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White Swan, Twickenham

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user reviews of the White Swan, Twickenham

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

When I die I want to be stuffed and propped up at a table at this place wearing a Quins shirt. And if possible a fresh pint of Naked Ladies to be placed in front of me each day.
BeerBelly666 - 9 Dec 2016 11:06
Small pub with a couple of rooms. Very busy on summer weekends especially when the sun is out. Food ok but pricy but you get what you pay for.
Beers well kept. Londons Pride was V good and two other real ales on tap. My son said lager was perfect.
Staff do there best in serving when it is busy however they do and it was very noticeable on my three visits within 6 weeks that they serve locals before guests/tourists by a long way.
Untrained staff or just looking after the regulars??
droggs - 12 Oct 2015 00:35
I've been a couple of times in the last month, and it really is the perfect summertime pub.

On a sunny day, there is no better place to get slowly plastered right on the riverside.

The beer is fine - I don't know why people say there could be more variety. It always has London Pride, then there are three or four other decent real ales to choose from.

The food's OK. Not perfect, but not bad.

The pub is modern inside but hasn't been modernised in an obtrusive way.

Given its location on a very quiet road, right by the river, overlooking a wooded island, I can't think of anything to improve the place.
EldridgePope - 9 Jun 2015 17:53
I'm surprised at the 6/10 score for this admittedly small but charming riverside pub. Knocks spots off the Barmy Arms. Usually has Naked Ladies on and I've only ever found the staff friendly. Could do with more beer variety I suppose but never had a duff pint. With the sun out it's hard to beat the location with plenty happening on the river.
Lennyq - 10 Apr 2015 14:06
A unique pub in a unique location; off a residential road directly overlooking – and with direct access to – the River Thames. A detached, open aired enclave provides succour in the summer; there are fireplaces providing warmth throughout the winter. In any case, the meagre size of this establishment could mean you'll struggle to find a seat, although there's always the pavement.
It's the age of the place that really impresses, and the impracticability of it all: seats in the way of each other; subterranean lavatories; tidal incursions that literally leave people stranded, perched upon wooden benches for the while it takes for the river to ebb away. 9/10

TheKindnessOfTrees - 24 Nov 2014 20:54
An excellent fire, friendly staff and good (if uninspiring choice of) beer led to a long, warming, relaxing (and expensive) night here. We've been at the White Swan on two successive Saturday nights now and it's surprisingly quiet - perhaps people have been avoiding it as they're unsure of the tide times and they're unwilling to pop in for a quick drink, only to get locked in?

I hear "it's not like it used to be" ... but I didn't know it then, so on that basis I really like this pub and the landlord is running it well at the moment in my opinion - with a meat raffle (!), beer tastings, currently the food is very good; as I mentioned above, the beer is good but of the 6 pumps, the choice is a bit samey. Happy to drink it though :) And they have a very nice lager from the Freedom Brewery.
lipster - 21 Jan 2013 14:06
After escaping the Barmy Arms. Tried our luck in the White Swan. Fantastic location, eclectic mix of customers. Well kept beer, good service.
ericstadd - 20 Aug 2012 08:41
Simply Fantastic. Best pub night out in a long time. Nice friendly service, Great beer, it was a bit chilly outside, the barman asked if we'd like the heaters on outside, nothing was to much trouble. Food looked good and service great, a peaceful evening watching the river float by while enjoying a beer. Thanks ! 10/10
Fuller_Beer - 17 Jun 2012 16:24
An ever popular place but a change in management does seem to have reduced efficiency at serving beer. Having said that I enjoy going there and particularly being on the terrace by the river with the added charm that there is a risk of The Thames flooding whilst you are there.
NLBS - 28 May 2012 17:40
Good question. This and The Castle in Old Isleworth. This site ain't what it used to be
Revd_Cuntyman - 3 Apr 2012 16:44
Flap....this site hasn't been administered for quite some time.
There would appear to be some sort of programming 'loop' affecting the 'random' pub.
No new pubs have been added for months, in fact you no longer even get an email acknowledgement when submitting one.
Any explanation 'admin'?

wirraldrinker - 3 Apr 2012 16:43
Because the other six random pubs of the day are too busy. Seriously, the BITE folks need to fix their RPG (Random Pub Generator) because the same ones show up over and over and...
beansoup - 3 Apr 2012 16:42
Such a shame what has happened to this pub. Totally ruined by rich owners who bought it to turn into their own private drinking establishment, not by locals as had been previous thought. If you want to see the type of people who caused the global economy to crash, they all drink here. They are the only ones who can afford it. Total rip off. Gone is all the quirkyness and character. None of the old faces which says a lot. There was nothing wrong with the pub, staff or regulars, it just needed the broken bits fixing.
Service is awful, the lone barman was asked to make a coffee for someone so not only were we subjected to the racket of the machine which can be heard wherever you sit but then had to wait the best part of 15mins for a drink. Would have walked out if not meeting family. And be warned you could be charged nearly 9 for 2 pints then told to move because the owners want to sit where you are. Shocking, the owners should hang their heads in shame. Much much better pubs around.
THE_Ale_TEAM - 31 Dec 2011 10:53
Excellent riverside pub with a choice of real ales. Real coal fires, a relaxed atmosphere and welcoming, friendly service. I enjoyed a pint of '391' in tip-top condition. Food is excellent quality and served in hearty portions. A 'must visit' when in the area.
wobblybob - 27 Oct 2011 19:50
Great little riverside pub, always heaving when the suns out, nice selection of beers and reasonably priced quality food. Paul the manager is a very welcoming host and no its not the cheapest but I dont want to drink in Wetherspoons or the George so I pay more to get more out of it.
paddypint - 10 Oct 2011 11:28
1 Guinness, x2 125ml of house white wine - 13.90. Furious. Will write a proper review after I calm down.
THE_Ale_TEAM - 3 Oct 2011 19:30
I happened to walk into this "pub" today after an absence of some two years (the subsequent absence will be even longer) Requesting a half of "Naked Ladies", a local brew which is normally cheaper than average, I was charged 1.80 and was informed upon enquiring that a pint was 3.35 (Do the Math!) This was served up under- measure by some snooty black clad harridan. The bar staff look like a Panzer battalion but aren't as pleasant.
This establishment remains a pokey, pretentious little dive whose only claim to fame is the lovely riverside view, but you could get that by sitting on the pavement outside. The toilets (outside) remain disgusting after many years.
My advice to anyone taking a pleasant riverside stroll from from Twickenham to Richmond is to carry on strolling until you get to a decent Richmond hostelry and give this abomination a very wide berth.
StrawhillJ - 29 Jul 2011 23:22
no review just excellent improvement all round
ivor beer
ivorbeer - 17 Jul 2011 15:16
Slightly surreal place with all the coming and going up and down stairs and shouting of people getting into and out of boats. Doom Bar, Twick. Naked Ladies, Sambrooks Wandle. 3.60 a pint for the Sambrooks Wandle which is lot of money.
It was not difficult for me to get a glass glass and sit outside, no plastic was required (exc that a lot of people pay with plastic; bar staff now seem to have got the trick, or the good ones have, of approaching the next customer for their order while the plastic fantastic is going through on the previous one).
rainlight - 2 Jul 2011 19:10
Visited this great little pub over sunny weekend and had a good time. Friendly staff led my Paul the manager, made to feel really welcome.
Food fitted the bill and we had a relaxing afternoon.
Think there has been a change there recently so need to visit for yourself and not be guided by previous bad experiences.

advisor - 30 Jun 2011 15:33
What a little haven. such an old and delightfully quirky pub! A feeling of being in the countryside rather than busy town which is just a short walk away. Where else can you drink and eat (good food) with the river, ducks and conservation area. Will definately return!
meljlewis - 18 Jun 2011 10:18
Under new management. What a difference! Staff are happy, very eager to please. Food has improved The guiness is excellent. It has a lovely atmosphere both during the day and in the evening. It is delightful on a summer weekend.
I hope this comment will kick start more good ones
berbizier - 15 Jun 2011 18:10
Terribly rude. Went for a pint with 2 locals who count the Swan as their local. Served plastic glasses, which we (politely) questioned as others were getting glasses and we weren't going outside. Were told that as we weren't locals we get plastic. My friend pointed out he did in fact come in quite often. The just over 18 barman (barboy?) then told him in no uncertain terms that if he was a local (with the inference he was lying), then he would know his face and he would have had a proper glass. Terribly rude and unwelcoming for no real purpose. There are plenty of nice pubs in Twickenham who will happily serve you good ale. Try them first. 1 point for the view, 1 for a very average pint of something forgettable.
Sir_Henry - 15 May 2011 09:09
I also prefer "sir Stouts" is a giant steaming turd!
ilovepubs73 - 25 Apr 2011 15:52
What has happened to the poor old White swan.Bought by locals for locals....are you joking!I say to those who bought this pub and allowed it to be run by such an incompetent management company...shame on you,look what you've done to the place!

