Tom and Ed Martin’s White Swan Pub and Dining Room on Fetter Lane EC4, near Chancery Lane, has been reborn as a chophouse, post a full refurbishment and the arrival of new chef Sergio Araujo (previously of ETM’s The Botanist on Sloane Square).
The Chophouse, an institution dating back to the 16th century, was a meeting place where feasting, good company, fine wines and ales prevailed. Upholding this archetypal British tradition, The White Swan boasts a new menu, in the ground floor pub and its first-floor dining room, that champions provenance with skilled cooking and gutsy flavours, using the very best of British ingredients.
True to its Victorian heritage, meat at The White Swan is king – all is sourced from whole carcasses from small British livestock farmers using heritage breeds for nose to tail eating. From Cornish cockerel and White Park cattle, to Iron Age pigs, wild deer from Suffolk and kid goats from Devon, the emphasis is on hearty plates of traditionally cooked meats and offal such as liver, kidneys and sweetbreads. Whilst cuts change daily, expect the likes of Middle white pork with garlic mash, on the bone 45-day-aged White Park sirloin and fallow deer rack with kale and redcurrant jelly. Offal will also feature heavily at The White Swan.
Whilst very much a meaterie, The White Swan also offers responsibly sourced fish and shellfish from south coast day boats with choices such as Brixham gurnard with confit fennel, and St Mary’s Bay lemon sole, grilled or meunière. The menu also features a variety of comforting pub classics including beer-battered hake with big chips and mushy peas, pie of the day with mash and gravy, toad in the hole and a ‘dirty’ salt beef sandwich.
At the heart of The White Swan is the ground floor pub and for those looking for a lighter bite, the creative bar menu also puts the spotlight on meat – crispy pigs’ ears with apple sauce, sausage rolls with English mustard, black pudding croquettes and a haggis Scotch egg are just some of the snacks on offer.
Fine wines and well-kept local beers were an integral part London’s original chophouses and that is also the case at The White Swan. A wide selection of craft brews, draught ales, stout and cider, including sister pub, The Jugged Hare’s pale ale is on offer alongside a wine list of robust reds and crisp whites. A concise, but perfectly formed cocktail list takes a carnivorous angle with choices such as Meat Juice, a mix of Black Cow vodka and meat juices and a Bloody Meaty Mary, a twisted classic of Black Cow vodka, beef, tomato and spices. Other cocktails include Mother’s Ruin, using Fisher’s gin with vermouth, lemon, grapefruit and champagne sitting alongside classics like the Old Fashioned and Negroni.
The new interior blends the classic with the contemporary – exposed brickwork, taxidermy, butchers’ tiles and vintage champagne racks contrast with polished concrete and on-trend Edison bulb lighting. The result is an effortlessly modern Pub and Chophouse where the Dickensian values of warmth, comfort and indulgence prevail. Or, as the man himself, a true Victorian foodie, once wrote: “please sir, I want some more”.
The White Swan Pub & Chophouse is open Monday to Friday from 11am serving drinks, light bites, lunch and supper. The venue is available for private hire and weddings at the weekends whilst the 40-cover first floor dining room can be booked exclusively for breakfast meetings as well as private lunches and parties.