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 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 June 2013
Let's start with the biggest day of the year for dads, and as good an excuse for eating out as they come - Sunday 16 June.
The old chap always deserves a treat on Father's Day, and there's normally nothing more content than a man with a full stomach!
So what's on offer?
Chiseldon House Hotel
All served from midday on a pay-as-you-go basis with family entertainment on the beautiful hotel grounds as well.
Eat As Much As You Like
Swindon Rendezvous & Le Rendezvous
The ideal place to go for dads - and families - with big appetites! And who doesn't like Chinese, eh?
The Swindon Rendezvous really is a bit of a cut above as well on the food & service side, so Pop will feel he's being made to feel like a king for the day.
All of Dad's Favourites!
Plus a brewery on site!... It'll be a good opportunity to ask dad for that loan you were thinking of if you take him here on Father's Day.
The Weighbridge Brewhouse is Swindon's top ranked restaurant and if you're thinking 'well, it is once a year', then this is the place to go.
Whatever type of steak he might want, they have it. Plus dishes like Beef & Black Pudding Stack - slices of British fillet and black pudding, griddle cooked to your liking, served with shitake mushrooms in a Marsala wine and cream sauce.
They just launched a new a la carte menu this month too.
Felice Festa del Papà
This place never fails to tick all the right boxes when it comes to big gatherings. It's an Italian thing, isn't it?
Best of all, their Two For £10 menu - any pizza or pasta - is available on Father's Day Sunday as well from 12 to 6pm, so there's no excuse for not inviting the whole family along too.
Felice Festa del Papà is Happy Father's Day in Italian by the way (or at least that's what we've been told!)
Curry Corner? Not Any More!...
Texicans Cantina & Grill
Swindon 'Hottest' New Restaurant
They say timing is everything in business - and so is location when it comes to restaurants.
So we reckon the people behind Swindon's newest place to eat out have got it just about right on both counts.
Except it's not an Indian restaurant that's opened on what everyone calls Curry Corner in Swindon.
Hot & spicy it is, though!
Texicans Cantina & Grill at the bottom of Victoria Hill is the latest addition to the eating out list with the offer of 'bringing the wild west to the centre of town for you all to enjoy'.
Tasty ribs, succulent pork and the the highest stacked burger in the west are all on the menus, plus the promise of generous portions make this sound like a winner.
With Tex-Mex now available, ironcially 'Curry Corner' now only has one of the very best Indian Restaurants in the south west in residence - The Khyber, still number one for many in the curry stakes and Swindon's first in 1962.
Flavours around the world
Add Fratello's Italian, who we've previously mentioned, just up the street, the Swindon institution that is Rudi's next door and the very impressive taste of Brazil at Rio's across the road, and you could say the bottom of Vic Hill is much more a 'flavour of the world' than you'd ever expect - or more popular.
Just try and find room to park next to the Ferraris when you're hungry! (See our Twitter feed if you don't believe us).
Eating Out..... on a diet!
Going out for something to eat and watching the calories doesn't normally go together.
But if you've been trying the new 5:2 diet - where you can tuck in to what you want for 5 days of the week as long as you 'fast' and only consume 500 calories on two of the other days - you'll know what we mean.
Well, it's become such a popular way of losing weight, Pizza Express at least have spotted an opportunity with their new Leggera 'Superfood' salad at only 295 calories a go.
And it's more than just a limp lettuce leaf and sad slice of tomato.
Expect baby spinach and seasonal mixed leaves, roasted butternut squash, beetroot, light baby mozzarella, avocado, pine kernels, cucumber, lentils and fresh basil finished with balsamic syrup.
Now available at their Old Town restaurant.
New Places To Go In Old Town
Cakes & Ale Cafe
Talking of Old Town - and eating healthier - we're glad to see the new juicing bar & cafe in Devizes Road doing rather well.
Aptly named The Core, it offers colourfully-crafted juices made using only natural ingredients and a whole host of other healthy options ideal for lunch.
Well worth stopping off at if you haven't already.
And opening right next door....
It officially opens on Friday 7th June, when they'll be much more to tell, but they say they'll be offering breakfast, elevenses, lunch, high tea and supper - and, of course, alcohol!
