The Staff are really helpful and nice and friendly, the place looked clean and tidy with staff always poppping around the place looking buzy. Shame it was a bad day because they have brill view of the river, definatly going back when it re opens even if its just to sit in the garden and have a drink or two!!!
star1 - 28 Jan 2008 18:00
my "local". The Youngs Special is always good. The last few years have seen a lot of turnover in the management and staff, but this seems to have settled down a bit now. We had some great nights there during the Rugby World Cup.
felstemj - 8 Nov 2007 18:12
A lovely warren of a pub with plenty of cosy corners; my pint of Young's Ordinary couldn't be faulted. I'm surprised by the low rating- it gets an 8 from me.
Rich66 - 11 Sep 2006 22:21
stunning outside space and place, lovely name. but just a little sad, as it was the place myself and an ex always visited.
anonymous - 25 Jun 2006 04:19
After visiting the Bear and Weatherspoons, The Swan was a welcome relief. Although the bar area is small, there is much more room around the back, possibly the food area only. However, despite the bar maid not being the friendliest in the world, and a lack of drink options, the pub is clean (especially the gents!!!), and the decor is spot on. Ouside, the beer garden is the pub's best point. Like the Angler and the Weir, you can sit back and watch the River Thames flow by, which is fantastic on a hot April day, and probably even better in the summer. Although the pub isn't directly on the river, the view is superb.
DAFCpubreviewer - 7 Apr 2006 15:54
Last time I was in this pub the service was poor and the quality of the food even worse. a pity as it is ideally located and sells Youngs beer.
conwen48 - 28 Mar 2006 19:22
Atmosphere improved dramatically since the friendly Aussies took the pub over. My friends and I used to be put off by that rude landlord they had a while back. If you like your beer then the Youngs quality is here. Current staff are really cool and accomodating. It seems to be dead many nights of the week though, but always a very busy beer garden in the summer. The minus points are zero vegetatian food options and expensive, but a nice location and a choice of 4 different areas of the pub to sit in. I rate this pub a 6.
please_now_talk_to_me - 23 Feb 2006 11:52
Very nicely refurbished while retaining period features. Loads of empty tables on a Monday night. All male clientele?? Choice of 3 Youngs ales. Food menu looked good but not tried.
Trev - 11 Oct 2005 11:59
Not impressed, constantly served over-priced lager in real-ale glasses. I like head on my lager, and when I asked them to change for the next pint, the staff did not understand the simple physics of a glass...


rcm - 1 Aug 2005 12:07
I'm surprised at the low rating of The Swan. I's a Youngs pub, so the beer's good. There are a number of different rooms inside each with a different atmosphere. There's a nice beer garden with views of the river and an adults-only zone so you can avoid ill-behaved little darlings. The foods always been OK when I've eaten there. (OK, nothing special, but reasonable pub food)
AuldSot - 18 Feb 2005 09:57
Pretty poor food. The service is Ok but nothing special. Enclosed garden, making it kid friendly. Adults only bit also. Good view of the river.
mistral1969 - 24 Jan 2005 14:41
The pub gets by because of its size and location. Beers are ok, staff can be hit and miss, but avoid the food at all costs. Overpriced, little selection and less than adequate quality. Great for a few beers in the garden in the summer, but that's about all.
roobarb - 13 Jan 2005 18:53
Seen all the comments and have to agree with them. The menu is very limited, I asked for a chicken and mayo sandwich. The reply from the barman sorry thats not on the menu. How difficult is it to make that. Ordered chips and dips and the mayo was either custurd or was off. The price of a pint of Stella is 3.09 what a rip off. The only good thing about this pub is the location by the river.
Will not be going back.
Womble - 8 Jun 2004 13:54
Good location, huge beer garden, but choice of food is very limited, as is the service. When our chips - the accompanying mayonnaise turned out to be custard!! Interesting - staff refused to believe us until we made then try it and another table backed us up as same had happened to them. Shant be eating here again!
anonymous - 29 Apr 2004 13:41
Nice in the summer, but the garden often resembles a kids playground, fun when they fall down the stone steps though.
bearman - 14 Apr 2004 07:38
This pub has been improved in recent times, with a large accomodation area. The beer is always good, and the bar service efficient. There is also live music in the winter months - best of which is 'Daves Not Here'. Food so far is not bad.
yendisniaps - 11 Jan 2004 17:59
A former riverside hotel now split into several rooms with 3 different bars. The two front bars have very unusual leaded windows depicting swans (oddly enough). The pubs serves a good range of food waiting to be washed down by a full range of excellent and always well kept Youngs Ales. Open all permitted hours.
Sprid - 26 Dec 2003 06:34
This pub looks lovely and the drinks are reasonably priced. It's in a lovely spot by the Thames. The food is AWFUL though.

I went there with my parents, 2 of us had the vegetable curry. The curry itself had no sauce and the homemade naan bread was hard enough to break teeth. The vegetables were left whole and seemed to have been fried and tossed in spices before being served on similarly cooked rice. When we complained it was like we were being laughed at, this was one of only 3 vegetarian choices (the others being "Thai Vegetable Schnizel" and Ploughmans). We both had to leave most of the meal and supplemented it with the Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake (which wasn't warm) and ice cream.

This is yet another pub that hasn't realised how many veggies there are in the world and that it'd actually be nice if you catered for them.
Kimberlina - 5 Sep 2003 10:18
I agree with Angus - this is the best pub in Walton by miles. Lovely location, good food and Youngs beer in decent order.
anonymous - 22 Apr 2003 11:23
Smart and comfortable interior and an excellent location on the river. Is probably the nicest pub in Walton.
Angus - 21 Apr 2003 13:25
Great beer garden that leads down to the river. Can be very popular on Summer Evenings. Beer is fairly standard Youngs. One of the better pubs in Walton.
Mike - 24 Mar 2003 13:37

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