With so many pubs closing around the country, you-the owners, have some gall to throw your money into a place and treat it so disrespectfully.
Too much money and no's laughable.

It's interesting to note that it's been a Free house ever since it was bought,you wouldn't have guessed that with the range and price of products they stock,pitiful to say the least.

From reading the previous comments I feel so sorry for those former locals who now cant identify with a pub which they held in such high regard and supported throughout the year and not just when it suited their social engagements.
Once a hidden gem,now it's just mutton dressed as lamb.

Cant wait to see what the summer brings,where once it would have been filled with a superb cross section of the community and inquisitive visitors, I suggest will now be packed with Faceless Toffs & Shirtless Chavs....ho hum...I'm off to the Fox-it's not perfect, but at least it still retains some character and they actually seem to care!

I'll give it a score of 1,and that's for for the view.
ilovepubs73 - 25 Apr 2011 15:46
Very slow and grumpy service of very expensive warm beer, very expensive warm wine to be drunk in plastic glasses sitting on the pavement listening to shirtless chavs shout at their kids running up and down the road. This used to be a little gem, now a steaming turd.
sir_stout - 23 Apr 2011 12:59
Had a terrible lunch here with a group of colleagues. Half the orders were wrong (several of us randomly got soup when we had ordered chips!) and no apologies given. We gave up on trying to get the orders right after a while and just ate the provided dishes or went without. There was a particularly rude lady (the owner? manager?) who seemed to think it was our fault, even though we had tried to make things as easy as possible by emailing our order through in advance. Such a shame as the surroundings are pleasant. The food we did receive was fine but not good enough to persuade me to go back.
ravenwoman - 21 Apr 2011 15:32
6.1/10 ??? This is a great pub in a wonderful location. Will be kicking off my weekend there in one hour. It has been under new management for a while now and is much improved. I stopped eating there when the previous management ran it, but will be giving it another go. Got to be 8/10 with an upward re-rating possible in the future.
GaryB59 - 8 Apr 2011 16:17
How much?! We had 2 bottles of Peroni and a small lemonade on Sunday and paid 10.20 for the pleasure!!! Are they having a laugh? 4.50 for a bottle of beer on the pavement? Next time, I will take my own beer to drink on the beach! I am disgusted! A pub run by locals for massive profit!
By way of comparison, a bottle of Peroni at The Royal Oak costs 3.40.
ehopson - 28 Mar 2011 13:27
A truly dreadful experience ! I know it was match day, but the licensee came in at 9pm on Saturday evening just as the singing was getting going, tore down the French flags and decided to close the place, telling us that the police were closing all the pubs in Twickenham. This turned out to be complete nonsense.A very strange way to treat customers
chris.sladen - 2 Mar 2011 15:11
We went yesterday for lunch and it was a shambles. We had booked a table for 5, but it took the staff 15 mins to find us 5 chairs. It was 2pm, but the pub had run out of Naked Ladies ale, rioja, fish and chips and all desserts excluding vanilla ice cream. It took 50 mins for the food to arrive and whilst it had been nicely cooked, some of it was lukewarm.
blink - 28 Feb 2011 11:52
Update for daveid:

In there week before last and the woman with the black hair is still pulling up short pints.
Did top it up when I asked but I doubt she'd have been as graceful if I hadn't been with a bunch of mates who drink there every day. Have to say they're only there for the Naked Ladies.
TheHopHunter - 19 Jan 2011 11:35
I love this pub, unlike some of the recent posts I think that the new lighter interior is a step forward and makes it less of a 14th century groto. It also seems to have got rid of some of the pre-historic dinasours that used to inabit the place, which for me is a good thing.

It is essentially a summer pub, but I love nothing more than a crisp sunny winters day sat out in the garden with a guinesss reading the papers and drinking with friends. The views of the river are fantastic and really put you at ease.

I say congratulations to the new owners, who I understand have saved the pub from becoming yet another Fullers or Youngs bore hole. Keep up the good work!
gokartkid - 12 Jan 2011 18:00
Sadly it is plummetting downhill. I think the new owners have probably never been to a pub before and just have total contempt for the clientele. It is a bit like a football club with foreign owners. The fans still support it but wish it was like it used to be while the owners think the fans are irrelevant. One day someone will buy it who understands the word hospitality and does not just try to screw every penny out of the the fan.
I would be intrigued to know what industry the new owners actually work in. I bet it's one where the bottom line is king and nothing else matters; the problem is that good pubs don't work like that. Humanity comes in - not that they would understand. They clearly have no soul.
Someonewhocares - 9 Jan 2011 22:21
Paid another visit after 4th November to see if it was any different. Mrs R who'd walked from Teddington to Richmond then to the White Swan was looking forward to a mulled wine. "Sorry, it won't be ready until tonight" said the barman. OK, a hot toddy then? "Sorry, I can't make one". What rum, a spoonful of sugar topped up with hot water. Black haired woman was presumably the owner? Difficult to understand the 'English' spoken here. I'm going to have to alter my previous rating to 5.
Paul_Rochdale - 2 Jan 2011 20:39
Thought I'd give it another shot last week to see if the dust had settled after the change and sad to say it has and is much the worse for it. Had a good selection of ales but staff had no idea how to pour and no knowledge of them, that goes double for the wines. At the very least staff should know the difference between Cab Sav and Sav Blanc, even if its only the colour. I was also shocked at the prices, a small glass of wine cost more than the whole bottle, which can be bought at the local supermarket!!! The place was also empty, not a single face, local or staff that was recognizable from previous years which is very strange for such a small, locals pub. The thing that links almost all the previous reviews dating back to 2002 is how friendly the pub felt. Not any more. If the only thing going for it now is the location the new owners seem intent on ruining that as well with rotting, rusting BBQ's in the garden, covered by a filthy tent that looks like a tramps hat. I give it 1/10, and thats only with the hope that the river will come up and give the garden a good wash.
the_light_knight - 6 Dec 2010 14:12
to 'ease' pressure on the tills on match days, you now purchase 'tickets' for beers outside the pub & exchange them for beers inside the pub.
sadly, this is a complete CON, as the price becomes 15 for 4 beers.!!!! Yes, that's 3.75 for a london pride or green king IPA!!!!
it's the mentality of the person who came up with this idea i feel sorry for... is this even allowed - i didn't see them changing the price list behind the bar!
I felt like scum, being taken advantage of, and fleeced in this blatant, uncaring manner. the greed mindset of this act sucked bigtime.
hope it was worth it - i wont be back, i wont recommend you, i hope the pub fails.
TW1 - 22 Nov 2010 16:36
I've just visited the pub once and found it fine. OK it may have once been brilliant but it seemed fine to us. Wonderful location and tortuous route to the loos.
Paul_Rochdale - 5 Nov 2010 21:27
this is a fabulous pub. great location. It is a refuge for people who cannot take being abused by the drunks who manage the Barmy Arms next door if manage is the right word. But as usual every cloud has a silver lining as David Essex would say - the pub is home to a vicious pitbull who roams free. It is only a mater of time before a child cops it.
Apart from that it is wonderful and the food is ok if you like paying Le Gavroche prices for pub grub.
Someonewhocares - 23 Oct 2010 16:45
Oh dear. What have the new owners done to this pub? The only thing going for it now is it`s location. Last night I was served a short measure of warm red wine by a cold Russian who didn`t know how to crack a smile.
I have been twice since it changed hands, and BOTH TIMES they gave me a smaller measure of wine. First time, the guy charged me for a 250ml glass and gave me 175ml. Last night I paid for a 175ml glass and received a 125ml (they said it was a rogue glass)! Most of the customers who were taking up the tables were either staff or the staff`s mates which gave the place a cliquey feel. And the prices! A large glass of Rioja was 6.75.
They`ve tried to make the place trendy by placing a metal cage by the bar full of wines which looks like it should be down in the cellar. Oh, and I forgot - when I asked for cabernet sauvignon I was shown a bottle of sauvignon blanc. The staff haven`t got a clue. I won`t be going there again.
gress - 13 Oct 2010 14:55
Having just moved to the area, I have been looking for a decent local pub to visit in my evenings. There are lots of pubs in Twickenham and it was starting to become a difficult choice....until I came across this brilliant pub on the river. Perfect location, new manager (with a dog) who was very charming and offered great conversation to a lone drinker like myself. A great choice of five ales, including Wandle, Twickenham fine ales and doombar. I did not know the pub before the refurbishment so I am not in a position to compare. However I really enjoy my time here and would recommend to any who haven't popped in- will be a sure hit with me in the winter when the fire is on!
msp88 - 23 Sep 2010 16:42
I used to live in the area, when this pub was a great place for a drink and a meal beside the Thames. Met family for lunch there yesterday....hoping to sit outside, but rain prevented this. The inside has been refurbished, and is ok. Staff appeared to have had little training in customer service, and seemed very vague about tabs, etc. Menu was tatty, hardly readable, food overpriced and really diabolical! Sandwiches were 6.50 each...all bread and little filling. These were accompanied by the most foul "chips"...unpeeled new potatoes, deep fried and soggy. Not that any of us wanted chips with sandwiches, but these were insulting.

