Nathan Sandhu (Jazzbones Creative), Director and Branding Guru
After a quick cuppa at home, my Saturdays begin with an intense workout at Absolutely Fit Studio or with one of the many awesome boxing coaches we are lucky to have in the town. I am a huge boxing fan and Jazzbones sponsor Swindon pugilist Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins – he’s the Commonwealth cruiserweight champion and needless to say, way out of my league, but a few rounds in the ring with my personal trainer is a great way to start the weekend with an adrenaline rush.
After a refreshing power-shower, I head for The Core juice bar in Old Town, and not just because one of my two teenage daughters works there! I’ll stretch out in one of their easy chairs and have a protein bowl made up of fruit with granola and protein powder, followed up with healthy beans on toast!
Next stop is the Jazzbones design studio for a couple of hours where I catch up with the admin and emails that have been left in the ‘to-do’ list all week. Depending on how the mood takes me, I’ll then have a quick coffee in Baila, Balula's or a beer in Longs Bar before heading down to the town centre for a session of retail therapy. As a self-confessed shopaholic, I am spoilt for choice in Swindon. Most of my clothes comes from The Forum, Flannels or John Anthony, an independent retailer that is about to celebrate 40 years in the Brunel Shopping Centre. If that doesn’t satisfy my thirst for brands I will stroll across to the Designer Outlet, a beautifully renovated space on the old Great Western Railway Site, which is also home to the National Trust and English Heritage.
Saturday evenings usually means a night out in upmarket Old Town, especially the Wood Street area which is full of bustling pubs, bars and restaurants. My partner Jill and I often start with drinks in The Old Bank and finish with classic Italian food at the renowned Gaetano’s Italian; the Filetto Dolcelatte (fillet steak in Italian blue cheese sauce) is to kill for. Like many Swindonians, Jill works at Nationwide’s UK HQ, so I’ll get her to work out the tip!
Unless we’re heading to the nearby Cotswolds for a family day out, Sundays begin with a lie-in before hopping on the mountain bike for another stretch of the legs. You can criss-cross the whole of Swindon on the Thamesdown Flyer cycle routes, and from my home in North Swindon I can take Route 45 directly to the Cotswolds lakes or go as far as Marlborough in the other direction via Coate Water Country Park. If I choose the latter, I’ll stop off at Croft Bike Park for a couple of laps on the track. On the way back, it’s Waitrose for a coffee in their canalside café; it’s next to Wichelstowe Canalside, a really exciting mixed residential and leisure development that will boast some great townhouses, boutique shops, and a Hall and Woodhouse bar/café/restaurant. I can’t wait for the 2019 opening!
Sunday lunchtime is time for a traditional roast with Jill and our daughters in one of the many great pubs in North Swindon: The Tawny Owl, Manor Farm, The Blunsdon Arms or Toby Carvery. If we’re not feeling too bloated afterwards we’ll drive across to the new Cineworld at the Regent Circus development in the town centre. If my daughters choose it’s a horror film if Jill chooses it’s a rom-com, if I choose … strike that, I never get to choose!
My Sunday evenings are all about chilling out before working out my start of the week priorities for Jazzbones. Music is my big passion in life, and RPM Records in Newport Street is a great independent store for picking up old funk and jazz records on vinyl. I will recharge my batteries listening to bad boys Miles Davis, James Brown or Fela Kuti before sleeping the sleep of the wicked!
Swindon really is a buzzing place to live – there’s so much going on the biggest problems is choosing what not to do. I say that as a 40-year-old man, but given how little I see of my teenage daughters the same is obviously true for the younger generation!
Watch this space for more notable locals giving their tips for the perfect weekend in Swindon.
Profile photo courtesy of Chris Waddell ©