People go on about eating healthily all the time, not just eating the green stuff, or having to wear sandals, telling everyone you’re a “vegan” but organic food. They drone on about preservatives and what is in the food. So where is there to go in Old Town, Swindon to have food that can be tracked back to its origins, cooked and presented in a way that makes us want to eat it and its as healthy as it can get?

We found Helen Brownings Chop House and wanted to give it a go. They say they provide  “Good, fast, simple, casual food from great ingredients. Brunch, lunch and supper in Swindon’s Wood Street – serving our own organic beef, pork and lamb”. So with a free evening, it was worth a trip to try out the claim.

Parking was easy, getting there after 6pm, we parked behind, in Hoopers Place and paid £1 for 2 hours parking. Reasonable cost and only a short walk through the arch to Wood Street, we came out right by the side of the place.

Helen Brownings Chophouse was inviting and seeing people sat inside, it looked welcoming and casual. Going in we were greeted and with no reservation, we found ourselves sat at a table with the menu in front of us. We were told that this was a new menu, and as it was so new, the lamb was not yet ready (vegetarians would not be happy to think about this aspect).

The food and drink menus reported to all be organic, beef and pork seemed the main bulk of the menu but it all looked great. A toss up on starters (the mussels looked good) or dessert had to be made. Settling to skip starters, ordering the pork belly and a flying pig burger, along with an order for some organic beer, only to help wash it all down, we sat and waited.

The service was quick, polite and friendly, no overbearing, false pretenses, the staff seemed to be always on hand. The food came out just as the beer was hitting to spot. Our only complaint (and it is a small one), is that the food came out on wooden chopping blocks. Now we know it is a chophouse, and it fits but it seemed a little off, chasing food that kept falling off the ‘plate’.

This did not put us off, digging in the flying pig burger was tasty, juicy and full of flavour. The Pork belly was tender and fell apart when the knife got near it. There was plenty of food there for a main meal and before long the boards were clear of food and were whisked away.

An offer of the dessert menu meant a look down the mouth watering sweet treats. An order of the sticky toffee pudding was asked for and after a short while a big bowl arrived. To describe this, there was a lump of cake floating in a soup of toffee sauce with another lump of ice cream to the side.

It was fantastic, after finishing the pud, then the sweet soup of toffee being polished off the meal was complete. Sat there, belly full and the sweet kick of a sugar hit, the bill came.

This had to be the best surprise. For all the food and drink, the bill was more than reasonable. Considering this is organic food and restaurant service, including drinks the amount was less than we expected.

The next time we go, we hope the lamb has matured enough (and we are going to be wearing leather shoes).


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