All very sad for a pub in such a superb location.
Montrose - 5 Aug 2010 23:23
Beautifully put, natasha! - says it all
twatboy - 19 Jul 2010 17:59
Let me start by saying I can confident that I'm probably the new owners' target audience - just the sort of person they're hoping to attract to the newly refurbished pub. Well, they really got it wrong.

A few weeks ago, the bartender told me that the refurbishment was done to, "make more people feel comfortable" and that, "the owners felt the previous decor would make people feel excluded." I've never once attended New Year's or the Raft Race hosted by the White Swan, and I can't say I know any of the regulars at the pub, either. I'm not even British, and most of the time I'm living abroad.

However, I have loved visiting the pub for many reasons. Upon entering the White Swan after a sojourn away, I always felt there was a sense of community and camaraderie amongst regulars and strangers alike who share their love of the place, warts and all. I now feel exactly what the owners supposedly wanted to avoid.

What they have done is wiped away all the evidence of years of friendships, courtships, dalliances, and sense of identity by removing the very relics that made the White Swan unique, stripping the floors of their character, and sanitising the place.

A zebra cannot change its stripes. The over-designed arrangement of wine bottles in threes behind the bar was a thin veil to suggest a posh-ness that is, well, just not the White Swan's soul. I had to laugh when visiting the loo to find that there was no toilet roll or hand soap. That's the White Swan I remember!

My partner and I joked this evening that we wished we could buy the White Swan to return it to its former glory. Perhaps the owners will consider so we can all return to a place we love?

natasha_y - 15 Jul 2010 17:40
I finally found the courage to visit here last Friday.

Positive : the interior could be worse. Negative: it was much better before.

Now for more negatives: already you can see the new breed of visitors, the chavs and foul-mouths who mask their insecurity with an agressive and intimidating front and punctuate their FAAAARKING with the occasional nice word. The beer garden now has completely unecessary cafe-style parasols over the tables and a troupe of latin musicians were doing their very best to convince us that this was the Costa del Thames.

But worst of all was when I asked for the beer. The girl poured it, resulting in a large, 2" head which she rightly let sit for a while. Fair enough, and I pretended to look at the old photographs on the wall for a couple of minutes. 2 minutes later I look back and see two pints sitting there having had their beer deficit reduced to only half an inch below the top. So I waited, optimistic that she was going to wait for it to settle some more to put the rest in. No. "There are you're pints" / "Can you put some more in please?"/ "What! [shock, horror] You want more? [this guy's a loony]"/ "Well, I would like a full pint", after which she finished the job without making eye contact.

Let's get this clear. This would have been without doubt the most deficient pint in terms of size I'd ever been served, and this is in the White Swan. What's more, it is considered strange and eccentric that a punter actually wants his pint (at 3.20 or thereabouts) to be a full pint. In financial terms, a pint that far below the line is about 10 percent short, representing about 32p profit for the landlord. I use the words "profit" and "landlord" in their broadest possible meanings. For "landlord" read "temporary owner" and for "profit" read "FRAUD".
daveid - 7 Jul 2010 11:36
I was in The White Swan on Saturday and I'm pleased to see that the old photographs of the locals are back, along with the photographs of The Great Raft Race, the Rugby ephemera and the Country Life article on Twickenham Riverside ( which may have been there all along ), so don't be put off by the refurbishment; try it yourself and see
Mancini - 6 Jul 2010 15:46
Sorry its ghastly. A lovely 17thC pub turned into another 'all bar one' type pub -just worse - its ghastly beyond words how very sad. Just goes to show that money doesnt mean brains, sense, respect, style or taste.

All it needed was a good clean and a change of attitude by some staff. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater........!
Frodos_mum - 6 Jul 2010 12:54
Given the depth of feeling expressed below, i'm almost wary of commenting. I'd heard on the grape vine that the restyling had been a disaster, but actually, having popped in a few days ago, i didn't think it was too bad.

The character has changed somewhat, but it is certainly cleaner and airier, and remains cosy and welcoming. There is no harm in a bit of a change and freshening up: i'm sure in a few months we'll all wonder what all the fuss was about.....i shall certain remain a regular, albeit infrequent, habituee.
The_Speckled_Hen - 2 Jul 2010 16:29
The John Bonser roadshow paid its inaugural post refurbishment visit to this pub yesterday to see for himself the alleged recent "improvements" to this pub in the light of the plethora of recent adverse comments here.

My previous visit - and subsequent posting here in April - was generally positive and enjoyable, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I ambled down the towpath from Richmond yesterday evening

Whilst the pub appears unchanged externally - it's still got that attractive whitewashed exterior - the damage to the character and individuality of the pub is, perhaps predictably, quite severe - on the Richter Scale of pub vandalism it merits a 6 in my book. As previous contributors have correctly pointed out, it's now very much got that sanitised, clinical, identikit, any-pub-any-where feel to it. The worst part, in my opinion, is the pastel shades, particularly the green colouring that has been applied to the wooden bar front. The rugby tickets stubs previously here have disappeared. The back room has survived relatively unscathed, much of the rugby memorabilia remains ( framed shirts ) .

On the plus side, I have to say that my pint of Ringwood 49er was in good form and the price - 3.15p - for its gravity is reasonable, when compared with offerings from more local brewers ( eg - Fullers London Pride ).

The jury's out on the staffing front as far as I'm concerned, I didn't form any particularly positive or negative views either way.

Perhaps unusually for a refurbishment of this nature, I didn't detect, on my visit yesterday, any obvious signs that the pub was looking to change its "desired customer profile". Notably, the forthcoming Raft Race in July was still being advertised.

The pub is now part of the Convivial London Pubs group - a group of approx 8 pubs dotted round the London area, that, notably, includes the once notorious Pakenham Arms near the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office. Interestingly, particularly to older drinkers, is the fact that one of the company directors is David Bruce of former "Firkin" fame.

I shall probably continue to pop in here at infrequent intervals, but, in summary, whilst I don't like the "improvements", take it from me that they could have been much much worse.

JohnBonser - 1 Jul 2010 09:52
I miss the old photographs of the locals, on pig-raffle night ( or whatever they were doing ) and the collage photo's of the Great Raft Race. along with that double page spread from Country Life about Twickenham Riverside, but the pub has survived with it's internal features intact. The disused 1970's bar area hasn't been touched; the original varnish around the mirrorred shelves is still there, so I don't understand these vitriolic comments. The beer also happens to be perfect. Am I missing something here?
Mancini - 28 Jun 2010 15:45
Ok, I have now signed up to this site to say to the people speaking to my friends and family about the 'campaign' against the swan.


The people who know me know how I feel about the changes made to the pub. I do not have a campaign against the place, the manager is a good friend of mine. I voted with my feet and chose to drink elsewhere but I have never said I would not ever drink there. This may sound daft to people who don't know me but I grew up in that pub along with a lot of my friends and it is very dear to me. That is all.
tomganf - 28 Jun 2010 11:24
Kenbabs you do adopt the moral high ground don't you? And please feel free to scroll through my pages of reviews and you will also find positive comments, giving credit where credit's due.

I am also more than happy to supply my name, so how about we all 'un-mask' (at the risk of our discussions becoming more of a masquerade than the Investors' care for the Swan's existing regular trade)?

The facts, my friend remain:

1: The balance of opinion is that the interior has been poorly done, which radically alters the feel of the place. Put simply, I understand you disagree with this Kenbabs.

If the Investors cared a jot that this was important they could simply hire a real designer to put the mess right.

