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Swan on the Green, West Peckham

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user reviews of the Swan on the Green, West Peckham

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

Very nice place for a drink. Tried most of their beers and was not disappointed. We also ate here and the food was very good. Considering it was the day of the village fete and they were very busy service was good. Looking forward to my next visit.
paulbeckett - 6 Jul 2014 17:44
Another classic English country pub on a village green. Turned up with a group of 18 walkers but they easily took care of us. They sell their own "Swan" beers, I tried "Early bird" which was light and very nice and "First packet"(?) which was just OK. Others pronounced the "Trumpeter" good but it ran out before I got a try. Food a on the pricey side but good. Nice interior with bare floors and really solid wood tables.
alan_From_SAWW - 24 Oct 2012 17:56
Superb location. I tried three of the own brand ales and was not blown away by any of them. The cygnet was pretty poor but the Bewick was a good pint but not startling 5/10

Beautiful interior, comfortable and welcoming. 9/10 for that.
Food , fabulous. Even the most pernickety of eaters could not quibble. 10/10

8/10 overall.

Sessionmaster - 15 Dec 2011 12:59
Lovely pub with excellent own brand beer and picturesque setting on village green.
Floyd - 15 Aug 2011 20:41
Came in here after a CAMRA branch trip to Nelson brewery. The four Swan beers wereTrumpeter (not good, very harsh and malty), cygnet (ok), fuggles pale (a light beer, not brilliant) and Bewick ( the strongest of the four and the best). Also had Hepworth Blonde, Erdinger and Biddenden cider. All bare wood and decorated with hops. Attractive location, worth seeking out.
GuideDogSaint - 19 Dec 2010 13:47
Had a midweek lunch here and was really pleased.
Top class food, all homemade and their own beer was first rate.
This is a must do pub. Other reviewers have mentioned the strange opening hours but all I can say visited midweek with no problems, if traveling why not phone first but do yourself a favor and go.
LickSpittel - 2 Sep 2010 17:48
Listen. I'm a grumpy bastard, me.

But you'd be hard put to stay grumpy at The Swan. I've lived within 20 mins of this place for 30 years and never been there. Well, silly old me.

This pub is an absolute blast. Start with the quintessential Kentish village, with a REALLY old church nestling down into the landscape. Add a no through road, and at the end of it a village green.

On that village green put a pub, and into that pub, put someone who can really cook, a brewer who turns out BEAUTIFUL beer, and a saucy barmaid out of a Restoration comedy.

I'm sorry, but previous reviewers are hard to please, indeed. I'll be coming back, and often.

9 out of 10 - and like all grumpy bastards, I give that rating only VERY rarely.
LDW - 6 Jul 2010 20:09
Watch out for erratic opening times ! Have used this pub on a number of occassions looking forward to a good session only to find that the landlord decides on the spur of the moment to shut up shop. This doesn't seem to follow any pattern apart from whether he can be bothered to stay open or not. Also turned up a few times to find it shut when it should have been open. What is it with this place, it's got all the ingredients to be an excellent pub -location, beer, good company etc - but you get the impression that they just can be bothered to really do the job properly. Like someone said below, they seem to think that because it's where it is repeat trade isn't necessary to ensure regular custom.
straight_glass - 20 Jan 2010 20:31
Used to come here several years ago and spend great evenings in this pub drinking the micro-brewery beer with friends. Recently moved back to the area and visited the Swan but left feeling disappointed. Their own brewed beer doesn't taste as good as it used to and after trying each on offer couldn't find one we would try again.

On top of this the landlord and senior bar lady/waitress were very rude ignoring us when we came in, then serving us with a bad attitude . This pub clearly wants to be a restaurant, and treats any drinking customers with little regard.

This used to be a favorite pub, but I can't see myself going back. Scenery is great in the summer though.
pr01 - 27 Oct 2009 09:16
I�ve wanted to visit this pub for some time now: we arranged to meet my in-laws there on a drizzly October Sunday lunch.A brick fronted house, set on the eponymous Green. Very pleasant in the Cricket season I would suggest.
Food led :high quality, but portions seemed to be variable in size. I�m a greedy man, and like a good feed when I eat out, but my roast pork was lacking in quantity-not enough veg! Our beef-eating members had the better bargain. Gluttonous quibbles aside, this pub is noted for the beers produced in the micro brewery. The five hand pumps offered beers using green hops from this year�s harvest: in these days of food traceability it would have been interesting to see details of where the hops were grown-hopefully fairly local.My first pint was Last Challenger, which was a darkish full and malty beer-not really a session. I followed this with a dark mild using Goldings: I enjoy mild, but this was inoffensive-roast malt but no chocolate.The best of the bunch was Sovereign Gold: intensely hoppy, but almost coppery in colour, rather than the gold that one would expect.
The girls behind the bar and waiting at table were very jolly and businesslike, a couple brought a friendly old dog in:we�ll probably come back. 8/10

