Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published October 12th 2010
There are quite a lot of nice Thames-side pubs, and Richmond has its fair share, but there are a few that prove to be a bit too far from the station for non-locals to discover, so on the weekend these are the places to go to be farther from the 'madding crowds'. One of the best examples of these secret, riverside pubs is The White Swan. Best because its location opposite Eel Pie Island puts it literally river side, and best because it's got a good atmosphere - improved by the quiet road that it's situated on and its front garden terrace which is right on the river.
Part of the pleasure of this pub is getting to it. Cross the bridge onto the Twickenham side of the river and walk right along the bank past Marble Hill Park, through the playground and onto a quiet little road that, judging from the primarily pedestrian and cycle traffic, feels more like an extension of the Thames Path than a road. And there you'll have it. The white painted pub with its small veranda on your left and the terrace on your right – in front of which you'll find the canoes of the people who've rowed down for a pint.
The Swan isn't bad inside either. It's small and basic, but then not too much has been done to the inside of it since it was built in the 17th Century, and at that time they favoured exposed beams, plenty of dark wood and open fires - which is where you'll gravitate to in Winter. To that ye olde worlde canvas the current owners have added a display of rugby memorabilia.
They do the sort of hearty meals that have become pub staples: Steak and Guinness pie, Cumberland sausages and mash, burgers, mussels, fish and chips. And sharing plates that make for a bit more of a snack that an open packet of crisps on the table: ploughman's lunch board, cheese board, nachos and a Mediterranean inspired board for example. They also do lighter lunches if you're just popping by on your way somewhere else.
There's not a more pleasant place to while away a few Sunday hours.