2: The atmosphere has been sterilised by replacing the staff with untrained teenagers who have to have a large labels on all of the bottles in order to identify the contents.

I've nothing against these guys but as the quality of the staff make a pub, again here the poor Swan has taken a backward step.

I don't either want or need to debate this ad-nauseum when Kenbabs you clearly have some sort of relationship to the Investors who have cocked the whole thing up.

And I agree with the most recent review in that I think the Swan's trade will suffer in the winter when it had been we regulars that had been continuing to spend there, keeping the place afloat.
TheWickerMan - 25 Jun 2010 13:35
the refurb stinks. with all the talk of big-bucks bankers and lawyers it was surprising how cheap it looked....that wine 'cage', the colour scheme, the mdf tops to the beer barrel tables, the pointless pictures and that awful, awful mirror and even more disastrous signage.
the staff are now all moody teenagers - now i myself once worked at the swan as a (probably) moody teenager but that was counterbalanced by the brilliant mixture of all different types of staff of different ages, races, looks and personalities - this is now sorely lacking.
with the staff exodus a number of the locals have moved on. some do remain, more out of loyalty to the place than the people. the new owners complete disregard for the history of the place and what really made the place brilliant - the people - is the saddest thing. a bit of tlc could have been administered without alienating long term patrons. they may laugh it off now but once the long cold winters set in and the weekenders dissapear they are going to struggle massively. those now absent locals paid for the logs and gaffa tape that kept the place above freezing in the winter.
i'm not going to boycott the place but, without sounding malicious, i very much looking forward to the day, probably not for many years now, that the new owners decide they've had enough and the place is bought by the owners it deserves and you guys will be back enjoying your pints of.......guinness (sir_stout), fosters (fatangfatang) and IPA (kenbabs)?
See you there!
stop_making_sense - 23 Jun 2010 00:19
Kenbabs, there was never any serious danger of the pub being "Grand-Unionized", due to it's size and location - in fact the new look is exactly what I predicted, which is what makes it so predictable, ha-ha.
I see that ubiquitous English heritage green everywhere now, from the White Swan in Richmond to every gastro-pub that's had a makeover.
You haven't grasped my point which is that it didn't need it, it just needed some TLC as advertised on the board outside - which means maintenance, cleaning etc.
If you were involved in advising on the new look, then obviously you will defend it, but i agree with fatang; put your money where your mouth is and unmask yourself.... there's no downside for you, otherwise we will have to assume you are one of the owners or their acquaintances.
twatboy - 22 Jun 2010 22:05
I don't feel the need to tell the world my name, would you like to tell us yours? That way we can be sure you are not a "crony" of the owners.
I also don't want to burn my bridges completely, by being barred, because if my freinds are there, then I will still drink there occasionally.
Fatangfatang - 22 Jun 2010 20:51
If that is the case and you are not an ex-employee then I apologise as that was not what was told. However, you also sent the same letter to the Richmond & Twickenham Times with your name witheld which I find unusual. If what you said is true, then I would have thought there would be no need to hide under anonimity.
kenbabs - 22 Jun 2010 18:57
Badly phrased - I meant to say: even then, only having bottled beer was a rarity, not that a Pubco going into administration was a rarity!
twatboy - 22 Jun 2010 18:04
Dear Kenbabs, you don't have a unique grasp on the future of pubs.. other people are quite capable of realizing that a failing pub needs to change - the point here is that the White Swan wasn't failing.
When you visited and there was only bottled beer, it was because the previous Pubco owners had gone bust and were in administration. (even then that was a rarity). The pub itself is and was profitable.
It doesn't follow that it needed to be updated, as the majority of it's trade is summer visitors who come for the location and don't care about the interior, and rugby crowds who are very likely to strongly disapprove of the new look, especially as it had a strong rugby connection and now the genuine rugby memoribilia has all gone.
It always had a good selection of beers and good grub, but what made it special was that it was original - un-planned, un-themed and real.
The bottom line is that you either like a pub to look modern, wine-bar-ish, and in the same fashionable colour scheme as just about every other re-furbed pub, or you like it to look like a pub.
I'm glad you feel as strongly as me at the sad loss of pubs in the area, and the whole country, but, to us, this pub has been lost.
You say, "What would you prefer - a pub in it's original 17th century building serving 4 real ales and decent grub or a block of modern flats which has "tastefully" retained the frontage or a supermarket?"
That wasn't the choice here. Are you happy for every historic pub to be made over unnecessarily?
twatboy - 22 Jun 2010 17:56
What nobody seems to grasp is the fact that unless pubs change they will cease to exist. Gone are the days of the dartboard, cheese & tomato rolls and the pickled egg, with pubs selling 1 badly kept grotty bitter. Just over a year ago I visited the White Swan with two friends only to be greeted with "we've only got bottled beer and wine as the brewery haven't deilivered". I wonder why! In 2009 two more Twickenham pubs closed, the Three Kings (uncertain future) and the Red Lion - now a bloody Tesco's. The Red Lion had been on that site since 1726 albeit in a smaller building. From 1970 onwards 7 Twickenham pubs have closed and Richmond fares no better. What would you prefer - a pub in it's original 17th century building serving 4 real ales and decent grub or a block of modern flats which has "tastefully" retained the frontage or a supermarket?
kenbabs - 22 Jun 2010 16:09
Re: TheWickerMan.
When did I mention that you were not entitled to your opinion? Everybody has that entitlement and just because mine differs from yours that doesn't entitle you to hurl abuse. And I just love people who make threats that hide behind an alias. Judging from the rest of your comments on various other pubs, all you seem to want to do is whinge. Get a life.
kenbabs - 22 Jun 2010 13:58
Pub used to mean "public house". Now this one is a plaything for the rich - somewhere for them to hold parties for their children and have soirees with their fellow ponces.
We can vote out a council who try to foist an unpopular scheme on us, but democracy doesn't apply here - money always has the power in the end.
Bring on the revolution!
twatboy - 21 Jun 2010 17:38

Kenbabs, I think you need to get your facts straight before you start accusing people of posting negative comments about the pub. I know the disgruntled former employees (there are more than one) and I can assure you that none of them are a member of this site. They have made their opinions know by not working or drinking there. Its funny that you were approached by the new owners in regards to the refurb and not one of the many regulars were. When you say approached, do you mean lunched with the owners as they are your friends? Hey, if I had had some input and the result is what has happened there is no way I would admit to it.
sir_stout - 21 Jun 2010 16:43
Apologies for the misplaced apostrophe in "its". How the hell did I do that?!
daveid - 21 Jun 2010 16:09
Although I haven't yet seen "White Swan 2.0" I can tell you that I'm not a crony either. I'm a local resident who has been visiting this pub on and off since the age of 18 and more particularly in the last few years. In the years that I've been visiting pubs, I have witnessed dozens pubs close, become private houses or restaurants and many that haven't better off dead than the with the "corporate-template" facelifts given. This country's LIVING HERITAGE , no better exemplified than in its rich and diverse pub culture, is vanishing like it's wildlife, almost overnight, in the mere flicker of an eye.


daveid - 21 Jun 2010 15:46
Me, a disgruntled crony kenbabs??? Would you like to meet for a drink and say that to my face?

Im not a 15 year regular, just six years and feel I am entitled to my opinion. So Twickenham pub history is your speciality huh and you like the interior?

Kenbabs you are shyster sir and should return to the murk of the George and Web Ellis where you surely usually inhabit.
TheWickerMan - 21 Jun 2010 15:11
In case anyone is interested, "fatangfatang" is not a disgruntled ex-employee, but a bona-fide regular of 15 years.
And, I have to say, I was delighted when i found the White Swan balcony was reserved on Saturday night for a children's party - I'm sure "kenbabs" will agree that this enlightened approach to traditional pub life should be rolled out throughout the country, and every pub should have a crche and childcare facilities for mums who wish to enjoy a quick snifter.
More of this approach would put an end to those sad old whingers who used to visit these places , and make it a nice place for nice people.
Fatangfatang - 20 Jun 2010 23:51
Kenbabs you presume wrong. I am no one's 'crony'. I am passionate about English pubs as you will see from my many many reviews as opposed to your paltry two. So if someone disagrees with you and your pompous views then we are disgruntled ? What a supercilious attitude. The pub is worse since the new owners took over. That is my opinion ok Kenbabs ?
nickthefish - 20 Jun 2010 17:22
Was approached by one of the new owners regarding the history of the pub before redecoration as Twickenham pub history is my subject. Was assured the aside from redecoration the pub would remain largely unchanged. Was pleasantly surprised when I visited recently and aside from the internal colour (green isn't me) thought they had done a good job. Much better than before with no blaring pop music. Excellent choice of ales to boot. With regard to the negative comments, it transpires that the "local of 15 years" is believed to be a disgruntled former employee who is only in his twenties. I suspect that the other negatives are from his cronies. I am sure it will do well and I will continue to use the pub in the future.
kenbabs - 20 Jun 2010 16:37
Ha ha ha, all-bar-swan! This great British pub is no more. After drinking in the Swan for 20 years I will now be spending my money elsewhere. There are no locals drinking there, no characture, just bland corporate manufactured nothingness. Wanted to have a drink on the balcony last night only to find it reserved for a child's birthday!! Where there was a back room with the history of the rugby team and decorated with rugby shirts from all over the world there is now pictures of... Delon Armatage???? Why? He's never drunk there, not a local boy and not even first choice for England. Where there were pictures of the locals on new years eve, burns night and raft race (some dating back over 30 years) there are now cartoons of 'old' pub jokes????

