Swan at Shakespeare's Globe
Categories: Restaurants British Arts & Entertainment Theatres Public Services & Government Landmarks & Historical Buildings Arts & Entertainment Museums British, Theatres, Landmarks & Historical Buildings, Museums [Edit]21 New Globe Walk
London SE1 9DT
Areas: South Bank, Southwark
020 7928 9444
- Nearest Public Transport:
Mon-Fri 12:00 - 22:00
Sat 11:00 - 22:00
Sun 11:00 - 17:00
- Price Range:
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Good for Groups:
- Good for Children:
- Takes Reservations:
- Waiter Service:
- Outdoor Seating:
- Full Bar
Recommended Reviews for Swan at Shakespeare's Globe
107 reviews in English
Review from Adam T.
- 2 friends
Great food, great service and great view - just great!
I'd heard good things about the Swan from friends so took my Dad for dinner to mark the last night of his week in London. Dad is in a wheelchair and although the restaurant is on the second floor, fortunately there is a disabled lift around the corner. I ordered the T-Bone and it was cooked to perfection and really tasty, triple cooked chips were a little disappointing........but my expectations may have been a little high!
All in all I'd definitely recommend
Review from Karen H.
- 50 friends
My boyfriend and I ate here for lunch after going on a tour of the theatre. We were famished, it looked nice and was close.
I loved the cozy ambiance with lots of natural light. It has a great vibe. Our server was both very friendly and competent.
I had a beef sandwich with horseradish spread and chips for my main. It was okay. It looked really pretty, but tasted just okay.
My main memory of the restaurant comes from the starter. Before I tell you my feelings on it, I had to clarify two things... 1. My boyfriend enjoyed it. 2. I think it might be an acquired taste.
The Pork Cracklins with Applesauce was the worst thing I ever ate.
The taste was so strong and so vile that I can still taste it as I think about it.
The cracklins made such a big impression, it's unfortunately my big take-away from the restaurant.
Review from Mandi P.
Awesome mushy peas!!!
We were to meet some friends here on a recent Sunday Funday while in London. We arrived early and the place was packed. We scored 2 seats at the bar and ordered some drinks. We had about 45 minutes to waste. I decided to go ahead and order some mushy pea toast. My husBAND didn't see anything on the menu so he ordered just toast. OMG...that mushy pea toast has me dreaming of visiting London again!!! It was topped with feta and was just so good!!! By the time we were done, the place had cleared out and we were nearly the only ones left. Given my husband's pickiness and the quietness of the place at this point, we decided to move on.
However, I would come back Swan at The Globe anyday...if only for the mushy pea toast!!!
Review from Adrian S.
Maybe this is because i have just returned from living in New York where i'm used to better service, however, this place was appalling!! i went there yesterday and we ordered food and drinks. Further because we live about 2 blocks away we had been there 3 times in the last 2 weeks.
Anyhow...about 2/3 into my pint i find a bug floating in my beer. i kindly spoke to the waitress to ask if she could kindly just give me another 1/3 pint to replace the amount left in my glass. She said she would speak to the manager and returned to say they would be happy to sell me another half pint but would not replace my 1/3 pint for free. Whats unbelievable is that where i get a bug in my beer on their premises, their first response is to try and profit on this by selling me more beer.....
at this point i refused to argue over £1.30 of beer and asked for the cheque. However, i told the manager that i find it ridiculous that i should be 100% responsible for any bug infestation on their premises. further i told them "does that mean that where i chose to frequent their bar in future that i am responsible to carry a fly squatter with me"
anyhow i paid their bill including the 12.5% service charge they slapped me with. the problem with touristy places is they are very happy to put a service charge on your bill without making any effort to earn it....
Review from A S.
- 20 friends
This review is about the bar, NOT the restaurant upstairs.
Fantastic river views, ok food, bit pricey but then you are next to the River Thames. Unfortunately the waitress forgot our order, causing a lengthy wait, although the manager did compensate by discounting our bill, which was a nice gesture.
Would probably go back again to give it another go.
Review from Elisabeth R.
- 0 friends
New York, USA
We love this place. It's a seamless transition to the plays - no worries about whether you're going to be served in time for the performance, etc., and it completes the experience of the Globe. River view is very atmospheric. The food is fresh and well-prepared, and the bread is gorgeous. Definitely recommend.
