It's been a year since the Town Gardens Cafe reopened after renovations and with new owners and visitors are loving it.

Best friends BBC Radio presenter Marie Kilford and hospitality manager Frances Tucker became the owners of the iconic cafe after winning a competition hosted by South Swindon Parish Council.

After a short period of renovations, the cafe reopened with them as the new owners on May 1st last year.

Their first weekend was a bigger success than anticipated as they ended up running out of cake and hiring an additional eight members of staff on top of the three already hired.

"I don't think I'd want to own a cafe in a town centre or anything," Frances said.

Marie agreed and said it's the environment of the park that helps make it so special.

"I'm jealous of our staff who get to have the park as their office every day," Marie said.

Frances and Marie both have full-time jobs on the side (although Marie is currently on maternity leave), but are often seen working in the cafe during the weekends.

The pair put in their application for the cafe when they found out it was being put out for tender by the parish council and were successful against several other applicants.

What makes the Town Garden unique from all other cafes in Swindon, besides the unusual location, is the fact that 70% of their caterers are local - even the coffee they serve.

"It's important, not only for us but now also for the businesses we work with as we're the biggest customer for a lot of them," Marie said.

Although it has mostly been a positive experience, Frances and Marie have also had some less happy moments.

"We were robbed a few months in, but even that was turned into something more positive as the support from the community was amazing," Frances said.

Looking back on the past year, they don't have any regrets on what they've done. "Maybe to have prepared more cake for the opening," Marie laughed.

When asked how they will celebrate this big milestone, they mentioned a party for staff at the end of the summer.

Frances said: "We're too busy with the cafe to celebrate now, so we'll probably do it at an end-of-summer party like the one we had last year for our staff.

"But it's definitely something we want to celebrate."

The café was first opened at Town Gardens in 1914 and was handed to the parish council by Swindon Borough Council in 2019.