There are couple of others too but that one is the first one. Ive been thinking for a while that I needed to do something to refresh that particular situation. But you know how it is listeners – life and business etc gets in the way.
‘Morning prep is underway as I arrive at Swindon’s favourite toasted wrap joint, with ingredients red, green and yellow being gently sliced and heated behind the counter.
Pulling up a stool at the slender counter, I have a front-row view of the open kitchen where owner Ash has full pans of spinach and lamb on the hob. The Asian influence is much in evidence with coriander, dill and ginger among the herbs and spices I can discern.
Eggelicious has the mantra ‘slow food fast’, and it’s this careful prep work that gives the toasted bundles the wholesome pep that have put the name on the map … ‘
Eggelicious started life in the tented market in the town centre. It then expanded into Wood Street in Old Town. Now with the demise of the town centre market hall, E3 is open for business in the Brunel Centre food court. Ash and his crew serve food for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Everyone is catered for.
If you’re feeling social here’s Eggelicious out in the ether:
It’s good to see what was – many years ago – the Wiltshire hotel and latterly The Thistle, back in use as the Thistle Express. It’s in a super fab location for sure. Literally a spit from the railway and bus stations and the town centre. The Kimmerfields car park is just across the road and only a further little spit up to Regent Circus and the Cineworld cinema and eateries up there. What you might call at the heart of things.
I have an opportunity to try the place out soon so I’ll report back on that soon. I look forward to the bottomless breakfast. It sounds good to me! In the meantime, the official press release follows to give you a feel for the place.
‘Thistle Express is aimed at the savvy, value-conscious, modern traveller, providing more choice when it comes to booking trips.
The latest addition to the next generation of Thistle hotels in Swindon is opposite the future commercial quarter, ensuring the 95-bedroom hotel is conveniently placed for both business and leisure travellers. It’s the ideal location for guests to drop their bags, head off to that wedding, get ready for their big presentation, or get some well-deserved shut-eye. For those travelling from further afield, Thistle Express Swindon is just an eight-minute walk from the main train station.
The hotel offers fast, free Wi-Fi, bottomless tea and coffee and free breakfast for all guests.
Smart TVs in every bedroom allows those staying to stream their own content, along with blackout curtains and Hypnos mattresses for a good night’s sleep. Guests can fuel up for the day with the hotel’s delicious, free buffet breakfast, offering a selection of hot food as well as lighter continental options of fresh fruit, yoghurt and pastries. And with no need to check out, Thistle Express is turning the traditional hotel experience on its head.
The unique interior concept has been beautifully executed by Faber Design who recently created the Formula 1 R&D Centre, now used as the new headquarters for a leading Formula 1 motorsport company.
Thistle Express Swindon’s General Manager, James Preece, says; “As the latest addition to the Thistle Express family, I am delighted to be a part of the team here in Swindon. We’ve got a great team lined up, all of which are local to Swindon, and we’re all excited to welcome our first guests this autumn.”
Neil Gallagher, CEO at glh hotels says, “We are very proud to be extending our new Thistle Express brand. With increasing investment going into Swindon and the surrounding area and the new shopping hub and commercial quarter opening, we’re ready to welcome guests to this new, modern hotel. We listened to our customers and responded to the demand for a value proposition with fantastic amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, which is crucial to all guests regardless of the purpose of their stay.” ‘
Photography by Brydn Webb (c)
Launch Group 37284 Thistle Express , Swindon.
Ribbon Cutting, Swindon Mayor, Maureen Penny with Neil Gallagher, CEO GLH Hotels.
Launch Group 37284 Thistle Express , Swindon.
Team with Neil Gallagher (Right) CEO GLH Hotels.
It’s a great opportunity to undertake a gastronomic tour round the participating pubs, bars, coffee shops and stalls. It’s also great fun if you do it with friends – as I did. Cos then you can share lots of different burgers/bangers/fish stew etc. Even better. And that’s exactly what I did with my good mate Carole Bent and her friend Muriel. The photos below are Carole’s – she has a good eye for a photo I think. Unlike me.