To the owners: if you are going to sit in the garden and laugh at how worked up the "alchoholic locals" are getting on this website may i suggest that you make sure those said locals are not sitting on the table behind you.

To the management company: your tag line is "passionate about the great British pub", all-bar-one is not a British pub and certainly not great.

To nickthefish: I agree, the pub has gone the way of this country, run by rich boys.

My rating was 8 and is now 0.
sir_stout - 20 Jun 2010 16:31
The Investors have given this fantastic old pub a lobotomy for sure, flashed a leery smile and a wink at its regulars and the kicked us all in the nuts.

Whilst some rennovation was doubtless needed on the infrastructure of an historic building, why feel the need to alter the look of the interior so radically? And fundamentally get it so wrong? If the 'Designer' is reading this, you're rubbish mate. Yes I'm sure your flat's very trendy but why have you inflicted your sterile, soulless, bland and ultimately average taste on the poor old White Swan?

I used to go here for the colourful regulars, the cool staff, the beaten up traditional interior and basically the warmth of welcome and feeling of jolity and relaxed contentment whilst having a pint by the fire. Now the only thing that hasn't been meddled with is the view of the Thames.

I would very much like to meet some of these charming Investors for a drink and personally expend time and energy explaining why they (and other nipples like them) should stay out of decent pubs and stick to wine bars where they would be so much more suited.

I have just changed my rating of this pub from 8 to zero and strongly urge everyone else who feels the same to do likewise.

You mess with our pub and we'll floor your rating. See you all in the Fox then...
TheWickerMan - 19 Jun 2010 15:17
God this is so depressing....... a fantastic pub with years of unique character has been ruined by bland, unimaginative, yuppie new owners.
The crowd who were here this evening (Thursday), were the most awful bunch of poseurs I have ever seen.
A pub should be a cross-section of the real world, and this pub used to be full of interesting local characters, who sadly now seem to have been hounded out by the soulless, out of place new regime.
Shame. We see it all over the country, with classic old pubs biting the dust, but when a healthy historic masterpiece like the Swan can be mauled and ravaged by those with money but no taste, it's time for a revolution.
twatboy - 18 Jun 2010 01:16
This pub has now gone the same way as the country as a whole. Down the poxy pan. Bastards.

nickthefish - 16 Jun 2010 19:37
Welcome, hollow ones...

Please don't let our sentimental moaning interfere with your enjoyment of your beef fillet carpaccios and Parmesan shavings, free range poulet ovulation tarts with carrot juliette, home cut pomme de terre dissections, jellyfish terrine on a bed of samphire and rocket followed by enfant defecation pudding, all washed down with a glass of Chateau Knob de Tete.

May you never be troubled by the knowledgeof what came before...
daveid - 16 Jun 2010 17:27
Last Saturday, the White Swan on Twickenham riverside, re-opened after
refurbishment. I'm sure the new owners will be very pleased to have
added this pub to the list of of generic, bland, soulless, gastro-pubs
that pervade the country, but it's a shame that a unique historic pub
with over 200 years of character has been lost for ever. The arrogance
of the new owners - rich lawyers -, overheard laughingly dismissing
the fears of the locals - "we don't care what they think, it's our pub
now" adds insult to injury.
No doubt many people will love it - it has been done very "tastefully"
of course, just like every other gastro-pub - but now above the
fireplace, there are blackboards advertising today's specials where
there used to be a large antique picture of the historic riverside.
Where there were pictures of locals enjoying events going back to the
seventies, there are now oldey-worldey irrelevant pictures bought from
the "kit-out-your-pub theme shop".
I'm sure the new owners, their wives and friends from St. Margarets
couldn't care less about the history, now that they have a pet project
to boast about.
English heritage would not allow them to change the outside
appearance, but it's a shame they had no power to stop the vandalism
No doubt many failing pubs with no particular heritage need to make
this kind of "rejuvenation" but the Swan was totally unique; sadly now
it looks like a clone of the bland, fake chains that litter the
country. Whether the new look will add to the huge swell of summer
customers and/or rugby day visitors who have always enjoyed the pub is
highly dubious. It certainly won't be the cosy, warm pub it was in
The pub won the Evening Standard "Pub of the year" award in 1997. Now
it's the equivalent of a Starbucks I can't imagine that being
Does it really matter? To many of us it was a time-capsule - an
unchanging bubble of familiarity and a social hub in a world where
everything else gradually changes. Sadly, those with a bit of money to
throw around have swept that away for ever.
Sadly, I, a regular of 15 years or so, and most of the other locals
will now be drinking in the Fox- the last real pub in Twickenham.

Fatangfatang - 15 Jun 2010 12:31
Cunnane Town Planning: 1
Great British Pub: 0
therichieboy - 14 Jun 2010 13:04
Oh dear, its happened. Refub and ruined. All the soul of the place has gone, the new owners should have also changed the name to All-Bar-Swan as that is what it looks like. Another great old pub with massive character has been removed and replaced with a corporate template of nothingness. The service took a noticable decline with the leaving of a number of the old staff and is now run by 18 year olds. It must just be a coincidence that the service and atmosphere of the Fox in Church St has improved dramatically with the old Swan staff now there.
the_light_knight - 14 Jun 2010 10:57
Hello again!

Hmm well I'm not happy. What do the management of a pub have to do to make two very long-standing bar staff, the assistant manger and the previous manager (who was still working) there leave?

I'm not sure either, but the new management of the White Swan have 'managed' this at one stroke! Goodbye to Tom, Lee, Daisy and Ash - this is certainly the end of an era!

And to the beloved investors (I'll keep this short):

TheWickerMan - 10 May 2010 15:44
An 'Urban Designer' from a town planning corporation has been sniffing round the White Swan and he reeks of 'modernise or die'.

@betlyn If 'going downhill' means 'not becoming a Pizza Express' then I'll fetch my skis...
therichieboy - 27 Apr 2010 15:45
I love the White Swan. And so does my dog!!

It is one of those dying breed of English pubs with a great location, a fascinating history, a friendly atmosphere; and a quirkiness that makes it stand out as a place to go to again and again. And I have, during winter, summer and rugby days. It's not always just about the beer!

Granted it has become a bit shabby over the last few years and the toilets do need work but that's what happens when it is messed around by "financers" rather than "pub lovers".

I can walk in there at any time and feel welcome, as can the furry fella. And as a dog owner, its really important for me that he is welcome too.

As for the debate about the bar staff clothes. Aprons are a big no for me. I travel the country and see endless brand pubs, with the clones who wear the uniform but don't care about the place, the people or the beer!.

The White Swan is a people pub so please keep it that way! And if you haven't been, you are missing out!
woofyone - 15 Apr 2010 16:25
Totally disagree the last few comments-who cares about a polo shirt or apron when this great pub, which has been going downhill for a while, finally looks as though it'll be given some TLC.
Let's hope the toilets are sorted sooner rather than later!
betlyn - 11 Apr 2010 23:12
Small, white-washed low ceilinged traditional riverside pub in Twickenham. The pub is similar to the White Cross on the other side of the river in nearby Richmond in that you have to climb a few steps to reach the entrance, reflecting the fact that high tides can occasionally flood the road. The cellar is at ground floor level.

The pub is situated across the road from the river, but there's a pleasant verandah opposite and this quickly fills up on sunny days as everyone escapes outside. The bar area is small, but there is further seating room at the back. The interior is packed with rugby memorabilia - framed shirts, ticket stubs over the bar and a framed signed caricature depiction of the England Grand Slam rugby team of 1991. There's also posters and pictures of the pub's own rugby team and Golfing Society.

