International flavours on the menu at The Crossing, Swindon’s brand-new food court.
Swindon has long been a great place to wine and dine in the evenings, but with the opening of The Crossing, a 16,000 sq ft food court slap bang in the middle of the town centre, foodies can now shop ‘til they drop before eating in style at any time of day.
A new escalator, rising from Canal Walk, takes you straight into The Crossing, which is the name for the area in and around the existing link bridge between Brunel Shopping Arcade and Brunel Plaza. Once there, the bright and spacious food court really does offer something for everyone – early morning shoppers in need of a caffeine boost, hungry teenagers seeking a quick takeaway, or sit-down diners looking for a quality meal.
As for the food, whether you want to experience tastes of the Caribbean or the Orient, gorgeous desserts, wholesome wraps, yummy cakes, chicken stir fry, pizza, vegan snacks, master blended coffee or funky street food, The Crossing is now the place to go if you’re in Swindon town centre and feeling peckish.
A communal seating area for 200-plus people serves the eateries and the Street Food Kitchen accommodates the independents who offer quick service and plenty of good food you can take away or eat in.
Alex Yarde, of Soul Shack, who sells Caribbean fusion street food, is one of the indie traders. “This is a new venture,” he told the Swindon Advertiser. “I’m adapting recipes of my mother’s and grandmother’s. Most days, we’re sold out.”
Another independent is Tastes of Portugal, run by Isabel Simoes. Her café and grocery store sell coffee Portuguese style, along with custard tarts and all kinds of Portuguese pastries, as well as olive oil, cheese and fish. “I sold from Swindon’s tented market for two years,” she said. “It’s an adventure!”
Other new eateries include Chopstix Noodle Bar, Subway, Triple Two Coffee, boutique bistro Eggelicious, and newcomers Indy’s Vegan Kitchen and Soul Shack. Victoria Capener, who runs Indy’s, says: “We’ve been open about a month. I sell the kind of vegan street food lots of people like, such as mac and cheese, and hot dogs.”
Jane Stewart, deputy manager of The Brunel, says feedback from visitors to The Crossing has been overwhelmingly positive. “People are telling us that they love the look and feel of it, really appreciate the wide choice on offer, and enjoy either being able to linger over a meal with friends or just check their emails over a quick coffee,” she says.
As well as offering a place to eat, drink and socialize, The Crossing serves as a venue for live events – such as the launch for the recent Swindon Fringe Festival, live music on Sundays from 12 till 2pm and Fashion Live style nights. Come the summer holidays, lucky youngsters will even be able to meet and eat with their favourite superhero, every Wednesday in August.