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Eating Out - WHAT'S NEW 

Our regular round-up of what's fresh on the menu in Swindon
 
Eating out in Swindon - restaurant news, new menus, tastes, themed-nights and more
Special theme nights, new restaurants, chefs winning awards - and especially special offers. You'll find it here in our new, regular round-up of what's new on the eating out front in Swindon.
 
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and definitely sign up to myswindonweb for the latest up-to-date info and offers.
 
16 January 2015
 
Welcome to our first eating out up-date of the year. As ever, we've left it a couple of weeks in to the month before our regular round up, just to give everyone time to work up an appetite after probably over indulging at Christmas!
 
Some of you may even be on a diet or God-forbid trying to go alcohol-free in January (although if it is for charity, we forgive you). We're doing neither here at SwindonWeb as we figure the words 'slimming' and 'soft drinks' don't really sit too well in a guide to good food. All in the name of research, of course!
 
First up, then....
 
A bloody good offer....
(if you like you're steak rare, that is)
 
As it's also still a few days until pay day for many of us, a good deal is always very welcome indeed come January.
 
We especially like this one at 20 at The Kings in Old Town where you can enjoy:
 
 
2 x 3-courses & a bottle of wine
or
2 x 10oz steaks & a bottle of wine
for just £40
 
to be enjoyed in their Grill restaurant room until the end of the month.
 
 
Or, if you simply can't wait for Valentine's next month to enjoy a night out of good food, drink and a big, comfy double bed then The Highworth's Wine, Dine & Stay For FREE offer will also have you frantically grabbing your credit card.
 
Available on Sundays throughout January, you just have to spend £60 on anything in their restaurant that day and they'll kindly hand over the keys to one of their superbly appointed rooms as a thank you.
 
   
Table for Two, anyone?
Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in Swindon
As if anyone needed reminding, the most romantic date of the year is coming up in a couple of weeks - 14 February.
 
As usual, pubs and restaurants in Swindon are geared up - and largely booked up - for couples looking to enjoy a loved up meal for two with the odd glass of vino (always helps!).
 
This year, the 14th falls on a Saturday, which means many places aren't really making an all-out effort to do anything special because they know they'll be booked up anyway.
 
Some are making a weekend of it, though, so if you think Friday suits you better, then you might be in luck.
 
But be quick, no matter what you decide. We're hearing things are pretty much booked up already at most of the best pubs and restaurants.
 
 
               
Eating Out Events
 
For some of us it's any excuse to get out and enjoy an evening tucking into good food or something completely different.
 
Burns Night
Sunday 25 January
 
You don't need to be the Big Yin to know there's a big Scottish celebration coming up soon - Burns Night!
 
It's out with the haggis, neeps and tatties on and around the 25th January to mark the birthday of Robert 'Rabbie' Burns, the most famous Scots poet who penned the lines we've all sung on New Year's Eve 'Auld Lang Sang'. 

So where's best in Swindon to enjoy a wee dram and a toast to kilt-wearers everywhere - big do with piper or just a more quiet table for two?
 
                        
Exotic Sausage Night
The Angel Hotel, Royal Wootton Bassett
Friday 30 January 2015
  
Elk, kangaroo, llama, springbok, wild boar, zebra, horse, venison, alpaca and even camel is on the menu for this event with a difference.

All will be served as sausages with a choice of 3 and a side for just £10 or try all 10 and three sides for just £25. The sides are a tad more traditional and include triple-cooked chips, mash potato, root mash,
sweet potato fries, house salad or dauphinoise potatoes.
 
 
Early booking is essential, with only a limited amount of space available. 
 
Or enter our competition via the link below to win a table for 2!      
   
 
Extreme Steak Night
The Crown at Broad Hinton
Thursday 05 February
 
Now, if you like a nice juicy steak, then this is the culinary event for you.

But at The Crown you don't just browse a menu on their steak nights, you actually choose the cut of beef you want from a master butcher there in the restaurant, before he passes it on to the head chef, who cooks it right in front of you.

The Crown at Broad Hinton will be holding their first 'Extreme Steak Night' of the year on 05 February, with a prime choice of fillet, rump, rib-eye and sirloin on offer, all cut to the size and weight you decide. 
 
> The Crown, Broad Hinton - more info.  
                        
Chinese New Year
Thursday 19 February 2015
 
Back to its normal February date this year and just after Valentine's (so not the best of timing wallet-wise), this year Chinese New Year is on Thursday 19 February.
  
