Diccon Wright grew up between his family’s fruit farm in Kent and Geneva. A keen sportsman, throughout his youth he competed at a senior level in several sports, skiing for the junior Great Britain team, playing tennis to junior Wimbledon standard and event riding. He also developed a love of motor sports, starting driving rallying in the 1980’s with a Lotus Sunbeam before progressing to a 650 break horsepower 6R4 group B rally car and competed for a final year in a works Group A eight valve Astra.
Diccon’s business career began with him establishing one of the first boutique roasteries in the UK, providing hand crafted beans to the restaurant trade which he successful sold in 1998. Diccon went on to focus on the hospitality and property industries. His first project was a 30 cover restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, Right on the Green, with the James and Chris Tanner in the kitchens cooking Modern European fine dining.
In 1998, Diccon and his business partner Pete Cornwell took ownership of a derelict pub in the Kent village of West Malling, close to where both men had grown up. After significant renovation works over 18 months, they opened the Swan in 2000. The site houses two bars, a restaurant, library and three private dining rooms feature over three floors. In warmer months the large garden opens as an outdoor lounge and event space. The menus reflect British style with seasonal produce grown and reared by local farmers. From opening, the restaurant has enjoyed continued success and accolades, including Michelin listing and being a finalist of Masterchef in 2010. In 2011, Diccon and Pete handed over the day-to-day running of the business to Nick Levantis and Darryl Healy, who continue to grow and develop the business.
In January 2007 Diccon and Pete won the contract for all catering and events provision at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames close to Borough Market and London Bridge. Originally down-at-heal tea rooms, Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe has been transformed into a £8m turnover, award-winning business.
The operation includes a much-loved bar and a 90 cover restaurant in addition to two private dining rooms. The site also includes two event spaces, the Balcony Room and Underglobe, which are available for hire for corporate entertaining, private parties, day-time meetings and weddings. Swan also operates the various cafes and tap houses that serve the theatre. Since 2007, Swan has invested heavily in the site, to create spaces that are elegant, quirky and comfortable. The menus across the site reflect a modern British cooking with seasonal produce from local markets.
Pete became a non-Executive Director in 2013 and left the business in 2015 to further his career by opening a number of successful provincial sites in Kent. Today, an operational board of directors manages the site on a day-to-day basis. This allows Diccon to work in a consultancy and investment basis on a range of property and restaurant business.
Diccon Wright has three daughters, Eleanor 22, Theodora 20 and Sophia 2 and lives with his partner Jo. Together they split their time between in the Mediterranean, East London and Chamonix, where Diccon continues to fulfil his skiing passion, despite his aging knees.