Review from Qype User (louise…)
- 0 friends
- Qype User louise…
For only £ 13.50 you can enjoy the atmosphere of this place. The tour is interesting, I'm planning to go there soon. The magnificent and iconic building will capture you with its history and special atmosphere.
Sometimes its too noisy during the tours, so keep this in mind when you're going there.
Review from Gareth R.
- 14 friends
I popped in here solely for a drink, so please bear in mind that this does not reflect the food.
Initial impression was that the space was nice, and location superb.
However, my initial optimism gave way to disappointment as a string of simple things niggled at me:
(1) Having sat at the bar I didn't get eye contact, a hello, or anything else besides for 5 minutes.
(2) No drinks menu out on the bar - you had to ask for them especially. This wasted a further 5 minutes.
(3) I proceeded to order a margarita. Despite assurances in the menu, I was not asked how I'd like it served - on the rocks, straight, salt rim or not. They also missed out on a chance to upsell me to a better brand of tequila.
(4) They failed to double-strain the drink, which is standard procedure with any shaken drink of this nature.
(5) The drink was completely devoid of any garnish - no lime wheel, twist or anything.
(6) Margarita was overly dilute and somewhat unbalanced.
It's terribly disappointing - I pass by on a regular basis, and there's a dearth of cocktail bars nearby, so it would have been ideal if this was a good drinking hole. Perhaps it is, if you stick to beer, but their cocktails are nowhere near as good as they should be.
Review from Qype User (raghav…)
- 0 friends
- Qype User raghav…
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Review from Vivien L.
- 8 friends
Los Angeles, USA
One of my best friends decided to have her birthday dinner here, and I hate to say the food wasn't good. Service was also extremely surly and slow.
We arrived at the restaurant a bit early so I slipped away to speak to someone about ordering dessert and having a birthday message piped onto the plate. The "manager" just gave me a blank look and told me to talk to one of the servers who will "deal with it". Not a good start.
Food didn't arrive for a good 30-45 minutes. I ordered a rare steak which came medium - so I sent it back. It took another 15 minutes for them to bring me my food. By then nearly everyone at the table had finished eating because they were so hungry! The sides were TINY, onion rings were burnt, and fries were oversalted. My friend ordered the pork belly, which was dry and came with crackling that wasn't even crispy!
Dessert wasn't great either. A good sticky toffee pudding should be gooey...this one was dry and very cakey.
Even though it could've been an off-day, but I definitely won't be giving Swan at the Globe another go. One of the worst meals of the year for me.
Review from Had R.
- 75 friends
I started looking at the reviews around the Globe for a good place to eat and the Swan wins. I'm glad it did. After walking around London for 5 hours I was ready to eat and sit and take my time eating.
The Swan is located in the Globe entrance, the main restaurant is upstairs on the 3rd floor and is worth all the pennies.
Take a break from the grime and bustle of London tourists and join the upper class at the top of the Swan.
Service and food were fantastic. I had a full three course meal with wine and 2 750ml bottles of Blenheim Palace water for £50 (including larger tip) If I had not been so dehydrated or a big tipper the meal would have been £40. But it was so worth the view, food, view, experience and service that it made the day complete.
I had the salmon to start with, mushroom crepe for main course and the bitter chocolate moose which was superb!
They bring bread to the table in little sacks which was really good, made up for the bread they served with the salmon which I did not like.
Looking around the main course salmon was huge, but had a lot of bones in, the burgers and steaks looked great too.
I had a great server with a fantastic sense of humor. I would make a point to go again if I was in the area.
Review from Qype User (Katsum…)
Review from Qype User (voicy1…)
- 66 friends
- Qype User voicy1…
The building is fantastic, and to actually watch a theatrical event in this setting is magical. Do pay the extra for a seat though. It is not at all pleasant standing in the rain watching a show. From the seating area, it's grand. This is a must-see must-experience place for London natives and visitors.
Hope to go this summer to another performance.
Review from Mikey H.
