Hampton Wick opened on 1 July 1863. The station buildings date from the end of the ’60s, replacing the original Victorian one. It was not an improvement as the platforms now simply have two little drab shelters, one of which has a roof which is going wonky. The replacement ticket office building from the 1960s has gone now(although as you can see from this photo just after it was built, we aren’t missing much) and there is now a small modern shelter at street level, housing the ticket office.
Hampton Wick is located at the edge of Hampton Court Park. One of my earliest memories of going to London actually involved ending up here by mistake on a family trip with my Grandad, after confusion arose while changing at Clapham Junction. We got to Hampton Court in the end, it just involved a walk through the park first. Hampton Court station actually lies outside the Greater London boundary so sadly I won’t be visiting it for the blog.
The Swan, 22 High Street, Hampton Wick, KT1 4DB
The pub is a short three minute walk south from the station, located on the High Street, with a traditional brick and mock tudor frontage exterior.It is said there has been a pub on the site since the 14th Century, the current building dates from 1905.
The Swan is Shepherd Neame pub and had their signature ale on tap, Spitfire, as well as Hog Island, an American IPA. The decor here is fairly neutral, the walls are painted in light colours and it has a very open feel. I’d liked a quote by Ernest Hemingway written on one of the walls – ‘write drunk, edit sober’, which of course bears no relation to how I put this blog together.
The Swan has a full thai menu as part of its ‘Hong Thai’ restaurant. Small plates like satay gai are around £5.50, noodles £7.50, with larger plates varying in price from £10 to £15. Food is available between 5 and 10pm, so wasn’t initially open as we arrived. When they did start serving it all smelt very nice, I must say. The pub was quite quiet when we first arrived but began filling up as the kitchen opened and the Rugby came on.
They had the Six Nations on the TV screens here, as well on a large projector screen too. We were sat near it and ended up accidentally getting on the wick of a man sat near us who complained we were talking too loudly and he wanted to hear the Rugby. I think he may have misunderstood the concept of a pub. There is also live music here with an acoustic jam night on a Tuesday evening and live bands on Saturday nights.
I liked The Swan, it had a chilled out vibe (well bar the one chap sat near us!) and was a nice spot for a pint. A decent pub to visit out in this corner of Zone 6.