25 July 2015
I’m a big believer in shopping locally where you can and supporting local coffee shops where you can.
In this post I write a little about the benefits to the local economy of shopping and eating in independently owned establishments.
So here’s a round up of six good independent coffee shops in Swindon and why you might want to go to them. There are many more I know. Old Town seems to have a coffee shop per capita of population. All of which I’m sure have their benefits and charms. But that’s a post on its own I feel. That said one Old Town establishment is on this list.
So, in no order of preference, simply independent coffee places I’ve visited and enjoyed:
1) Da Paulo’s Delicatessen on Commercial Road. Cheating slightly as it’s not actually a coffee shop but an independent Italian deli – but it does sell excellent and very bloody cheap coffee,
Why go?: They sell great Italian coffee for £1. Yep – you heard that right – £1. And while you are there you can buy some delicious Italian wine, olives, biscuits, pasta…. you fill in the gaps.
2) @The Hub: Opened earlier this year, down on Fleet Street, this place is run by three ex-IT people.
Why go?: @theHub is not a mere coffee shop but a cycle retail and repair shop too. ““Whether you want a new bike, to fix or upgrade your bike or just want to meet with friends over a cup of excellent coffee, just call in for a warm welcome.” They have a big TV so you can have your coffee and watch the Tour De France in likeminded company and possibly wearing those cycling shorts that make you look like you didn’t get to the toilet in time.
I want to ride my bicycle!
3) Darkroom Espresso: We go to Faringdon Road for this speciality coffee shop. Now managed by the splendid @ (Twitter) previously of Chapters Coffee bar in the library, and Harris and Hoole in Tesco this is a popular hang-out for some of Swindon’s creative types – because the coffee shop has a great record for supporting local artists with displays of their work and what not.
Why go?: Apart from the coffee, they do good sandwiches, there’s a table you can chalk on, free WiFi I THINK and plenty of space to park a pushchair or bike.
Darkroom Espresso gaining ground.
4) Baila coffee and vinyl: In Old Town, this rather hipster joint buys and sells vinyl as well as coffee. It’s recently become a licensed premises though I suspect you won’t find a pint of Carling Black Label in there.
Why go? Other than the coffee? They do DJ vinyl-playing sessions on Sunday, ice-cream sandwiches in summer, and it’s licensed. Oh and there’s an upstairs play-area for the kids so no need to have your espresso, flat-white, moccachino enjoyment spoiled by a screaming toddler. And what IS a flat white anyway? Does that just mean a coffee with milk in it or what?
Get into the groove.
5) The 2Wins: This Portuguese establishment is down on Rodbourne Road next door to the racy lingerie shop. Whenever I’m in the proximity of the Outlet Village, from which it’s only a hundred yards, I try and visit.
Why go? As well as good Portuguese coffee they sell scrummy Portuguese cakes of several varieties – not just the natas. They also sell bread rolls stuffed with chorizo, and Portuguese beer. And it’s handy for the Outlet Centre. And lingerie…
6) Luso Cafe: On Havelock Street this is another Portuguese establishment. It used to be called the Piri Piri. The new owners of the place gave it a much-needed makeover and it looks much better now than it did. As well as cakes and chorizo-stuffed bread – love it – they do meals and are licensed. A pint of Sagres or Superbock can go down a treat.
Why go? Decent Portuguese coffee reasonably priced. They have an outdoor seating area which is unusual in that it actually gets the sun in the afternoons – most of the town centre is sun-deprived.
Natas and a natter