South east London’s local beer house – a must-visit for any ale lover.
A short stroll away from the magnificent Tower Bridge and in amongst the modern “Butler’s Wharf” development you can find The Dean Swift pub. It’s a case of old meets new here, as the area has recently been revamped and now sports many modern shops, cafés and a cobblestone, pedestrianised street.
The Dean Swift itself is a quaint, rustic place with a large, square main bar decorated with low hanging chandeliers. It’s got a classic pub feel – one large room with a bar to the side. There’s plenty of space to sit back and relax, or upstairs there’s a separate dining room available to hire out for a party or group meal.
Billing itself as a “local beer house”, the clientele it attracts is predominantly male. You can almost see them rubbing their hands with glee as they step in from the cold and head to the bar. Having said that, it’s a cosy little pub for anyone and you’ll often see workers from nearby offices or lost Tower Bridge tourists stumbling in. The atmosphere is friendly and homely and the staff really know their stuff. Whether you’re a wisened beer master or a novice lager drinker they’ll be able to point you in the direction of a decent drink. The pub also shows all major sporting events and on some match days the downstairs bar is heaving, with the majority of people standing up and grabbing some tasty finger food before the game.
It’s not only beer that The Dean Swift likes getting right - the new menu in force is one to tantalise any tastebuds. For those not so hungry, there’s a bar snack menu where you can nibble on delights such as a pork pie with apple chutney or venison Scotch eggs (both £4.50). The a la carte menu is sumptuous. A starter of mussels is both tasty and enormous and comes with a side of bread for dunking. For meat lovers, why not try the 8oz rump steak (£17), which comes wallowing in peppercorn sauce with rocket salad and chunky chips on the side - simply delicious.
There are also several daily specials on offer including fillet of sea bream with new potatoes (£14.25) or venison steak in a red wine jus (£14). If you’re scrimping, pop in on a Monday lunchtime when you can get a beer, burger and chunky chips for a budget-busting £13.
This pub is a beer lover’s paradise, with four cask ales to try and nine keg brews to sample; it’s clearly a labour of love for those who work there. Beers are carefully selected, some chosen from local breweries and others from recommended breweries slightly further afield. The specials are changed regularly and include the likes of Windsor Knot, Windsor & Eaton’s Canberra, Skrimshander and Redemption Trinity. The pub also has its own brew named The Dean Swift, of course. A pint sets you back around £3.80, while there’s a myriad of bottled craft beer to try should you get bored of the draughts.
The Last Word
They say the best places are hard to find, so if you venture off the tourist trail be sure to seek out this gem.