The pub displays a plaque denoting it as Evening Standard Pub of the Year for 1997. A sticker on the window tells us that the pub was included in the 2009 Guardian and Observer Guide to Summer Pubs ( Part 2 - Towns and Cities )

Entertainment is provided every Wednesday evening by The Eel Pie Pirates, who provide what the flyer describes as "Acoustic, Cajun, Celtic, Bluegrass, Russian and Pirate Drinking Music". Hmmm.....!

Looking somewhat out of place high up in the corner on the right of the main bar is a largish TV, but thankfully it wasn't on and I didn't see anything to indicate what big upcoming games ( if any) they were intending to show.

On my recent Easter Monday visit, a hog roast BBQ was being set up on the pub's small balcony and I gather that these are a regular feature on summer weekends. There's an annual charity raft race.

The pub was supporting National Cask Ale Week and was serving Twickenham Original, Adnams Oyster, Brains SA, Greene King IPA and Greene King Ale Pril Fool. The Twickenham Original - at what I would consider to be a very reasonable 3.10p - was in excellent condition. Pleasingly, I was able to drink outside without the curse of the plastic glass. I was less impressed by a glass jug on the bar which seemed to be for staff tips.

I've never really warmed to this pub on previous visits - there's invariably been too many dogs and mums with pushchairs and screeching kids running around, and the beer has sometimes left a bit to be desired, but I was reasonably impressed on all counts this time round. Staff appeared to be noticeably more enthusiastic and welcoming than I remember previously, but, like previous contributors, I do find the chain pub style black shirts of the staff inappropriate in a pub like this.

I think this pub is well worth seeking out, but, needless to say, it gets packed out on summer weekends and also when there's a big match on at Twickenham
JohnBonser - 9 Apr 2010 11:31
A wonder old boozer although very pricey. A good 'pub' menu and well cooked, wide selection of real ales, friendly welcoming staff, great bbq's in the summer and roaring log fires in the winter. Well worth a visit just for the views alone.

Although having not been in for a couple of months was quite alarmed to hear that it has been bought and to see the staff in all black uniforms including pinnies (couldn't decide if they looked like waiters or ninjas) and I fear that it will become another soulless, corporate, gastro pub. The reason people frequent the White Swan is because it is none of these things and never has been.
the_light_knight - 7 Apr 2010 11:48
To The Wicker Man (review below) you are absolutely right on every front. I don't think i can put it better myself, but will try.

Being a local for the best part of 20 years, I along with every other local was very pleased to hear that the pub was going to be bought by a small group of people living in the local area and managed by an equally small management firm. Brilliant!! The pub will get the TLC it has needed for so many years.

I do not want this to be a whinging, whining review so first off the good points. The best view in Twickenham, family friendly, dog friendly, great range of locals from builders and gardeners to lawyers to film makers and everyone in-between. Roaring log fires in the winter along with a good local band on wednesday night playing gypsie folk music. Lovely atmosphere on rugby days (although very very busy) with great banter, as well as sponcering a local rugby team. A great range of well kept real ales. Food has been ropey of late but a new chef is in and although the menu is basic (and probably going more up market in the future), its very good value e.g. big hot beef sandwich on crusty bread with chips and salad - 5! Summer see's good BBQ's on the balcony but again very very busy when its hot. The charity raft race is one of the highlights of the Twickenham calender. The staff are great, friendly and efficient with a whole range of personalities, age and tastes. I do not know of another pub that has retained some of the same bar staff for 3, 4, 5 years and in some cases much longer. This shows the staff are loyal, treated well and care about where they work. And last but not lease IT IS A OLD FASHIONED BOOZER!! and doesn't pretend to be anything else. It is one of very few around now.

And now for the bad, it is now 3.50 a pint which might not sound too expensive to some but of the 8 closest pubs to the Swan it is considerably more expensive. (to pay 3.50 a pint in a plastic glass to sit on a pavement in the summer seems a bit excessive). Maybe the prices have had to rise to pay for the new uniforms?? People go to the Swan because it feels locally run, not commercial or part of a large soulless chain. I do not object to black tops although back in the day the staff wore polo shirts with the swan logo on which seemed far less corporate, it's the all black waiter uniform including the daft looking aprons that has people miffed. This is a pub not a resturant, please let the staff (within reason) dress to reflect the unique personality and style of this great British pub.

After all this I wouldnt want to deter anyone for visiting, it is one of a dying breed and well worth a visit be it for the heaving masses who frequent it on summer afternoons and rugby days to the quiet, wet, cozie nights of winter.
sir_stout - 30 Mar 2010 15:25
What are you doing to my favourite pub?

Now, whilst I expect the staff to wear faceless black uniforms in an All Bar One (I'd rather chew my own foot off) or a Pitcher and Piano (I'd rather set fire to my own nostril hair), why has this been adopted by the most welcoming and relaxing boozer in Twickenham?

For me the White Swan's charm is the atmosphere created by the regulars, the blazing fragrant wood fires, the quirky interior, the ales, definitely the staff but most importantly the fact that the whole experience is the very antithesis of the chain-run bar or branded corporate run boozer.

Making the staff wear black (and those strange little aprons) changes these guys into something they're not - young people with wit, flair, individuality and (for many of them I suspect) a history of working in the Swan stretching back years. Go on, make them wear ties and shiny shoes to complete the look - I dare you.

A small change like this gives me a sense of foreboding about to what extent the new owners will change the Swan into yet another Twickenham pub becoming fat and vapid, feeding on the excesses of rugby day.

Stop looking at your investment plan and realise what makes the Swan great - it's individuality!

Don't fix what isn't broken!
TheWickerMan - 28 Mar 2010 13:10
The beer has always been in excellent condition, the staff are friendly without being overly pandering, the location is spectacular and the toilets are legendary! This pub has always maintained a traditional, unpretentious atmosphere despite its location. I see this is finally changing under its new management and Twickenham is set to have yet another w**ker bar. Very sad and disappointing. 300 years of history no longer matters in this place. Keep latte out of my local!!
therichieboy - 25 Mar 2010 12:13
Great selection of ales(including Twickenham Ales) and riverside view. Bar staff are very average and toilets need to be seen to believed. However, this is a great summer pub, very relaxing and well worth a visit.
drunkintheevening - 10 May 2009 19:24
This is an extremely attractive riverside pub. Theres a fairly small area inside, but there are a number of benches in a patio area just over the path, right by the rivers edge. There are spectacular river views, and even a small pebbled beach at low tide. The bar area inside is very small, and with only one person serving on a Saturday lunchtime there was a longish wait to get served made longer when he had to leave the bar to change a barrel. I imagine that it would get unbearably busy on a hot summers day. The real ales available were Deuchars IPA, Twickenham Naked Ladies and Skinners Betty Stogs Bitter. The Betty Stogs is an exceptionally good ale. They also had a barbeque on the go. This pub is definitely worth a visit, but dont expect to come here on a warm day and have a quiet drink.
RexRattus - 17 Mar 2009 18:44
Went last night and so surprised how unwelcome we were made to feel.
The food was dry bland and unpleasant. The bloke behind the bar just laughed at us when we made a comment about it and said "No worries mate"
Not a good way to treat customers. we will not be back ever.
noblet - 10 Mar 2009 06:16
Outstanding pint of Naked Ladies, found the place to be relaxed with a mixed clientele, not as polarised as the comments below. Great location very popular in summer. Will definately be returning
Sandinista - 8 Mar 2009 18:15
Nice well-kept Twickenham ales here but don't drink halves because they cost 1.75 as opposed to 3 for a pint. That's a markup of 50p a pint. Why? Tacky greed, I suppose. My partner usually drinks halves and I don't think we'll be back until the management changes.
The other irritating thing about this place is the crappy music the bar staff play all the time for their own benefit. You can't get away from it.
Shame. Could be a nice pub.
Moderate_Nige - 15 Jan 2009 21:15
I happened to re-visit this little hostlery last Sunday at about 9:30pm. There was one table of 4-5'ish "OK Yah" types and one totally disinterested barman in sad need of a personality transplant. Faced with this tableau I decided to try a half of "Naked Ladies" and was asked for 1.75. When I enquired as to whether this beer was now 3.50 a pint, I was told no it was three pounds but a half was 1.75. A Twickenham resident of ten years now, I will not be returning.
Incidentally I did use the outside loos on the way out and as stated by previous contributors, they are disgusting.