For us, we always think it's a brilliant occasion for family & friends when you can get everyone together round a big table with a big Lazy Susan whizzing round in the middle piled with crispy duck, chowein and as many dishes as you can eat! 
 
In 2015, it's the year of the sheep/goat! So we expect everyone will be 'flocking' to.... (yeah, ok, no jokes. Ed).
  
Swindon Rendezvous
Swindon Rendezvous
 
Private Dining
 
If you want a bit of privacy too when everyone's together, Chinese restaurants that offer party rooms at no extra charge include Le Rendezvous & Jade Garden. 
  
    
Lion Dance Show
Hong Xin & The Banquet
 
Hong Xin Chinese Swindon
Special events & entertainment on offer that weekend as part of the Chinese New Year celebration are Lion Dance shows at Hong Xin and The Banquet. 
 
The large oriental buffet restaurant in West Swindon is providing the entertainment on Sunday 21 February at 2pm, with a 30 minute show at The Banquet in Regent St at 12 Noon. 
 
Please see website for more details.
 
   
New Places To Eat
  
Always a favourite subject of ours at SwindonWeb, and we've seen a few places come and go over the years.
 
Late 2014 brought us Wagamamas, Giraffe and a new Polish restaurant in Old Town (has anyone tried it yet?), so here's what early 2015 has in store for us so far.
             
Fez
Now open in Wood St
        
Fez, Swindon
We were tempted to say 'just like that!' but, as we mentioned 12 months ago in this column that a new Moroccan-themed restaurant was coming to Swindon, this one has obviously been a while in the planning.
 
And from early reports it's sounding like time well spent.
 
Serving traditional Moroccan tapas and tagines, the atmosphere is typically laid back and proving popular for the Old Town crowd looking for something different.
 
We'll definitely be venturing in and giving it a go, so expect a report very soon.
 
Soon to be spicing things up
New restaurants opening in Regent Circus Feb & March
 
We keep mentioning it but finally the wait is almost over for fans of Nando’s in Swindon.
 
The big chain will open its doors in the new Regent Circus development on the 4th February. 
 
Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Ask Italian are open now, with Prezzo and Coal Grill & Bar also opening in the coming weeks.
 
 
The Cineworld cinema opens there on 06 February.
                               
On the move
Greg & Vicki heading to The Bell
 
It's time to ring the changes for Greg & Vicki at The Plough in Badbury, just off Jnct15, who are moving to a pub with much more restaurant room - The Bell at Purton Stoke.
 
Aussie Greg has built up a brilliant reputation during his time at the Plough - just look at the TripAdvisor reviews - especially for his meat and fish dishes, so the couple jumped at the chance to take on The Bell, which has a 42-seater dining room at the rear.
 
They take over on the 20 January so expect a couple of weeks of settling in before they get fully in the swing of things.
 
  
Reviews say it all
Gaetano, Old Town              
 
If you're a regular to this column you'll know we like to have a quick nosey at TripAdvisor reviews of Swindon restaurants to see who's having nice things said about them.
 
We all know the jury is still out on TripAdvisor and whether you should believe what's been written, but sometimes you can just tell it's pretty genuine - not obvious, flattering comments from mates or unfair criticism from rival establishments. 

This month, we take a look at an old favourite for many in Swindon - Gaetano, the Italian restaurant in Old Town.


And, ignoring the first time reviewers that are difficult to take at face value, it seems Carlos the owner knows how to keep his customers happy.
 
"We love Gaetanos, the atmosphere and service has always been just perfect , the food last night was great, Carlo and team could not do enough for us..... Thank you very much and a very happy new year, we'll be back soon."
Jan 2015
4-time reviewer
 
"Attended a fabulous evening at Gaetano's. This is an Italian restaurant that is sometimes overlooked because of it's location however it shouldn't be as the food, service and ambience is fantastic. The steaks are cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth and the staff are very friendly and attentive. Highly recommend this restaurant for romantic meals or for a night out with friends and/or family. Thank you Gaetano's for a fabulous evening."
Nov 2014
8-time reviewer
 
Our advice, as always - judge for yourself!
 
   
Dates For Your Diary
It pays to book early
 
There's always a few days in the year when a trip out for a meal is almost compulsory. So to avoid disappointment or, worse still, the drafty table next to the back-door and bins, here's the key dates.
 
They'll be on us before you know it!
 
Valentine's Day - Saturday 14 February (just reminding you again!)
Mother's Day - Sunday 15 March
Easter Sunday - Sunday 05 April
 
Don't forget....
 
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