I was reading this article the other day; The Good Pub Guide 2016 had just been published with its survey of Britain’s best public houses. Not one of the category winners came from London. Now if they had a category entitled I’ve never failed to be entertained at this Pub of the Year then without doubt the White Swan down by the river in old Twickenham would win it hands down.
Now C and I aren’t regular pub goers but we do enjoy taking friends and family to this great old pub. The waitresses are sassy, the food’s good, the wine is great and there’s a decent selection of beers. The atmosphere inside is terrific but all the action takes place on the patio overlooking the river, and when that’s full and he sun is out, everyone just crashes out on the pavement and the quiet road. I’ve been there when upwards of 100 people are just sat or stood around enjoying the atmosphere. We’ve seen racing dragon boats pull up, raft races, wedding parties having a blast, hen parties arrive on rowing boats, mariachi bands, dogs retrieving sticks from the river, kids swimming and having a splash and all kinds of just interesting people hanging out. It’s the only part of Twickenham that’s a little bit bohemian and it’s a fab place to people watch.
I’ve never had a dull experience there and the fascinating thing about the place is unquestionably the lovely river Thames and, because it’s still tidal at this point, it always amazes me to see the river lapping up to the patio then across the road and finally up to the steps of the pub itself. I’ve witnessed folk decide to remain at their tables Canute-like despite the uprushing water and watched them from the pub balcony as they end up sat on the tables with loyal staff wading out to serve them drinks. Stranded but happily quaffing away.
The other day C and I popped in for an early evening drink after dropping our young grandson off. It was a lovely evening and a sundowner seemed like a cool idea. The river was already pretty high and covered the patio but we could easily walk down to the pub. We hadn’t been there long before this fellah turned up to check out the place…
Oops that’s the road down there you can see. Where else can you see this happening over a glass of crisp cool sauvignon blanc? What a great place. Get yourselves down there if you’ve never been before but don’t forget your wellies!