After a short ride on the tube, we journeyed to Shakespeare's Old Globe Theatre. Unfortunately, only those with tickets can go into the courtyard. I tried to con my way in by presenting my teacher's card, but since they were getting ready for a show, they couldn't let me in. So we did the next best thing, lunch at the Swan which is part of the rather large box office.
The waitress was friendly and told us to sit anywhere we wanted. There was a very lively crowd on the balcony, but we sat inside near a window. We ordered a couple of pints of the UK ale, which was good and hit the spot. I ordered the fish and chips and the partner had the chicken club with bacon and avocado. He also ordered a side of triple cooked chips.
The Brits really know how to do their potatoes right. The chips were thick and had a firm and crispy outside. The fish was very fresh and the meal came with mashed peas...an interesting and unique side dish. Everything was great! The club had a grilled chicken breast, but the roll was a little hard.
When we paid the bill, there was a discretionary 12.5% gratuity added, which we didn't have to pay as it was stated on the menu. Now we understood what those rats did at Soho Thai, but they could've been a lot more discrete and professional. The second waitress who took my credit card told us she really wanted to go to America, especially California. She asked quite a few questions which we were more than happy to answer. She was also from Italy.
The best part was the group of Brits who moved in from the balcony. We told them we were leaving and the young lady shouted, "Why don't you join us!" They then asked where we were from how we liked our "holiday," and that we really should stay for another pint. We probably wouldn't be able to find our way back to Picadilly.
Our experience at the Swan made up for that downer at Soho Thai. We strolled away happy and content.
Review from paola b.
- 8 friends
I got a 50% off deal through toptable and went to the Swan for brunch today.
Overlooking the Thames on a gorgeous sunny day with chill out music in the background, heaven! Attentive and friendly service, I had the vegetarian English breakfast which was perfect, delicious and beautifully presented. I loved it so much that I got a gift voucher for a friend - champagne brunch will be on me!
Review from Rich M.
On a stretch of river in our capital city filled with world famous buildings and iconic views, there can only be two sureties; loud, jostling hungry tourists, and overpriced, substandard restaurants to feed them.
One of the jewels along the waterside is the Globe Theatre. Only a teenager (started by Sam Wannamaker in 1970, opening after his death in 1997), it fits in perfectly with its older neighbours and has rightly become a real destination along the bank.
For the last year or so they've also been blessed with the Swan. A lovely little bar and brasserie adjoining the theatre 'directed' by ex Ramsay cohort Mark Sargeant, there's a sense of real purpose about the menu. They shout loud and proud about their reliance on foragers, farmers and local markets (they are just up the road from Borough Market after all) and the menu reflects this seasonality. Sadly that season has just passed. On a gorgeous spring night it's a shame that most of the food on offer has a distinctly wintery note. Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of the Cashel Blue macaroni cheese and spiced Elizabethan mutton casserole is just what you'd expect to eat before outdoor Shakespeare, but not when the weather outside is so warm.
I went for the one seasonal starter. Trimmed asparagus with hollandaise. Sometimes kitchens have to realise that you don't mess with perfection and that was certainly the case. Cooked for a couple of minutes, lightly drizzled with a zingy sauce, it was heaven. Nicco Polo was slightly less lucky. His scallop and spring onion gratin was average at best, with an excess of herbed breadcrumbs and a strong gratin sauce overwhelming the more delicate scallops.
The confit pork belly was a big homely portion. Again, not necessarily suited to a spring night, but I'm a big fan of the pig and won't let a little thing like seasonality get in my way. The large slab came with a sweet honey and dill glazed crackling, sweetly tender fat and a creamy, mustardy celeriac remoulade that set it off perfectly.
Finishing off with the summer pudding, I was struck by just how conducive the restaurant was to having a good time. It was so friendly and comfortable with some excellent food, that and the very central location mean I'll certainly be coming back. For a very reasonable price, we had three strong courses, an aperitif and a Chilean Pinot Noir from a tasty little list that struggled to top £40 a bottle. Looking out at the tourists crossing the Millennium Bridge as the light gradually faded behind St Paul's dome we wondered how many of them would look up and check out the Swan, or given the sad state of occupancy would they all end up flooding into the overpriced 'ye olde pubbe' or one of the chain restaurants that infest the area. More fool them if they do.
Review from Carrboro V.
Review from Lindsay D.