StrawhillJ - 4 Dec 2008 22:58
hobo36 - you really are an illiterate 'drongo' aren't you?

If you can't post an intelligent comment, don't bother at all!
BillJ - 6 Oct 2008 20:51
I registered with the site only after reading some of the reviews of this pub and hearing local rumours regarding its future.

I must say that there seems to be rather a lot of comments regarding the management? Why is it that?

I have given a rating of 7/10 purely for location, history and atmosphere of an old style boozer. Would an old style boozer run out of popular ales within the first half hour of opening on a Sunday lunchtime? No it wasn't that busy!

Shame really.

whitbread - 18 Sep 2008 17:05
to you the one that row's up the river to drink in this JOINT.. you are the kinda stuck up your own ass person im talking about..keep rowing LOVE
hobo36 - 15 Jul 2008 19:28
This pub is in a wonderful location almost unrivalled for riverside drinking. I tend to hire a rowing boat half a mile downstream and row there for a couple of beers. I cant say Ive noticed that it is so much more expensive than other boozers in/near London. Comments about it being a toffs bar are well off the mark all humanity gathers there, especially on a hot day.

I would agree that quality of the pub management has declined since the old landlord moved to The Clubhouse up the road. I think they tried for a more chilled atmosphere to pull in the under 30s, but the service and catering went downhill.

The gents toilet should have some sort of heritage order slapped on it. I cant think of a more disgusting bog anywhere. If you have seen the film Trainspotting, there is a scene which is captioned the worst toilet in Scotland. It could have been shot in the Swan.

Despite these shortcomings it is still worth a visit.

GaryB59 - 7 May 2008 15:12
Ive been going to this pub for 15years and the pub just keeps getting better and friendlier so all the people below are the type of people that just go there once a year the management and his team are allways friendly and smiling so if you dont like it there then maybe the sorting room would be more your style.

P.S keep the good job going guys.
ambj - 30 Apr 2008 12:29
Exceptional pub ruined by the complete bunch of spanners that are the manager and his mates.

Such a shame,

P.S. A regular cheese and tomato white bun roll will set you back 2.50........
stifler007 - 18 Apr 2008 11:55
I agree..very exspensive had to go via the bank to get a loan to have two drinks. also heard its going down like a lead balloon .. so maybe new manager will do the place good... wont be going till i get confirmation of that.. the other point with this pub is it's full of toffee nosed pompus gits who look right down their beak's at you if you dont pull up in a Range Rover,Porsche,BMW,Mercedes.get a life.
hobo36 - 1 Apr 2008 16:19
Millionaires only need apply....v v expensive but almost made up for by the location ?
W980501 - 4 Mar 2008 08:51
Suoerb location, great view. How could they possibly go wrong? By charging 65p/pint more than the excellent Eel Pie down the road, that's how.
beansoup - 13 Feb 2008 16:41
lovely pub of twicknham.
compared to up market bars in the area things like the furnature and toilet fecilities aren't exactly up to scratch but it all adds to character. probably one of the ebst places to drink in the summer.
daviedd - 9 Feb 2008 13:54
I went to this pub in early 2006 with some friends. They ran out of bitter unfortunately, and I was amazed at the total my round came to (12.00 odd for a small coke, a fosters, a fosters shandy and a white wine spritzer).

Beer and service was ok, but the best thing about the pub was the location and the structure of the place itself. A lovely setting.
wbafc_beer - 3 Jan 2008 18:29
Nice look and feel to the place and cosy on a cold winter's night thanks to the real fire. Small but interesting choice of bitters, I went for Twickenham Brewery's Dark and Strong (which is both). Sadly the bar staff let the pub down a lot with their attitude.
Matthew_of_Ham - 3 Jan 2008 18:19
Great pub all the year round. Always thought it would go wrong when Steve Roy left but this hasn't been the case. What about those toilets?
anonymous - 18 Oct 2007 13:51
Lovely pub, great thames location and probably one of the best summer locations there is. I'm not one to let dodgy toilets ruin a pub for me, but give the bogs a scrub would you? Caution, take your own bog roll!!
anonymous - 16 Oct 2007 17:36
This pub's been no smoking since April. Hooray!

But it does seem to have problems over supply and demand - two Thursday evenings running they've run out of most of their bitters.

Still, high marks for the smoke free atmosphere.
EldridgePope - 27 May 2007 12:10
I still like this place but more so during the week than weekend. Nice to have a place where people can sit in the street in the sun and enjoy a pint. On a note unrelated to the rating of the pub can I be sad and mention I saw a crisp delivery here last Tuesday -They unloaded 40 boxes of crisps - asked the delivery driver how long and he said a week. Now that is either a sign of how busy this pace can be or a really bad indication of the eating habits of Twickenham.
CharlesS - 26 Apr 2007 15:06
Excellent pub. Only problem is that it can be standing room only
phil_27 - 14 Feb 2007 13:00
This place is exactly what you will want to walk into when seeking a good pub!
THE best view of the River Thames from a pub. If you can, get the very last of the sun on the terrace, whilst looking down at the river rising over the road.

If you want cheap pints of stella...........drink at a wetherspoons ;)
CowcornerTT - 18 Jan 2007 19:26
GREAT PUB IN MANY WAYS, and I love character in pubs but I don't see why this one has to be quite so dirty. There's muck everywhere you look and in the gents toilets I must have been looking at the same cobweb since 1994. The spider has been there so long we've become quite familiar - I was best man at his wedding a few weeks back and our families go on holiday together. Osama Bin Laden could well be directing world terrorism from the cleaning products cupboard - no-one would know as the door hasn't been opened since Steve Roy left. When you go to the toilet you put your hands under the tap then piss on them to make them cleaner.

Great pub, but can someone break out with the Mr Muscle please.

Liz Teariar
anonymous - 14 Oct 2006 02:17
If you go to this pub on a rainy windy night in the winter its 10 out of 10.
If you go in the summer when all the Estate agents are out with their kids its just bloody awful.
KingRaama - 6 Oct 2006 14:10
I thought you preferred the White Swan in Richmond Katrina..? TJ
TeeJay - 23 Aug 2006 15:48
I might be the only person who prefers this in the winter. It is a great location but seems overpriced and too many pastel colours and knitwear in the summer for me. Saying that it still draws me there for a drink most weeks?
KatrinaD - 22 Aug 2006 10:56
The White Swan (Twickenham riverside) NOT to be confused with the 'White Swan' in Richmond (off The Green, en route to the river). Fantastic location, over-looking a small (50yd section) of the Thames, you can just see a bit of the tow-path at Ham (passed the island) on the other side of the river. You climb about a dozen steps or so up to enter the front door (the toilets are down on street level, and can be accessed without actually going in the bar - unusual).
This weekend was the fun-day river raft race..!! (The 'Smurfs' won, but only 'cos they cheated...and had drunk more Magners cider than any other team..!!) Nice little pub though. It was hectic by 2pm, I had to queue 7 minutes at the bar for a drink (it would've been longer had I not pushed in on someone who'd been waiting only 3mins..) its a small bar, and it can't cater for larger crowds than normal. A fair bit of rugby memorabilia on the walls and round the bar. Folk sat on the kerb immediately outside the pub, but there is a 'small' covered terrace over the road outside, right on the rivers edge, seating 40-50 people at a squash. And it was a squash!! I suspect that terrace can flood during high tides. TJ
TeeJay - 6 Aug 2006 23:57
I love it here but not sure why. Only place outside town that prepared to pay 3.00 for Fosters... well suppose I shouldn't be drinking that in the first place but 3.20 for Guinness or Krone was too steep. Still great place for summer though.
ladyluc - 5 May 2006 10:05
Great place.

Apparently it rocks in summer. It is still a good joint to drink at in winter though.

Small pub but a really good atmosphere.

Only criticism is the food. Quality pretty poor, but i think the chef has since left.

On rugby days the beer tent on the river is awesome.

Even if you don't like it you can always grab a takeaway pint to have while walking along the river.

