Why 'The Swan' on landlocked Bayswater Road? Well, two reasons. The lakes and ponds of Kensington Gardens are just over the way. But, more satisfyingly, this pub once stood on the banks of the River Westbourne — a 'lost river' that once flowed from Hampstead Heath to the Thames in Chelsea. It's still down there as a sewer, but don't let that put you off your pint.
This is a place with history. Bayswater — the watering place of Bayard, where the Westbourne crossed the old highway — was possibly on the site of the pub. Its interior is suitably decorated with old prints of the area, which never seem tacky like they might in a West End drinking hole.
This is a Fuller's house and serves the usual competent if unlively selection of ales, mixed with a decent menu and wine list. It's a neat little space. A trio of discrete areas effectively make this three pubs in one. Upstairs, a recently redecorated restaurant has views out onto the park. Oh, and the free wifi's bloody good, too.
A pleasant place to swan into, if you find yourself in Kensington Gardens and fancy a pint.
Last updated June 2018.