Eating Out - WHAT'S NEW
Our regular round-up of what's fresh on the menu in Swindon
Special theme nights, new restaurants, chefs winning awards - and especially special offers. You'll find it here in our 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.
July & August 2015
New Places To Eat
Always a subject we like to shout about, which, after a rush of openings at the beginning of the year, it's good to say the momentum is continuing.
As we mentioned before, Old Town Thai and the new Greek restaurant in Faringdon Road have made very good starts, with confirmation that a brand-new food & drink concept is soon to arrive in Old Town in August. Read on!...
Hoopers Place, Old Town
Due to be opened next month by the owners of Yume Sushi & Noodle Bar, Kenzo 52 promises to 'Tempt, Taste & Endulge', with building work well under way in Hoopers Place in what was the Spot Bar.
More news coming soon.
Pizza Express & Moshan Island Grill
Two other well-known places to eat in Old Town have had a spruce up - one much more noticeable than the other!
The Caribbean restaurant Moshan Island Grill have certainly got people's attention with their new outside paint-job. Very summery!
And Pizza Express in Bath Road have gone James Bond with their re-fit and a homage to 007 and author Ian Fleming, who, of course, lived in Swindon in the 1960s.
Best of all, they're offering a third-off all food to celebrate until the 26 July. Get your voucher via the link below.
The Highworth, Highworth
The 2AA Rosette-winning hotel in Highworth has a brand-new daily lunch & evening menu for summer, plus a new a la carte tasting menu for the restaurant at weekends.
Add in a fantastic patio to enjoy a drink or two, tapas and cream teas to die for and you've a great summer venue.
Taste of the Sea
The Weighbridge Brewhouse
If fish is your thing then Salmon and Monkfish, Fillets of Seabass, fresh Tuna, Spanish-style Scallops, Whole Lobster Thermidor, Steak and Lobster, Smoked Loin of Cod and Giant King Prawns are all on the new summer season a la carte menu at the Weighbridge Brewhouse.
Top quality as you'd expect.
Love Mondays & Mid-Week Fun
Rustico, Commercial Road
They've also got a new 'design your own' mid-week fun pizza night on Wednesdays, which looks ideal for families this summer.
Super Summer Offer
The Grill at 20 at The Kings
Value-wise, we think this is one of the very best offers in Swindon at the moment - the £12.50 3-course menu at 20 at The Kings in Old Town.
Proving especially popular with couples as well as larger groups, it's available everyday incl. Sunday from 6.30pm to 9pm in The Grill restaurant.
And the choice of starters, mains and desserts is impressive. Good reviews too.
Bye, Bye Brazil
To think this time last year, with the World Cup on, they were rammed. But as that was before the new Regent Circus development opened, we can only think that the likes of Ask, Nando Nando, Gourmet Burger & Prezzo hit them hard.
Summer is served!
For many of us that means a BBQ with friends and family in the back garden, but with Swindon surrounded by some of the most incredible countryside known to man, its also the ideal time to make the most of the sun and scenery while we can.
Alfreco dining with great views to enjoy - the options are plenty.
So what's new on offer?
Al Fresco August at Arkell's
WIN a meal for 4 at a choice to local pubs
Arkell's have a number of their managed houses in Swindon where you can dine Al Fresco in the sunshine or shade.
We've teamed up with them this summer to offer you the chance to enjoy a very social afternoon or evening on us.
Just enter our competition below and you might be lucky enough to win a meal for 4 with drinks.
Late Lunch in the Sun?
There's something special about enjoying an afternoon outside at a pub or restaurant without worrying about the time - or when the kitchen stops serving food.
So if you fancy a bite at 4ish rather than 1ish, these two venues serve summer late lunches (food as well as the liquid variety) all day on certain days of the week.
Fresh Summer Pizza
White Horse at Woolstone
The garden at the White Horse at Woolstone has always been a lovely place for drink but with the addition of a proper woodburning pizza oven this pub six miles outside Swindon is now even more worth the drive for summer eating.
Thursdays & Sundays from 3pm to 8ish
For now, they only get the oven fired up on Thursdays and Sundays from 3pm to 8ish, which makes it a perfect for a lazy Sunday (after church, of course!) or a very early weekend treat.