- 157 friends
Really with the good reviews, Yelpers?!
Did I just have this place on an off day? The decor and location, yes, is lovely, but the food - blegh. My lemon sole was horrible and the appetizer -- baby shrimp in brown butter -- was cold! I didn't know what to expect but I'll tell you this, it wasn't fishing out teeny tiny little salty shrimp from a ramekin of congealed butter and salt.
Nope, no thanks.
Review from Qype User (BushGi…)
- 197 friends
- Qype User BushGi…
Most people have already covered the main points about the Globe. So I'll just add my tuppence worth.
It truly is a wonderful addition to a great city. Kitted out like the original open air theatre, this is the only place to go in summer for a spot of Shakespeare.
There are £5 standing tickets for every show, which is awesome value. Some of the the shows are 3 hours long! The down side is that you have to stand for that long, but to be honest, it's the only way to see a show there. For those who chicken out and get cushioned seats, they miss out on the best of it with the groundlings.
One of the best shows i ever did see was at the Globe. It was a production of Pericles (which I hadn't seen before), directed by Kathryn Hunter.
On the night that I went to see it, Corin Redgrave, who was the principal actor playing old Pericles, had been rushed to hospital, and the then artistic director Mark Rylance stepped into the role. It was wonderful. Really, brilliantly, marvellously, awesomely wonderful.
Since Dom Dromgoole has taken over the artistic directorship, the programme has become significantly more edgy and violent. Not necessarily a bad thing.
The Globe also puts on new writing that has a basis in Jacobean styles. As with everything creative, sometimes it's good and sometimes it ain't. I walked out at the interval at the press night of a new show last year. As much because it was boring as it was because it was raining.
It is great when you find a show that's worth standing in the rain for though.
Review from Qype User (Bart…)
- 77 friends
- Qype User Bart…
I haven't been to the Globe in 5 years - so this review is
a) as an attraction/learning experience, and
b) possibly outdated?
I went to the Globe with school when studying Shakespeare, and I found it so fascinating.
If you have even the smallest of background knowledge on the original Globe, you can come here and build on that incredibly until you feel like your head will explode. I am a huge fan of Elizabethan London history, so perhaps it captivates me more than the average person, but I found the Globe to be one of the most inspiring, overwhelming and wonderful places in London.
Review from Qype User (filimb…)
- 44 friends
- Qype User filimb…
Every year on St george's day, which also happens to be shakespeare's birthday, they have an open day here, and you can get on stage and say a couple of lines (or couplet). I did it one year and it was great, but I couldn't help thinking that is seemed a bit big for an Elizabethan building. It probably is, but nobody complains. However, there is no need for the benches to be as bloody uncomfortable as they are.
I've not seen any plays here, which was remiss of me, but it must get a bit hard on the bum or the feet, with little chance of refreshment. And of course it is open air when you stand, so you take your chances with the weather.
Review from Patrick F.
- 0 friends
I can't say I've tried the food (and couldn't do better than the review below!), but the Swan also makes for a decent wine/cocktail bar.
The decor treads the fine line between trendy and kitsch (the angel-winged lightbulbs somehow work) and creates a nice space the views across the Thames to St Paul's don't hurt either. With a decent wine and cocktail list, it's no surprise all the window seats are taken by loved-up couples. During daylight hours, the outdoor balcony would be a great place to sun yourself while sipping something cold.
A welcome respite from the string of chain restaurants along this stretch of river!
Review from Zoe B.
- 0 friends
Being a groundling is worth doing once, but don't choose a long play and do bring a cushion for the interval!
Don't buy restricted view seating, it's just frustrating and not worth it!
Also: cracking gift shop.
Review from Qype User (mrmark…)
Review from Qype User (Megan_…)
- 1 friend
- Qype User Megan_…
Review from Qype User (suedeb…)
- 67 friends
- Qype User suedeb…
If you like literature, or have studied, or even if you know the name William Shakespeare, then the Globe Theatre is definitely worth a visit.
One of my favourite places in London, the replica theatre (the original burnt down and was further back from the Thames) takes you back to a time when theatre was the main form of entertainment.
The tour around the Globe itself is interesting and full of facts - just make sure you ask all the questions you want as you will find the tour guide will then open up and let you deeper into Shakespeare's world!
