*So I had original pictures of the pub, pint, and pie, however, I’m stupid and deleted them. I can get more as its close to my work, but wanted to get this one up on time. In the future all entries will have original pictures of all three. For now, just trust me on the description of the pie. Apologies.
Dean Swift is located very near my office in Southwark, near Tower Bridge, and is a favourite for us. In a neighbourhood rife with tourist locations (read as “overpriced”) this pub is a bastion of quality and a more local crowd, as it is a bit off the main path, tucked away among the re-purposed warehouses.
Dean Swift is actually one of three pubs (Old Red Crow and Hack & Hop, the others), but doesn’t feel like a chain place. Their decor is made to look pieced together (mismatched chairs and tables), with old beer posters framed on the wall. However, they don’t go overboard with it. It’s a bit cramped, but there is an upstairs which I find is usually less congested during happy hours.
Despite it being so close to tourist areas, it draws a rather local crowd, or rather people who work in the area, so a lot of professionals. The staff is great, and honestly one of the better customer service experiences you’ll have in London. The menu has some mainstays, as well as the taps, but they rotate new items/beers in for a nice variety. However, whatever you get will always be quality in my experience.
Honestly not a lot wrong with this one, except a lack of space. I’ve been in on Friday nights, which you expect to be busy, but you can barely move sometimes.
I went with a stout, the Titanic Stout to be exact, from the Titanic Brewery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England, so a local-ish beer. The brewery is named so as its where the captain of the ill-fated ship. It’s got a great, dark colour, with a smooth, creamy taste. Ok, I’m not a beer snob or anything I promise (my love of Labatt Blue will attest to that), but this is a good drink.
The only pie they have on the menu regularly is the mushroom, spinach, and artichoke pie. However, every Tuesday is “Pie Night,” where they have a variety of pies, so I will definitely have to do another review of this one. The picture below is of a Dean Swift pie, but mine was more of a sphere, and on a bed of truffle mashed potatoes, kale, with a sweetcorn sauce…it was awesome.
The crust was perfect parts flaky and soft. The mushrooms were large and delicious, and you could tell it was not ever started until I ordered it. Very fresh, very warm, and delicious. The flavours definitely complimented each other, which I obviously know is the goal, but you’d be surprised how many places overthink it, or just out-right miss the target.
As good as it was, I am going to be a nit-picky bastard, and complain (can’t have a perfect 10 on this first go). I felt the mushrooms outnumbered the spinach and artichoke so that was the dominating flavour. Also, how can you not have at least a steak and ale pie as the mainstay on the menu? I am no stranger to veggie meals to keep my fat arse within a normal weight, but meat pies have no substitute. I’ve also had a chicken and bacon pie there that was incredible.
Pies come in all shapes and forms in this country. From the ones that look microwaved, all the way up to the gourmet. I would definitely put Dean Swift pies toward the latter. The quality, flavour, and even presentation are great. I will most likely be back there in less than a week’s time.
I feel bad doing this one first, as it will set the bar very high for future pubs, pints, and pies. Trust me, a pub that’s a triple threat (quality, selection, staff) like this isn’t on every corner. I highly recommend Dean Swift if you’re ever in this part of London, you will not be disappointed.
OVERALL RATING: 8.7