On my continuing journey of Good Beer Guide pubs in London, this is the Greene King operated (yes, I know) Swan near Holborn. It all looks welcoming from the exterior, well, other than it’s got a Greene King sign on it. I’m not sure how old the building is, but unlike its neighbour, it’s not listed.
An interesting pub interior and a very friendly staff member came over to welcome me at the door, so it was all efficient and inviting. The France and Hungary football match was showing and I was asked if I’d like to watch it, which I thought was nice to check. It wasn’t that busy in the pub, although it was a little busier with customers sitting out the front. I liked that the football was showing for those who wanted it, but without the volume being so loud that it meant everyone in the pub had to listen to it. Life is a careful balance as they say (well, they might do, I don’t know).
The app told me that Greene King IPA was available, but I was hoping for an alcoholic drink and I’m glad that I checked, as the staff member told me that there were a couple more options to choose from. I don’t want to moan (but, yet here we are….) but Greene King are meant to be a brewer of beer (and Greene King IPA) and they have hundreds of products listed on their app, but they don’t bother listing the ales (other pub companies seem to manage….). They hamper their staff unnecessarily, but I was pleased to note that they had the N1 from Hammerton Brewery. That’s a perfectly decent beer and a nod towards sourcing from local suppliers, so this pleased me. It was well kept, at the appropriate temperature and was nicely refreshing, as well as being reasonably priced.
Some of the interesting decoration in the pub, which was clean and organised throughout. Given the friendly welcome, a choice of ales and a quirky environment, it probably justifies being in the Good Beer Guide. There’s also traditional pub food available, and that seems to be well reviewed, so this is a safe choice for those wanting food and drink in this part of central London. In terms of service though, that was excellent here, so how lovely….