Best to sign-up to the Globe website so they can let you know when their summer theatre season begins. I am going to see King Lear in June and I absolutely cannot wait!
Review from Qype User (dunedo…)
- 36 friends
- Qype User dunedo…
This review speaks of the Globe strictly as an attraction, not as a theatre. I got to visit right after it was built in the late 90s and unfortunately, there were no plays being shown during my short stint in London. This bummed me out hugely, but I hope to go see a play here next time I visit.
As an attraction and a tour, the Globe is a must-see in London. The theatre is a real site to behold. It was built based on the exact dimensions of the original which burned down a long time ago. It wasn't built in the same location, but from what I remember, it wasn't built that far away from where the original stood.
The workmanship of the building, the artistry of the woodwork was very much felt, as was the sense of history it represented, even though it was a reproduction.
I really look forward to seeing a play here next time I'm in London.
Review from Sophie E.
- 0 friends
The structure is worth a visit, if not for a play just to see the place. It is a restored (if slightly relocated) version of the original Shakespeare's theatre that was built in the South Bank in Shakespeare's time!
The actors are amazing, and even though the seats are highly uncomfortable (wooden benches) you have great visibility from anywhere at all.
All plays have £5 standing tickets for spots in the ground area below the scene. Definitely worth it if you're into theatre but can't find regular tickets (plays are regularly sold out months in advance!) or just can't afford them.
Review from Qype User (lyndse…)
- 11 friends
- Qype User lyndse…
Like many other reviewers, I was very impressed with the Globe. I went to see King Lear and enjoyed it thoroughly. I would actually say it's worth heading over just to look at the building, which is a reconstruction of the original Globe theatre, and to mosy round the gift shop, which has some original souvenirs, many of which are at reasonable prices and of good quality. It also has quite a large book and play section.
If you have a bit more time, I would definitely recommend seeing a play. Tickets are very good value if you don't mind standing - I only paid a fiver, which is amazing really - less than a cinema ticket! It is a long time to stand, but I think you get the best experience if you do - it's authentic, and the actors really make the most of having groundlings, dancing and playing music amongst the crowd before the play.
In terms of the production, I was very impressed. It was well directed and engaging, and the actors were really good - I was very impressed with them working on through a huge downpour of rain (and a word of warning - as a groundling, you will get soaked if it rains!).Overall, I would certainly recommend a trip to this attraction, whether you are a tourist or a Londoner. This is Shakespeare as it was meant to be seen!
Review from Qype User (lukeor…)
- 6 friends
- Qype User lukeor…
What a great venue! I've seen two shows here and been standing both times. It only costs £5 to stand and watch but be warned it can be tiresome after 3 hours standing on a concrete flour. I suggest getting in as early as possible and getting a place either near the front where you have more space to sit down at the interval, or right at the back where you can at least lean on the partition to the seating.
The plays are well acted and good use of the venue is used. Refreshments are available but are pricey. A shop is inside and there are some good quality souvenirs available at reasonable prices.
Review from Qype User (Marshy…)
- 68 friends
- Qype User Marshy…
Went for an open day here a while back and I keep meaning to book up for a show but haven't got around to it. Regardless I felt I had to encourage people to visit this wonderful recreation of a bit of English cultural history.
Everything about the place is lovingly created and has been done by people with a real passion.
Review from Qype User (priyan…)
Review from Qype User (jonath…)
- 0 friends
- Qype User jonath…
An excellent site to see, this really is a very special place. Where else (apart from Stratford Upon Avon or the Minack in Cornwall) would you want to see some good ye olde shakespeare. Excellent destination, I would highly recommend it.
Review from Qype User (Hannyp…)
- 16 friends
- Qype User Hannyp…
As everyone else has said before me eloquently, the Globe is a super and special place.
I went last Friday to see Macbeth and was stunned by the production, the acting and the atmosphere. Thrilling.
All I will say is if you can go: do. If you can afford to grab a seat then invest in a cushion. And whatever you do, unless it's a barmy midsummer's night, bring a big jumper or a coat. I was f-f-f-freezing. It was so worth it though.
