HERE at the Swindon Advertiser, we love our food.

And there’s certainly plenty to choose from in Swindon – both excellent and not-so excellent.

Every week we review a different eatery in the area to give our readers the most informed choice possible.

If you’re heading out to eat this bank holiday weekend and need a little inspiration, here are five of our favourites from 2019 so far.

We've also done a round-up of the latest restaurants and takeaways rated for hygiene - worth checking before you head out to eat 

Calley Arms, Wanborough

Swindon Advertiser:

This is an excellent pub. The New Calley Arms is currently the highest-rated pub in the Swindon area on Trip Advisor and the fourth best-rated eatery overall around town – plus it placed highly on the Adver’s 2018 list of the 10 best places to eat in Wiltshire.

The warmly-lit glow of its rustic interior felt very welcoming on a dark and cold night when we visited, and both the ambience and food didn’t disappoint.

What did we love?

The rib-eye steak with onion rings, tomato and a side of veg (£12), ordered medium-well. The steak was juicy, with pangs of pepper and charcoal, and not tough or chewy, much more on the medium side than the well but all the better for it.

The enormous onion rings were crispy and flavourful, the peppercorn sauce made even the gristle and fatty bits of the ribeye taste great, though I did have to take a break at one point.

What did our review say?

“Apart from the near-faultless food, my favourite part of dining at the New Calley Arms were those pauses, the times where I could relax and look out from my vantage point at the pub's patrons laughing and joking and coming and going, at the families on the other tables enjoying their food just as much as I'd enjoyed mine, at the staff rushing around carrying plates towering with food, and at the dogs gratefully receiving plenty of attention from punters passing by them.

This was my first meal at the New Calley Arms but it won't be the last.


The Jewel in the Crown, Victoria Road

Swindon Advertiser:

Currently rated in Trip Advisor’s top 10 restaurants in Swindon, this Indian restaurant serves up beautifully presented food in opulent surroundings. Our reviewer headed along in January, and wasn’t disappointed.

What did we love?

Aside from the chandeliers, the glitter ball and huge mirrors, the food was pretty special too.

The King Prawn Butterfly was enveloped in a golden, perfectly fried batter and inside was an exquisite, delicately-flavoured, gigantic prawn

The mushroom bhajee was a creative and yummy mix of mushroom and tomato, in a flavoursome sauce, sprinkled with fresh Tarragon.

The Shahi Prawn Marsala was a true explosion of tastes from my creamy, coconut and almond sauced delight, served in a sizzling balti dish, to the punchy bite of the cauliflower bhajee.

What did our reviewer say?

“Looking up and marvelling at who would have to clean the huge glitter balls of crystal, hanging above our heads, I took note of the gorgeous ceiling. The plaster motives around the coving were intricately carved, criss crossing the coloured panels.

“The walls were in keeping with the waiters' outfits, sumptuous deep reds, topped with gold and cream in one dining area, and dark green, cream and gold in the other.

“We were not so much amused as thoroughly delighted by this pleasant escape from the drab cold of the bleak mid winter into the golden days of an Indian summer.”

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE - Jewel in the Crown

Cricklade Club, High Street, Cricklade

Swindon Advertiser:

The family-run Cricklade Club has shot on to the culinary map.

Saved from developers in February 2017, it was re-opened six months later by husband and wife Simon and Talia Maddison, and won Start-Up of the Year for the whole of the South West.

It sources many ingredients from local suppliers, while the freshly baked sourdough comes from a baker in Lechlade, and meat from the local Cricklade butcher.

What did we love?

The prawns, buried amongst fleshy chunks of avocado and crunchy lettuce, had a hint of charcoal.

The charcuterie board was full of soft ribbons of Parma ham and spicy salami which both had a high-quality, and not overly salty, pinkness.

Top of the supper specials, the flank steak, not straying a million miles from the Mexican-inspired main menu, is common in Columbia and Brazil where it is known as Sobrebarriga, meaning “over the belly”.

Thick rectangles of stringy but robust beef arrived with a welcome drizzle of salsa verde over the top.

What did our reviewer say?

“You have to admire its attempt to be everything all at once, practically suiting most occasions.

“It doesn’t feel jumbled at all, it just all melts into one multi-functional and inviting space.”


Stacks Burger & Waffle, Rodbourne

Swindon Advertiser:

Though this place might look like a standard ‘burger and fries’ sort of takeaway joint, it’s a bit more than that.

There are a bewildering range of options and extras. Do you want a brioche bun or a waffle for your chicken burger? Want cheese? Choose from American, cheddar, Monterey Jack or blue.

And the waffles are good, too.

What did we love?

The burger is pristine. There’s an earthiness to the burger that you don’t get from a high street fast food chain offering.

The saltiness from the cheese works well with the fresh lettuce and the mustard’s tang.

The waffles are everything a waffle should be: still slathered in maple syrup and so full of carbohydrates you felt like your stomach would burst.

What did our reviewer say?

“Growing up, I was a chorister at our local church. Very rarely, on the way back from choir practices, my mum would take my brother and I into McDonald’s to treat us to a Happy Meal. Unwrapping the foil from the Stacks burger I felt that same excitement, remembered from those childhood trips to Maccy Ds.

“The verdict? I would definitely give Stacks Burger and Waffle a go. For £1 more than a Big Mac Bacon, you get a towering slap of Wiltshire mince, cheese and salad.

“And the waffles – which can be served with meat or chocolate – will keep any child happy. Whether they’re six-years-old or 60.”

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE - Stacks Burger and Waffle

Yak Himalayan Kitchen, Devizes Road, Swindon

Swindon Advertiser:

Highly rated by diners on Trip Adivsor, this place specialises in Nepalese cuisine. It has a nice atmosphere, good service and great food.

We headed along in fairly Himalayan conditions during this year’s snowfall for some winter warming.

What did we love?

The chholia comes in either a chicken or lamb option, like most of the dishes at the Yak with the option of being low, medium or hot on the spice-o-meter.

The dish consists of roasted chicken with green fresh chilli, red onion, spring onion, coriander, crushed ginger and garlic with a touch of lemon. It was delicious and spicy.

The lamb curry main was equally good. The lamb was served in a golden chalice, like a meal fit for a king, which it was. The meat was tender and was full of flavour and spices.

What did our reviewer say?

It was bright and warm inside with the walls adorned with colourful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags and Himalayan folk songs playing in the background, there was also a large green Buddha statue in the corner. If Swindon ever needed a Buddhist temple this place could be a front runner.

My lamb curry main was also equally as good and as you could probably guess I had it hot. I’m the type of person who would put hot sauce on toast.

Overall the Yak had a nice atmosphere, good service and great food. I left feeling well fed and watered for my expedition through the ice home.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE - Yak Himalayan Kitchen