Brews & Eats

Like a lot of people in Swindon these last few days, my colleague and I found ourselves retreating from an office where even the liveliest fans could do little more than disturb the scorching air a bit.
Deciding there was nothing for it but to set out in search of a late lunch or early dinner, we decided on The Bank in Wood Street.
In these strange times, restaurants - and cafes, pubs and shops, for that matter - must add ‘reassure the customer’ to the list of features they offer, and I’m pleased to report that The Bank takes its responsibilities seriously.
On entry customers are greeted by a friendly member of staff and a sanitation station complete with track and trace, which can be completed either by scanning a code with a phone or using the ancient technology known as something to write with and something to write on.
Requesting a table in the spacious garden at the rear, we were led through the comfortably-cooled interior of the restaurant, past tables sectioned off from one another by large transparent screens.
Tables outside are arranged in such a way as to ensure social distancing is never a problem.
The staff managed the deft trick of handing us our menus, taking our order and being friendly and helpful while at the same time remaining scrupulously socially-distanced.
We decided early on that we only wanted a traditional main course apiece, although we could as easily have opted for anything from Tapas - £3 to £11 - to burgers - £12 to £19.95 - or one of the salads, which range in price from £4.50 for a side to £12 for Salmon Nicoise.
My colleague chose pan-fried sea bass - £13 - which came with green beans, new potatoes and hollandaise sauce, and duly pronounced it excellent.
The dish was tender, succulent and skilfully seared.
I had a craving for traditional, substantial comfort food, which is why I opted for the bangers and mash - £11.
Three superb sausages nestled on a bed of home-made mash which, according to the menu, is made with butter and cream.
The dish came with a generously-proportioned Yorkshire pudding and a gravy boat, and could scarcely have been better.
I thoroughly recommend The Bank to anybody in need of a restaurant offering fine food and friendly, safe surroundings.
It can be contacted at and on 01793 527798.