wittenden - 11 Oct 2009 22:27
All very pleasant surroundings both inside and on the village green. Own brew ales - tried the Trumpeter fine. Good food - I had the mixed ploughmans - good ham and 3 tasty cheeses. The only downside is you pay for quality food �10.50 for the ploughmans which wasn't a huge portion, just tasty. Beer prices reasonable though - �2.70 for the trumpeter. Recommended
lout_from_the_lane_ - 21 Aug 2009 23:16
Very nice pub.. brew their own beers which all taste lovely. also do some nice german/belgian lager which will blow your socks off. blinding setting, cricket green outside, also have morris men doing their shows from time to time. can't recommend this pub highly enough.
sir_adam_of_downham - 8 Aug 2009 02:16
Dropped in to this pub for a quick drink while out walking. Sampled the Trumpter own brew, which was very good, as was the draft cider - and �2 for a bowl of spicy nuts did not seem too unreasonable - until we saw the small size of the bowl! But the location is perfect, and there are even picnic tables out on the village green which customers can use. I don't mind paying a bit extra for that. Sadly, the place was let down by the service. The young woman who served us was pleasant and efficient enough - once she had decided to acknowledge our presence. I guess that no-one had told her that when a customer comes in while you are doing some paperwork at the bar you should greet them, and (if the paperwork really can't wait) say something like "I'll be with you in a minute". Being ignored - even if only briefly - does not encourage a repeat visit.
ronpegram - 31 Jul 2009 18:06
Lovely pub, lovely setting, but I wish I had read these reviews before I went, then perhaps I would not have been so surprised and upset by the staff rudeness.
There seems to be a policy of serving men first, however long the woman customer has been waiting. Don't bother to challenge this, as the landlord will make it clear he doesn't care.
And why should he care? However many people he drives away by his rudeness, there will always be more people because of the setting and the good beer. What a shame he chooes to spoil it.
KathB - 13 Jun 2009 22:09
Pricey,yet stylish food...

Quality own microbrewery ale,Cygnet deffo the pick of the 5 on!

Picture postcard village green/Churchyard location....

One establishment not to miss!
nuckster1511 - 12 Jun 2009 18:32
great beer, great food, great staff, great customers/locals. One of the best pubs I've ever been in. Wonderful location.
workhard - 9 Jun 2009 19:16
great variety of beers brewed on the premises, and a very good home-cooked food selection.
This place is a gem. While there, look into the old church - the tower is mid 9th century and the interior just oozes old England.
gasdocbob - 19 Apr 2008 22:49
Had a thoroughly enjoyable evening here yesterday without any of the problems previously documented. Not as tricky to find as you might think. There were a range of 4 of the microbrewery's ales on - of which the Cygnet was certainly the pick of the bunch but all were good.

Food was pricy but of an excellent standard. The lamb cutlets were succulent, juicy rib-eye steak cooked to perfection & the mustard mash fluffy & zesty. Far from being rude, we found the bar manager to be amiable & more than willing to chat about the history & operation of the on-site brewery.

One tip: revise the terms of male & female swans before going if you don't want to end up in the wrong toilets. I guessed correctly but another member of the collectiv didn�t!

We shall definitely return on a summer's afternoon to enjoy the pub & its surroundings 'ale fresco'.
young_camra_collectiv - 17 Apr 2008 12:56
Popped in recently , helpful staff , beer in good condition .Great atmosphere with a nice crowd and a good fire going. Had the steak which cost around �14-15 , rather poor . Well presented with nice vegetables but for the quality of the meat it really should have been half the price .....shame .
As previously mentioned this place should be scoring 9+ but they always seem to manage to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory . A mystery.....
ThirstyMing - 22 Feb 2008 15:21
Great location, and an interesting range of beers from the on-site micro-brewery. Good, but expensive, food. Customer service may not have got much closer to West Peckham than Alders Crossroads (actually now a roundabout), but this really is a 'must visit' place...
rpadam - 19 Jan 2008 00:27
me and my family had an amazing lunch and this pub, the location was lovely. the food was gorgeous.The staff made me feel very welcome expecially the landlord he was very friendly and will defiently be going back.
anonymous - 24 Oct 2007 23:55
sunday lunch was poor and expensive, "fuggles" was good enough though, landlord needs a kick in the arse for being rude, who does he think he is ? only giving it a 8 for the setting.
littlebob - 15 Oct 2007 20:45
As previously mentioned the location and setting of this place are as much as anyone could ask for .
Quality food and a good range of beers brewed at the rear of the pub , the Ginger Beer is a great summer drink . If there is Cricket on the green you may never want the moment to end .
However I really have to agree with TWG the Landlord is consistently a man with other things on his mind , he can be abrupt and dismissive and rude to the point of you not wanting to stay . This if a very "foodie" pub and trying to get served is a battle with people wanting to order drinks , food and pay with their credit cards. Another thing to beware of , if it is a quite evening the landlord will simply close due to lack of interest . If you have arranged a Cab to get you home later this can cause some problems as there is no where else to go from here.
Overall location , setting and local beers would give this a 9/10 or more . The foodie gauntlet and staff attitude are the levellers that bring this down to a 7/10 .With different staff this could be one of the best pubs in Kent.
ThirstyMing - 17 May 2007 14:51
We�re walkers and we go to this pub for lunch all year round. It has never disappointed.
They make their own beer and it�s always good. (OK, sometimes it�s not as excellent as say Harveys but it is dependable. But I wish they would do the stout they used to do a few years ago.) The food is also dependable and well presented � much better than pub grub but not really gastro-pub. The Stilton burgers are really good, and last week I had an excellent pork chop (Berkshire Old Spot from a local producer).
I can sympathise with the remarks other have made about the staff. In fairness, I think that this can only apply to the Graham Stark lookalike owner. (Ask your mum if you don�t know who Graham Stark is.) He has been a bit grumpy in the past but I think he�s getting better. When I told him how good the chop was, he almost warmed to me! Everyone else there is always very friendly.

