London Restaurants

The White Swan

Tel : 020 7242 9696 | 108 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1ES |

smithsThere's an air of something special just detectable on entering the White Swan.  Instantly insulated from the cold, harsh city streets outside, the interior is all warm lights, big tables and a professional looking bar.  Oh, and a huge stuffed swan above the door of course.  The strange thing here is that no-one seems to be aware of the hidden gem upstairs.  Not the staff, not the legal eagle locals, not the other punters it seems.  We turned up a little late for our booking but we needn't have worried, the place was empty.  This could have resulted in an atmospheric vacuum but that was filled admirably by the main man there who exudes enthusiasm and an easy Gallic charm.  From here on in, everything was pretty much perfect.  Suddenly we were transported from a city boozer to a fine dining room where all the five star niceities are thoroughly observed.  A high quality bread basket was presented while we scanned the short but inventive menu and the slightly lengthier wine list.  Both are full of delights making choices difficult but pleasurable.  Both selections are definitely French, no pretence at pan-European here.  Once the dishes arrived it finally dawned on our little gathering that we'd hit gold.  Perfectly executed French classics with added richness for the London palette appeared before us, each one exciting, full of delightfully distinct flavours and sublimely sumptuous.  Eating my way through a three-way veal plate with perfect potatoes made me smile with every bite from the first fork-full to the last scrape of the plate.  My colleagues' beef and sea bass allegedly delivered equal performances but I was too busy congratulating myself on my excellent selection.  As for the booze, the first bottle of wine was so good we had to have another just the same and when we'd eaten and drunk far too much we still had to have third course whether we needed them or not.  Cheeses and puddings came and went and we were left cheered but perplexed at how we'd missed this place in our continuing search for the best of the city.  There is a price to pay at the end of the night but none of cared by then and in fact, we're still smiling.

Food 10/10
Service 9/10
Atmo 6/10
Vege 5/10
Alco 9/10
Total 78%