Meat, fish, pies et al have all been mentioned so it'll be interesting to find out. Good things are expected we hear.
Plough Ale & Cider House
Who was it said things come in threes?! We did mention this last month, so don't forget, The Plough Inn further up Devizes Road is being transformed - quite literally - into a Cider & Ale House.
Food is going to be a big part of this new venture with the emphasis on simple, good honest pub food.
Lots of choice on offer in Old Town, then!
New owner for top Thai restaurant
We always think the Thai Orchid can get a little left out when people think of places to eat in Swindon.
But the people who rave about its food - and there's plenty - probably like it that way. The Trip Advisor reviews & word of mouth recommendations are nearly always excellent.
Well, following the retirement of its long-term patrons, John & his wife, the restaurant has a new owner who has big plans for the place - but not the menu!
"That'll be staying just as it is for now," he told us, "it's fantastic. And one of the reasons why I bought it.
"Yes, I'll be making a few cosmetic changes but the food and the chefs who make it won't be changing!"
And that includes the house speciality - steamed sea bass!
Reviews say it all
Jade Tiger, Royal Wootton Bassett
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.
This month, we think the Jade Tiger in Royal Wootton Bassett is well worth a mention. The reviews are very good indeed.
'We have been dining here for 5 years and the food & service has always been excellent.'
Our advice, always - judge for yourself!
Make Time For Lunch
This month: out in the country
Whether it's a business chat, a day off from work or a just a change from the norm, there's an excellent choice of lunch venues just a short trip east of Swindon.
Places where you can get a proper bite and not break the bank either.
Here's our pick this month from what's available. So why not give them a try?
And we've also chosen pubs that are doggy friendly too, so there no need to leave Bonzo at home while you enjoy a bite out.
Rose & Crown at Ashbury
Well worth the drive for lunch or dinner
A 16th century inn now back to its best
thanks to a completely new look and a refreshing attitude from its new management.
An excellent lunch and early dinner offer of just £13.50 for 3 courses is proving very, very popular. If you haven't ventured out to Ashbury for a while now's the perfect excuse.
White Horse at Woolstone
Can you get more picturesqe?
Only six miles out of Swindon but a world away in terms of surroundings. This pub may have been built in the 15th century but its cooking is bang up to date.
Ideal for lunch, their menu includes lite bites such as pate & homemade soup (always a main meal in itself) with specials & mains that maintain a very good standard.
The Royal Oak at Bishopstone
It's been a while since we mentioned this fantastic pub on the outskirts of Swindon, but if you have a surprise day off then we think it's the perfect place for a proper taste of the country.
Served from Noon-2pm.
Dog Friendly Food Pub of the Month
The Harrow Inn, Wanborough
A new award here at SwindonWeb - but one well worth the accolade.
Taking your four-legged friend along for a bit to eat isn't the crime of the century we think, so here we salute pubs that welcome dogs as well as their owners.
And to start things off, it has to be The Harrow Inn at Wanborough.
A proper country pub that serves superbly-cooked, locally sourced, fresh food. And where well behaved dogs can lie down on the flagstones and enjoy tip-bits of steak, chicken and lamb - and a fresh bowl of water.
And with a walk on the Ridgeway just up the hill, what more could man's best friend possibly want!
And finally... congrats to Rafu (and Omar!)
Pat Chapman Recommended
Curry Guide 2013
Lots of Indian restaurants are named after places in the Punjab, spices or capital cities but there's only one in Swindon named after the owner - Rafu's.
So we were particularly pleased to hear his Highworth restaurant, now run by his son Omar (pictured) - Rafu has another one run by his brother Safu in Shrivenham - has won a place in the Pat Chapman Cobra Curry Guide 2013.
Pat's a fussy eater we hear so inclusion is no mean feat.
30 years on from opening in Swindon, we think Rafus truly deserves the recognition. Well done!
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!
Father's Day - 16 June (reminder again!)
Follow SwindonWeb on Facebook & Twitter for the latest eating out news and offers.
EATING OUT: Who's in the Kitchen
Win A Meal At Weighbridge Brewhouse