DavidCook - 12 Feb 2007 20:53
On paper, as Quinno suggests, this would appear to be the perfect pub. But it isn't. I'm afraid the surly service from the proprietors and the frankly ludicrious opening hours tend to spoil it. Yes, the beer is very good (though rarely great) and brewed n the premises, yes the food is good (though not particularly good value - choose wisely folks)and, of course, yes, the setting is almost unbelievaebly perfect. But no, I will not be treated like an interloper when I am a paying (and civilized) customer. On balance, probably worthy of no more than 7ish when it should really be a 10.
CJG - 26 Oct 2006 16:39
This really is a picture-postcard sort of an establishment, with (nearly) all the necessary ingredients for a perfect country pub in place. The ales are well-kept and the microbrewery behind the pub produces a distinctive range. The food is some of the finest, home-cooked and made from the best ingredients (local, one assumes, and most probably organic). On a Summer day opposite the archetypal village green scene that wouldn't look out of place on a Miss Marple/ Midsomer Murders TV programme, tucking into their supber ploughmans, with a pint of Swan Cygnet is a joy.
But - and in this case it is a big "but", I can only echo the concerns about grumpy staff highlighted by the LooseVixens below. I wouldn't say that lugubriousness and charmlessness apply to all the staff; far from it. But on each of my visits the landlord himself has been notably miserable, unfriendly and frankly, rude. Maybe he feels that courtesy and customer service don't matter in his pub because he has guaranteed visitors thanks to its choc-box location and outstanding food/ale. However, if that is the case he should not take it all granted, as many might be put off by such surliness. It really sours what is otherwise an idyllic pub experience.
TWG - 25 Oct 2006 17:07
Attractive looking village pub on the village green. Relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
The focus on the meals tends to put a bit of a squeeze on those just drinking, but the food is really quite tasty. The menu is prepared daily depending on the fresh ingredients that are available.
The pub also sells some homebrew. It's drinkable, but it's the sort of stuff that your mate makes rather than the quality stuff that you might expect a "brewpub" to make.
Make sure you know what male and female swans are called if you don't want to wander into the wrong toilet by mistake.
SilkTork - 27 Jul 2006 20:02
What would I look for in a fantasy pub?

1. Ales of quality - Check
2. Above brewed on site - Check
3. Good atmosphere - Check
4. Beautiful setting - Check
5. Outside beer garden in above setting - Check
6. A good quality cider on tap - Check
7. Reasonably priced - Check
8. Clean - Check
9. Friendly staff - Check

For the summer months, this is the best place I've ever been too. Amazing. Just go here on a sunny day and be blown away!
Quinno - 26 Jun 2006 21:56
Torn on this one - beautiful pub with fantastic setting. Great range of soft drinks (Ginger with Lime?). However, some majorly grumpy bar staff. Not sure if they were having a joint "bad day" but you'd have needed an ice pick to crack that atmosphere. Shame we didn't get to eat - we were too late for lunch and early for dinner. Also gutted we didn't catch the cricket...
LooseVixens - 24 Jun 2006 22:29
A delightful and architypal English village pub. We had a really good lunch here, sitting watching the cricket on the green - how much more English can one get? The pub brews it's own excellent beers and does very good and imaginative food. The village of West Peckham is lovely, the setting of the pub on the village green and next to the church could not be improved on.
Zim - 1 Jun 2005 10:33

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