‘We serve delicious, fresh juices and smoothies that are made to order every time. All the ingredients are juiced and blended right in front of you, so you can be sure that the nutrient content is at its absolute peak for you to enjoy. For anyone not in the mood for juice, then we also have a wide variety of hot drinks, including: teas, herbal teas and freshly ground coffee.’
Kris Talikowski founder of The Core
Now I have to be honest here listeners and tell you that I would probably prefer to eat my own feet than embark on a juice programme. It’s really not for me. I have to confess to being a die hard meat eater. That said, committed carnivore that I am, I can be tempted by an occasional vegetarian or even vegan dish. And The Core has some delicious offerings in that department.
Only a few days ago I had a meeting in there over lunch time and enjoyed a rather delicious avocado on toast. Rather than being smashed, as is usual, it was arranged in beautiful slices and was tasty indeed.
For the sausage and ale trail this year The Core offered a vegetarian burger. Come on – that’s surely an oxymoron or a contradiction in terms at least? 🙂 From the Collins English Dictionary:
‘A burger is a flat round mass of minced meat or vegetables, which is fried and often eaten in a bread roll.’ As opposed to a resident of Hamburg that is …
Not that I’ve any clear idea of how else you’d describe such a beastie. A pattie perhaps?
Anyway, Be all that as it may – I have to say that it was totally scrumptious. So scrummy in fact that I would love to have another one – all to myself this time! Who’d a thought it?
Here I am diving into it with some gusto and relish!
So, my personal reservations about juicing aside, there’s lots of epicurean attractions for me at The Core. And that’s nice!
Well done Kris and your team. The offerings at The Core are a great complement to the other other refreshment stops in both Old Town and the town centre. And YES – there’s some great food and great coffee down the hill too! #justsaying
‘The economy of Swindon has, pre-predominately over the years, depended on Land, agriculture and livestock markets. William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (½ brother of Henry III) is recorded as having held a market in Swindon from 1259. It is from these records that the name Swindon first appears, as well as ‘Chepyng Swindon’ in 1289 and ‘Market Swindon’ in 1336.
Although Thomas Goddard was granted a weekly market and two fairs a year in 1626, the Market in Swindon was in decline by 1640. However a cattle plague hit nearby Highworth in 1652, allowing Swindon’s livestock sales to increase. In 1672, John Aubrey remarked “Here on Munday every weeke a gallant Markett for Cattle, which increased to its new greatnese upon the plague at Highworth.”
Swindon Market was one of the 32 weekly markets held throughout Wiltshire up to 1718.
In 1814, John Britton passed through Swindon and recorded 1,600 people and 263 houses in the town. He also wrote of the weekly corn market, fortnightly cattle market and regular Horse sales. However, by the mid-19th century the cattle market was poorly attended.
A new Cattle Market site was built in 1873 to try to revive the Market, a site which remained until the late 1980s when the final auction was held. There is no longer a Cattle Market in modern Swindon.’
So the tented market is now to be demolished and proposals are in for a change of usage. What ever your thoughts on that, my personal opinion is one of sadness that the market is going. Not the structure per se – it’s a the end of its lifespan – but the concept of there being a market.
Indeed this feeling is echoed by Ash Mistry, owner of Eggelicious. Ash started his business in the tented market back in 2009 and is grateful to it as a place that gave him a start. In this brief YouTube clip you can hear him say just that:
Ash has now moved Eggelicious – or E3 as it’s called (E2 is on Wood Street). Here’s a couple of snaps taken while it was being got ready for opening:
And here they are on the last day of trading in the tented market:
The Mistry family on the last day of trading in the tented market
Print by Tim Carroll – one of his 100 views of Swindon
It’s all indoors so it’s a lovely shopping experience whatever the weather. If you’re visiting with young children it boasts a brilliant play area – and there’s a mini land train, the Hooter Express.
The shops include: Hobbs, Jigsaw, Reiss and the White Company to name but a handful. Find out more about the brands available at Swindon’s outlet village here, on the McArthur Glen website.
The key, I find, is to go there on a regular basis as you never know when you’ll find a great bargain and the stock changes on a regular basis. There’s a great choice of restaurants and it’s easy to spend the day there.