Good pub
buckley_gopies... - 23 Apr 2006 20:34
Nice pub, but, it gets packed in summer with kids in pushchairs, whose inconsiderate owners pretend to look the other way when little Johnny starts screaming his head off and misbehaving or the family mutt leaves his calling card on the pavement for some unfortunate to tread in
JohnBonser - 19 Apr 2006 17:05
Delightful seated area outside which teeters on the river's edge. listen to the river lap against your trainers at high tide whilst relaxing alongside friendly drinkers. not much to say about the drinks themselves, the Barmy Arms serves Leffe on tap. Not great for cold nights, it is small and the bar staff would take pleasure in putting Masters golf on the television when there is a perfectly good football match on the other side.

they have an annual boat jamboree which looks colourful, loads of posh 20 somethings looking straight through you whilst cheering on the names of their token 6"4 city boyfriend Ed.

gets very congested with pram traffic during the summer. plenty of passing drinkers who like to wheel around their sprogs on a sunny day whilst blissfully neglecting their revolting cocker spaniels who try to eat 99 cones directly out of your hand. you get the fear that one day you could turn into one of these tedious people, one day you could own a BMW X5 and house in 'twickers'. as you finish your pint ask yourself 'Is it time to get out?'
anonymous - 28 Mar 2006 19:56
"....I managed to evade the Riverside border guards and was able to amble to the White Swan without being asked for my pass.As you may be aware I am NOT a card carrying member of the 'cycling,toddling,WALKIES' Club,which meant that I had to act my Larry O ass off to avoid looking suspicious in such strange surroundings".........................................Still,I enjoyed the beer the view of the river & the pub itself still looks good.
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 21 Sep 2005 20:45
Used to be ackowledged as the best pub in Britain back in the 90's - until the 'Massive Pub Company' got their grubby mits on it, since then it's gone massively downhill. Still friendly bar staff and great location mind.
OllyMott - 29 Mar 2005 18:10
A nice "old english pub" feel to this one. Great for summer if not a little over swamped with dogs and the under 5's!
EasterChick - 29 Mar 2005 17:57
A fine, if expensive, pub located in a lovely location. It's true, lots of dogs.
anonymous - 18 Feb 2005 13:49
The dog pub! There were more dogs than people in here last time I was in but quality place lovely atmosphere, friendly staff, real fire in winter, loads of outside seating and bbq in summer. Great when it gets cut off by the floods 'oh no we'll have to buy another pint!'
Cleversaz - 24 Jan 2005 18:35
Be careful what you say about the cooking, the chef is a very good Portuguese mate of mine, however I can agree about the veg being slightly over cooked but then as they are owned by the same peeps as the Tup perhaps it is a "Massive" veg thing. Anyway lovely place for a summer dinkies or a nice port and brandy on a winters night. Friendly staff and wear your wellies at high tide the toilets flood!!
Mad_Moo - 24 Jan 2005 17:47
Spit and sawdust feel covered with Rugby memorabilia Great for a summer pint when the tide is low!! Remember being the other side of the river for a high tide and we could see it was flooded outside hence the high steps (and self flush loos).
Beer fine but we made the mistake of going for Sunday lunch. The meat was ok if not the most generous of portions but the veg was not worthy of the name with roast potatoes (2) that looked boiled, 1 little broccoli floret, droopy cabbage and a few carrots and all this for only 8
lout_from_the_lane - 6 Dec 2004 13:58
A great summer riverside pub when you can sit on the footpath if the deck area is full. Too small inside { and a bit daggy } for any other time. Prices are geared for the more affluent types that live nearby.
Colin Oxley - 18 Nov 2004 08:01
James should know that the manager & staff from about 5 years ago are at the clubhouse. I am talking about the young guy who was there, before the current managment. Thanks for trying though!
BigP - 9 Aug 2004 16:41
This is a charming, if outrageously expensive, pub. Definitely in a lovely location though, and in the summer especially.
TheGP - 9 Aug 2004 16:14
bigp should note that the manager and staff from 2 years ago are now at The Clubhouse.
James - 5 Aug 2004 15:45
This pub is only worth going to in the summer when you can sit outside by the river. I am sure the owners would say that inside is steeped in history but I would call it a grotty, dingy hole and it could be so much nicer. I recommend it when you want a pint or a Pimms to sip by the river on a warm day as we are short of riverside pubs, but I really wouldn't bother on a rainy day; maybe just to get out of the rain.
Emma - 29 Jul 2004 16:50
What a faaantastic pub. I moved away over 2 years ago (2002) but this was always my favourite place. The manager and staff were great, I hope they are still there, this place is a real classic. Great food, good beer - worth the crazy prices. A pint in Sweden is cheaper than this place!
bigp - 7 Jul 2004 15:24
Tucked away down a side street which makes it difficult to find but that is part of the charm. I was there on Saturday and the pub was virtually empty - everybody was out in the beer garden across the road which is right alongside the river. Great atmosphere and well worth a visit. One of the best boozers in the area. However, I do feel that something could be done to improve the quality of the toilets which are distinctly 19th Century!
gearbox - 6 Jul 2004 15:29
fantastic pub, truly lovely, helpful and good looking staff.

summer at the swan pub.....theres nothing better
talula belle - [email protected] - 25 May 2004 10:55
I more or less came to live here because of this pub. A gem. It has been given that lick of pain and is better for it. What a great life it is to walk out of here and walk home in 10 mins. And they really look after their regulars in summer too (ie serve you quick)You cannot beat a long lazy weekend day in the sun sitting here with mates all day looking at the river and watching the visitors hassle the TV stars.
David - 18 May 2004 01:45
I haven't been here for a couple of years now either. It was a lovely pub, run by a very young bunch. The atmosphere was simply amazing and on a cold winter evening they had started to indroduce live music. The advertising used to be very amusing too, printed in house (or so it looked). I'd visit again, it was the ecclectic mix of staff and punters that made it special.
Daniel - 11 Mar 2004 20:00
I was here, with my dog, walking past in the summer a cople of years ago. My dog got looked after really well & so did I!

V - 18 Feb 2004 12:26
I had a spectacular New Years here in 2001 & 2002.

They even opened for just the locals on Christmas Day lunchtime back then. (Unheard of in managed houses really!)

I even witnessed the inside of the bar elaborately transformed into a putting geen a couple of years ago. With some effort!
Dan - 18 Feb 2004 12:23
What happened to Tom The Manager?

Has it been that long? Pub is still amazing, old crowd seems to have thinned a bit though.

A bit spit & sawdust these days, could do with a lick of paint.

Food still looks good, didn't try it though!

Bring the cute boy back!
Miss SJ - 13 Feb 2004 17:57
A dream pub. Great in the summer, sat outside watching the world go by. Great in the winter, sat with a good pint in the warm, snug, old fashioned bar. Great for a crowd of mates or sitting alone with a good book. Decent beers on top of all that; this pub's got it all!
Alex - 13 Feb 2004 15:34
I like this pub in summer, when you can laze away an afternoon enjoying a quiet river view and I like this pub in the winter, when it has a warm and cosy feel (can be hard getting a seat sometimes though)
Kate - 29 Dec 2003 14:19
Not cheap... Far from it. About as far from cheap as you can travel in a day.
Jim - 18 Dec 2003 03:19
Found this pub only yesterday despite living about 300yds away for the past 4 months. Lovely pub, great location. You really wouldn't believe that the hustle and bustle of twickenham is a stone's throw away. The type of pub where you can take your dog and drink some real ale.
casemore - 8 Dec 2003 17:51
great, friendly traditional pub. This is a REAL pub, do not apply if the george is your usual haunt!
sean - 6 Dec 2003 18:29
Can't believe this pub hasn't got a higher rating. Great location right by the river, nice and out of the way too. Pulled up on my friends inflatable many a time. Great stuff.
Good for: Pure summer!
thenationofjames - 4 Dec 2003 13:52
I was a regular at the White Swan during the time I was living in Twickenham while in my 20's. My memories of the pub and the surrounding area remain some of the happiest of my life.
Gbor in New Zealand - 19 Nov 2003 02:52
great pub, well kept beers (guiness particularly), not bad food, and wonderful setting right by the river. Can be v busy in the summer (no bad thing) but in the winter well worth the extra 5 minutes walk from Twickenham town centre to get away from the George and the like...
JasonB - 29 Aug 2003 10:14
Old Dave the Piano player makes this pub special, and gives an inviting atmosphere, I just wish I could have visted it more
Dave - [email protected] - 6 Jul 2003 22:36
Ancient pub situated by the river, good ales, relaxed atmosphere. Feels like a true country pub, fantastic in the summer with everyone sitting outside in the 'garden' and on the road. A real find.
JamesB - 1 May 2003 16:28
Free house by the river in Twickenham.
Joe Public - 10 Sep 2002 10:41
Over 300 years old, it overlook the Thames. Small, but with great atmosphere. A favourite with the English rugby team and fans alike on rugby days. Twickenham's best watering hole.
Nigel - 17 May 2002 15:07

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