As we crossed from west to east through the doors of the Siam Thai restaurant, our eyes bedazzled by the light bouncing off gleaming golden statues and sumptuous red and purple paintings, we could have been on a film set for one of the movies, based on the book of Anna and the King of Siam.

We had certainly stepped into more exotic climes than the dull greys of a Swindon car park and the dining room was abuzz with conversation as it was almost a full house.

At one table there was a birthday party, which the serving staff entered into with enthusiasm, bringing a sparkler bestrewn cake to their table before everyone joined in the Happy Birthday chorus.

We were seated in the widow table with an elephant candle centrepiece shining brightly. The menus and offers of drinks were instantly before us, making sure we felt comfortable and welcome.

I went for a Gordon's gin and Fever Tree tonic, £10, and my friend chose a large glass of Pinot Noir at £12, which she said really hit the spot, as we looked through the extensive menu and nibbled on the courtesy prawn crackers and chilli dip.

Siam Thai in Old Town promised authentic dishes and a journey of fine dining. The starters were undoubtedly a step in that direction with Royal Prawns in Blankets at £7.90 and Vegetable Farm Spring Rolls at £7. They came with a plum dip and a hot, spicy dip. The spring rolls were overflowing with a wide variety of vegetables all shredded, marinaded and cooked in a delicious crunchy wrap. The prawns were really tasty and definitely moreish.

Other starters included Chicken Thai Satay on Skewers, £7.50, Siam Sesame Prawns on Toast at £7.80, Golden Pastry Bag Tuns Thong at £7.50 and Steamed Mussels at £8.50.

In between bites I suddenly realised I was being watched by a couple of mischievous monkeys, one climbing up a wooden vine by the stairs and one holding a lighted torch, which I am guessing has some symbolic meaning. There were other various intricate and quite beautiful wood carvings adorning the walls, and a huge, colourful wall mural of leaves, flowers, birds and suns.

Further down the Old Town restaurant a whole wall was decorated with what we thought might be bamboo rain shakers - a form of musical instrument that sounds like rain falling.

Despite the full dining room we did not have to wait more than a few minutes for our mains.

The Chicken Special Fried Rice at £7.90 came in a pretty blue and white china jar painted with flowers. It could easily have been a meal in itself there was so much chicken and vegetable bites mixed in with the fluffy rice.

I went for the Duck Pad Khing at £11.50 and my friend chose the Massaman Slow Cooked Beef, again at £11.50.

The duck was melt-in-the-mouth tender with a delicate oyster sauce and a fresh, crisp, mix of vegetables. Lindsay's beef was rich and creamy and full of flavour, the perfect comfort food to ward off the chilling autumn wind. She said that what it lacked in bite, it was not as hot as some Thai curries, it made up for in taste.

Other mains included Fragrant Soft Shell Crab in Salt and Chilli Thai Style at £15.90 and chef's specials Duck Tamarind, £13.95 and the sizzling Weeping Tiger at £15.90.

It came as no surprise that the restaurant was givend a five-star award from Swindon Borough Council for health and hygiene as everything was spotless.

The restaurant also offered special set menus including the Siam Thai Experience for four which is £55 per person with special cocktails designed to compliment each of the six courses.

We did glance at the dessert menu full of such tempting delicacies as the Chocolate and Orange Coullis at £5.50, Champagne Sorbet at £4.50 and ice creams such as coconut or apple melt at £4.50, but decided on liqueur coffees instead, an Irish and a Tia Maria at £4.95. The final bill came to £78.90.

All through dinner our waiting staff had been friendly, quick and non intrusive and the coffees finished off the promised journey of fine dining - in fact you could say it was fit for The King and I. - Flicky Harrison

Siam Thai

75-76 Godwin Court, Old Town, Swindon 01793 611199

Opening seven days a week

Sunday 5.30pm to 11pm; Monday to Thursday noon to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 11pm; Friday and Saturday noon to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 11.30pm