Continuing with my quest of discovering Surrey’s oldest pubs, Jman and I decided the check out 13th century Ye Olde Swan in Thames Ditton.
It’s located right on the River Thames and before you go trying all those doors, the entrance is on the river side.
It’s part of The Old English Inns group, a very large chain made up of historic pubs and inns.
Inside is a rambling place that seems to go on and on. There are at least four dining rooms, each with a good sized capacity. We chose to sit in the bar area, with nice old flag stone flooring and a great ancient fireplace (tucked away in the corner and so entirely missable.)
Choice seats are near the entrance, only a handful beside a wall of windows overlooking the river. This is a popular pub and you’d do well to nab one.
The farthest room has a cosy vibe despite being a good size probably because of the exposed bricks and light coloured beams.
There’s an upstairs dining area which is opened when the other areas are full. It’s not as characterful as the rest of the pub.
Not Sure I get a deeper sense of age from Ye Olde Swan, it’s old but somehow I was expecting older.
Outside is the really exciting bit. A large patio sits alongside the river with a mix of comfortable seats and picnic tables. Interestingly, they haven’t tried to cram as many tables as possible into the space so there’s a good feeling of space around each table. The only drawback is there’s an island offshore so the river isn’t very wide here.
The menu is a fairly comprehensive chain pub assortment that’s guaranteed to have something for everyone plus daily specials.
We waited nearly 40 minutes for our food. When we asked where our food was the barman said ‘everyone came at once’, imagine that, being lunchtime and all. This pub has a very large seating capacity, it needs a kitchen to match. My tip is to get here early or come out of busy mealtime hours.
Jman decided on the ‘sharer’ Nachos covered with melted Barber’s 1833 vintage reserve cheddar, sour cream and chives, pico de gallo salsa and pomegranate seeds topped with hickory smoked beef brisket £7.99. Naturally he wasn’t interested in sharing any with me. He really enjoyed them, a nice mix of flavours and the pomegranate seeds were a snazzy addition.
I had the daily special, scallops and bacon £5.99. I wish they’d had a fuller description of them, as they were quite impressive and surprised me when they arrived. They were on some sort of nicely textured pea puree and topped with crispy bacon and some sort of tasty green stuff. I loved this and in no way expected this sort of quality, especially for that price. My kudos to the chef.
I had a side of sweet potato fries £2.49 to go with my scallops. I chose to eat all the scallops first since they are best freshly cooked. They had some sort of coating on them, which really caught the oil and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get the taste out of my mouth.
Ye Olde Swan is a solid pub and a particularly good spot for lounging by the river in the beautiful weather we’ve been having. And if scallops are on the specials menu order them!
Summer Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0QQ
Small car park
Dogs welcome in hard floor areas