Review from Qype User (Soiste…)
- 5 friends
- Qype User Soiste…
We had some food and drinks in the restuarant on teh first floor and I was stunned by the view over St. Paul's and the beauty of the place. The quality of food and drink was good and the service was good (efficient and attentive) even though they were clearly out of their depth as to the food they served (no bread plates with teh bread and do't even try to make them filet the fish).
but if you are not a snob and can ignore these, you will have a lovely dinner.
Review from Qype User (Afonel…)
- 15 friends
- Qype User Afonel…
I've been to the Globe many times - it helps to have a mother who is an English teacher and very keen on theatre - and hope to go back again many times.
Visiting whilst still at secondary school, I've been lucky enough to stand on the stage myself, which is a remarkable experience. Since then, I've been to see a few production, with a trip to As You Like It already lined up for this summer. Maybe it's in my mind, but Shakespeare always seems easier to understand when it's performed here!
The building is amazing, the recreation of the Elizabethan stalls and stage as near to perfect as I can imagine. The atmosphere during any performance, regardless of the time of day or the weather (I've been there in the cold, in the sun and the rain) is always remarkable. And the museum underneath isn't half bad either!
Review from Rebecca B.
- 5 friends
In its first staging at The Globe Theatre, All's Well That Ends Well is brought to life in John Doves production.
It tells the story of Helena (Ellie Piercy) who is in love with her Count Bertram (Sam Crane) though he doesn't seem to notice she exists.
After curing the King of France (played wonderfully by Sam Cox) she is allowed to marry the man of her choosing and chooses Bertram, much to the delight of his mother, the Countess of Roussillion (played delightfully by Janie Dee).
As this is a Shakespeare story, nothing goes to plan and Helena is left feeling rejected and in need of a plan to truly win the heart of the man she loves.
Although it is one of Shakespeare's lesser than plays, All's Well That Ends Well is the perfect production for a place like The Globe, with its simple storyline and modest scenery and cast.
You really feel as if you are personally witnessing this love story unfold as if you were a member of the household and can't help but feel your heart warmed by an ending, that for once, ends the way you feel every love story should.
All's Well That Ends Well is showing at The Globe Theatre until August 21st.
Review from Qype User (Chlse…)
- 0 friends
- Qype User Chlse…
A visit at The Globe is an experience that simply cannot be missed.
Originally built for the performance of Shakespeare stage plays, the theatre building itself is worth admiring. It is beautifully decorated and made out to look like an original theatre from centuries past.
The best time to visit The Globe is during the summer, when the performances take place on the stage and under the open sky. Going to see a show such as this really is a unique experience that gives you just an inkling of how theatre was in the past.
It is interesting to visit The Globe, even if you do not go there to watch a performance, as there are brilliant guides to show you around at the theatre and tell you about its use and its most remarkable history.
Plays are usually held during the day. . You can also go on a tour of the backstage area and the theatre of course.
Review from Qype User (taimob…)
- 0 friends
- Qype User taimob…
During my short stint at Pembroke during the Summer of 2011, I had the
incredible opportunity to watch Hamlet at the Globe. Not only did I get
to view a well-rehearsed play performed by world-class actors, I was
able to view it in true 'peasant's fashion.' By peasant fashion, I
mean that I stood beside the stage with my group [of fellow students]
and watched the entire 3-hour length. The icing on the cake for the
amazing play was the starry open sky over head and the old-world
atmosphere of the theater itself. Highly recommended and I would
definitely return in a heartbeat!!
Tai Mobi (http://taimobi.com) | Tai game mobile (http://taimobi.com/categ…)
Review from Qype User (Sarah…)
- 23 friends
- Qype User Sarah…
Fantastic - always a quality performance and one of the most unique theatres ever. Surrounded by wooden beams, listening to that beautiful prose in the open air you can just imagine what it was like during the Bard's day. £5 tickets will get you in to stand around the stage (raised in the middle of the theatre) and there are also bench-type seats around the sides of this entirely round structure.
Buying a cushion for £1 is recommended - 3 and a half hours on a wooden bench can get uncomfortable! Just saw 'Frontline' by Che Walker there. A bit of a departure from Shakespeare but equally as compelling. Always a fun time whether you're seeing a much-loved classic or something a bit new.