The terrace of Heelis looking towards the Outlet Centre
NB: The outlet centre is linked to the town centre by a tunnel. It used to be used by the railway workers leaving their homes in the railway village to get to the works.
It’s only a few minutes’ walk from the outlet to the town centre via the tunnel. So, if you’ve the time, the inclination and the energy it’s easy enough to do both. Plus, the tunnel boasts some rather cool art/light picture/sculptures of railway workers across the years.
2. THE ORBITAL SHOPPING PARK
The Orbital in north Swindon is another favourite shopping spot for me. Next, New Look, Marks & Spencer and Outfit all have a presence here.They are large stores so you tend to find great choice in each of them. The Orbital also contains one of the largest Asda Walmarts in Europe. The George at this Asda is huge so there’s always a high chance of grabbing a bargain.
Once again, it’s a pleasant shopping experience and parking is free.
3. GREENBRIDGE RETAIL PARK
This is another firm favourite of mine. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I love all things Laura Ashley and this is where you will find Swindon’s Laura Ashley as well as a huge Home Sense, Boots and Matalan. I tend to visit for homeware but can’t resist popping into Matalan to make sure I’m not missing out! Again, parking is ample and free.
THE TOWN CENTRE
This is last on the list for Swindon as it’s my least favourite place to shop. However, once you do venture into the town centre and ignore the layout, the parking fees and the lack of ambiance, the shops are more than adequate!
There’s a fab and huge H&M opposite an even larger Debenhams. The River Island is a pleasure to shop in and the New Look and Primark are also huge. I keep mentioning the size of the stores because it means that they have a wide range of stock (something you of course can’t have in smaller branches). It does mean you’re spoilt for choice.
By now I hope you’re getting the point! Swindon is a fab location for shopping. The combined retail offerings of the town are jolly good! But what if you want to spread your wings a little and go out and about for your retail therapy?
Out and about
The beauty of Swindon is that it is also close to so many other great places to shop. Marlborough is a favourite for me.
Marlborough is a beautiful, historic market town with boutique shops as well as the likes of Joules, Mint Velvet, Monsoon and Phase Eight to name but a few.
I LOVE a day out in Marlborough broken up by the obligatory cream tea. And now that Rick Stein has opened a restaurant there it’s a firm favourite for me as a location to shop – not that I’m food driven at all!.
This McArthur Glen set shopping location boasts over 130 boutique outlets including All Saints, Burberry, Gucci and Jimmy Choo. I’m drooling already! So, if you want a real treat, this is the place to go and grab yourself a designer bargain. It’s also a great place to people watch!
BATH, CRIBBS CAUSEWAY & CABOT CIRCUS (both Bristol), THE ORACLE (Reading), OXFORD & LONDON
With Bristol, Bath, Oxford, Reading and London not much more than a stone’s throw away you’re never far from a wonderful shopping experience when you live in Swindon. In fact, you’re spoilt for choice. I often have to flip a coin to decide where I’ll spend my day enjoying a little retail therapy!
It was back in 2013 that I discovered the cracking good place to eat that is Eggelicious. I was late to the party though because they were established in 2009 would you believe? That’s a lot of eggs. And chicken. And lamb. And chickpea and paneer. And more – much, much more. All of it scrummylicious.
But now a new era dawns for the Eggelicious empire as the father of it all leaves the tented market to move into The Crossing, the new food court in the Brunel Centre, and becomes E3.
‘The ethos of Eggelicious is to deliver ‘slow food fast’. By which we mean delicious yet uncomplicated food that is freshly prepared each day and cooked before you. Our wraps are hearty and wholesome and each one is packed with a variety of health benefits.
Don’t be deceived by the term ‘Eggelicious’. Whilst eggs feature in our food they don’t define it. Whether a meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan you will be sure to find a wide choice of offerings each day.’
Here’s the Mistry family on the very last day of serving in Eggelicious in the tented market:
The Mistry family on the last day of trading in the tented market
And here’s one of Tim Carroll’s 100 views of Swindon – of the tented market of course.
And for a taster of what the new unit in The Crossing will look like:
And if you’re on Old Town then E2 is alive and well down the bottom end of Wood Street. So whichever end of town you’re at you can enjoy your slow food fast!