We were huge fans of Piquet, which sadly closed last year, so when we heard that Allan Pickett was getting back in the kitchen, this time at Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe, we got straight down there to check it out. The restaurant has had a bit of a makeover and the space looks beautiful; very clean and modern with some nice rustic touches, like a long wooden bench piled high with loaves of bread ready to be sliced and brought to the tables. Try for a window seat if you can as you won’t find many better views of St Paul’s and the river.
The food follows the same modern and unfussy vibe of Pickett’s previous restaurant but whereas Piquet had a distinct French influence, the Swan is all about British produce and flavours. Whether you’re in the mood for something light or fancy being a bit more indulgent, the spring menu has all the bases covered.
We loved the super fresh starter of thinly-sliced scallops with Granny Smith apple and squid ink mayonnaise and the generous piece of Cornish plaice with cockles, samphire and salsify, all sat in a silky butter sauce. The venison haunch with faggot, red cabbage and damson preserve – a nod to Allan’s interest in pickling and preserving – was wonderfully rich too and a winner for the carnivores. Be sure to hear the dessert special of the day too, even if you think you don’t have room, as we finished things off with a knockout dish of floating islands.
With breakfast, afternoon tea, one of the best Sunday roasts in London and amazing value-for-money theatre menus, the Swan should be your go-to spot on Bankside.
21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT