Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe
On a cold winter’s day, when the wind is howling and the rain pit-pattering on your umbrella (or your hair, if you’re unfortunate enough to have forgotten a waterproof!) and you’re struggling against the elements, there is little in life more satisfying than a good roast dinner. And there are hundreds on offer across London.
Bankside is one of my favourites parts of London – in part because I used to live so close and got to know it pretty well, but also for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which is nestled on the riverside just east of the Tate Modern. Me and the Globe go way back. For my 18th birthday, my three best friends took me to see a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was just about the best present ever because I love Shakespeare almost as much as I love London. Their intertwined history fasicnates me. Anyway, my train was running late and I missed the beginning of the show, but even so it was a day I’ll never ever forget. It whetted my appetite for the place – sitting there in that most unique and exciting of theatres, I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to contribute to preserving London’s cultural heritage because, even though he hailed from Warwickshire, Shakespeare’s professional life, and the key to his success, was tied to London. I’ve been a Volunteer Steward since 2011, although I can’t help out nearly as much as I would like to now my real job takes up so much of my time.
Roast Lincolnshire squash, wild mushrooms, shallots, buckwheat, shaved Doddington
The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe is the catering outfit at the theatre. The Swan itself is a 3 storey restaurant, bar and function space, with an amazing view over the River Thames to St Paul’s. And on Sunday, they do a mean roast dinner. I’ve been here several times now and my only gripe is how quickly they try to rush you off the table, but I guess that’s to be expected when you’re given a 2 hour time slot. Although 2 hours hardly seems enough for a leisurely 3 course lunch and a bottle of wine between friends!
A typical Swan roast dinner – pork loin with crackling and apple sauce
The roast dinners are enormous and come with all the trimmings, including the biggest yorkshire pudding I have ever seen. If you want a smaller dish, there is always a fish option on the menu which I have had and was equally delicious.
Cod, sweetcorn and white bean fricassee, sea vegetables
Similarly, the desserts are very tasty and range from good old pub lunch classics such as sticky toffee pudding to more adventurous dishes such as honey pannacotta with caramelised figs, or almond pistachio cake.
Honey pannacotta, caramelised figs, honeycomb
The Swan is a great Sunday roast venue to have up your sleeve – particularly if you want a nice meal out with the family, as it’s such an easy place to get to being in a prime location on the river only 10 minutes walk from London Bridge station. You do need to book, though. It also has a really great bar where you can snuggle up in one of the booths and sip on red wine as the world and the river pass you by.