Again, it's worth calling ahead to book.
Fish, Classics & Salad Days
Rose & Crown, Ashbury
Another pub worth the trip in to the country just east of Swindon, the Rose & Crown has a very nice rear terrace for summer eating.
Their lunch menus is also available from 12 to 5.30 on a Friday if you fancy ending the week on a high by making an afternoon of it.
Choose from an excellent choice of fresh fish, classics dishes and salads that include Hot Smoked Salmon, Chicken Caesar, Seared Pigeon and Smoked Aubergine.
Gluten-Free in the Garden
Brewers Arms, Wanborough
Going Gluten-free is a preferred choice for many now, not just those who have to.
The Brewers Arms in Wanborough have always made a real effort to cater for their customers with a gluten-free menu and this summer there are plenty of new options on offer.
They add to the likes of seared lambs liver, lemon and thyme grilled chicken breast and their very popular red snapper fillet in a red Thai, mango and coconut curry sauce.
Booking is advisable, though, because when the sun's out the tables soon start filling up.
Alfreso Dining In Swindon
Our full guide
For more options on eating out outdoors in Swindon, check-out our full listings of pubs and restaurants via the link below.
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.
Steak does dominate proceedings in the coming weeks, though, but if you like a nice juicy one then you'd love these events.
Colossal Steak Challenge
The Angel, Royal Wootton Bassett
Friday 28th August
Do you have what it takes?
That's what The Angel in Royal Wootton Bassett will be asking this August as they invite competitors to take part in its Colossal Steak Challenge!
All participants will be given 1 hour to consume a 90oz steak, 2 sides and a pint of beer or soft drink.
If finished within an hour - the meal will be completely FREE!
If you don't succeed, the cost of the meal will be £80 with £20 being donated to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
Extreme Steak Night
Rose & Crown at Broad Hinton
First Thursday of every month
The Crown at Broad Hinton hold their 'Extreme Steak Nights' with a prime choice of fillet, rump and sirloin on offer, all cut to the size and weight you decide.
> Rose & Crown at Broad Hinton - website
White Horse at Winterbourne Bassett
Saturday 01 August
Relax, chill and enjoy the taste of Barbados in Winterbourne Bassett.
Starting with a rum punch on arrival, music from Will the Reggae, Reggae Man then three-courses of delicious Caribbean food incl. plantain fritters, sweet potatoes, homemade corn breads, rice & peas, mango & shrimp salad and more.
All for £27.50 per person.
For further details and to book, please visit the White Horse website via the link below.
The Royal Oak at Bishopstone
Top praise indeed from The Times newspaper, whose Food Editor says the Royal Oak in Bishopstone is his 2nd favourite place to eat in the whole of the UK.
They also got a big thumbs up for their shared contempt for Trip Advisor.
Reviews say it all
Prezzo, Regent Circus
So, while we're on that subject!......
If you've read this column before you'll know we like to have a quick look at TripAdvisor reviews of Swindon restaurants to see who's having nice things said about them.
We 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 couldn't think of a better time to take a look at Prezzo, the new Italian restaurant in Regent Circus.
No doubt busy since it first opened in February, comments seem to be ok about the food - but not the service.
Great atmosphere, but food and service is a bit disappointing
'This was our second visit within the month and again we were a bit
07 July 2015
Very nice, slow for drinks
'My boyfriend & I came to Prezzo on a Sunday evening. The staff were very friendly & polite. Although, it did take about 20 minutes for them to bring us a coke & a glass of wine. Food was delicious, and we weren't waiting long at all! Will be returning.
28 June 2015
Don't go if you're going on to the cinema or theatre
'Three of us went to Prezzo last night, having booked a table for 7.30. We waited 20 minutes for any attention whatsoever , then the waitress only took our drinks order, with a rather grumpy face. 20 minutes after that she took our food order, then we waited 50 minutes for the food to arrive. No apology, nothing. So , having walked in at 7.25, we finally ate at almost 9 p.m. The food was average, nothing special. Shan't be going there again.'
20 June 2015
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!
August Bank Holiday - Monday 31 August 2015
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Win A Meal At Weighbridge Brewhouse