Is it a pub? Is it a café? Is it a restaurant? Does it have a canal boat parked slap-bang in the middle of the main bar?! The answer is yes to all the above at Swindon’s Hall & Woodhouse, a brand-new multipurpose venue from the niche Dorset Brewers of the same name.
Whatever you call it, Hall & Woodhouse at Wichelstowe is set to become one of Swindon’s go-to, all-day venues, whether you’re a young mum having a morning coffee with friends, a start-up entrepreneur on a business lunch, a family on a celebration dinner, or a group of friends enjoying a few drinks on the long outside terrace overlooking the Wilts & Berks canal.
Hall & Woodhouse sits at the heart of the Wichelstowe area’s exciting new Canalside development and the design ethos certainly reflects its surroundings. The canal-themed interior and attention to detail includes the aforementioned narrowboat, the Lady Rose, which protrudes from the front entrance, and a large old lock gate brought down from Manchester which is used for the main entrance to the car park. And the Lady Rose is not just there for its (admittedly stunning) visual impact; it houses several individual booths which come with their own serve-yourself beer pumps.
Overall the interior, with its metal, wood, old machinery and photos of the company’s founders, manages to be simultaneously historic, industrial and modern. Old books jostle with artefacts for space on the shelves which line much of the wall space. It’s a big place, but thanks to the décor it’s also very homely.
The varied menus include pantry, afternoon and Sunday roast options through to the main dinner menu which is packed full of delicious dishes, handcrafted with real care by experienced chefs, burrowing away in the open-plan kitchen. To start, why not try one of the sharing platters or a prawn and avocado cocktail? Then tuck into Hall & Woodhouse’s award-winning steak and tanglefoot pie, a RSPCA-assured British rose veal tenderloin (inspired by Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Kitchen), or a 28-day aged sirloin steak.
The drinks menu is equally extensive and includes the Badger range of beers which are only sold in Hall & Woodhouse pubs, a guarantee of the very best quality cask and bottled ales, brewed right in the heart of the Dorset countryside.
Currently taking shape along the picturesque Wilts and Berks Canal, Swindon’s brand-new Canalside district promises to feature the most sought-after housing options of the ongoing Wichelstowe development. The neighbourhood is already coming alive. Hall & Woodhouse is on the opposite bank to the existing Waitrose supermarket, while the adjacent Deanery CE Academy will open for the 2019/2020 academic year.
As for canal boats, Hall & Woodhouse is just a five-minute walk from the mooring of The Dragonfly, a traditional narrowboat which is available for trips and charters along a stretch of Swindon’s restored canal. And if you haven’t got your sea legs, Wichelstowe is full of green spaces for a brisk walk or areas where children can run around to their heart’s delight. www.wbct.org.uk A great day out with a great pub/bar/restaurant at the heart of it, what could be better? And if you’re visiting from out of town, Hall & Woodhouse is barely a five-minute drive from the M4, junction 16.
Find out more:
Hall & Woodhouse Wichelstowe Website