Bar Review: The Royal Oak, Old Town, Swindon

After reading about The Royal Oak’s very extensive gin collection we braced the elements on a very windy, rainy Friday night to try it out.  We were not disappointed!

At a time that over 20 pubs a week are closing in the UK it was fantastic to go into a busy place with a great atmosphere, a nice crowd, and very welcoming and knowledgeable bar staff – these guys really know their stuff!  The bar is stuffed with an arsenal of tonic waters ready and an extremely impressive collection of gins (I counted over 90 on the list).

The three gin cocktails we tried were delicious:


Liverpool Gin, paired with Fever Tree, garnished with sweet pepper.  The pepper added a really unusual – and lovely – dimension to this gin and tonic, it really brought out the spice and the juniper but surprisingly didn’t suffocate the gin. I thought the gin had a lovely balance and had a really clean, satisfying finish.  I’m extremely keen to review this organic British gin separately.




Wicked Wolf, paired with Fentimans 19:05 Herbal Tonic Water, garnished with rosemary and cucumber.  This lovely small batch English gin is distilled in Devon by a husband and wife team.  Although the accompaniments  were probably a bit herbaceous for me, my drinking companions all really liked the drink. What was interesting to me was that the gin was bold enough to punch over the rosemary – there were some lovely flavours – the kaffir lime leaves and juniper really shone through.



Elephant Sloe Gin, paired with Fentiman’s Pink Lemonade, garnished with pomegranate and raspberries.  This German distilled African inspired brand is made by macerating sloe berries in their award-winning Elephant London Dry Gin for several months.  I had a sip of the gin before the cocktail was made, it was rich and sweet, it could probably lend itself to being sipped alone.  (It’s worth mentioning that this distillery donates 15% of their profits to African Elephant Charities.


If you love your gin, the Royal Oak should definitely be on your bucket list.  This great pub hosts regular gin based events – I will definitely be returning here.  Check their website for more information.

Address:  The Royal Oak, Devizes Rd, Swindon SN1 4BQ.


Twitter:  @RoyalOakOldTown

Telephone: 01793 977337

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