Since moving to Gloucester nine(!) months ago, I’m a bit ashamed to say that we still haven’t explored it much. We’re tending to stick to what we know and going to chain restaurants when we go out, but I know that the area has loads of hidden gems so I’m determined to find some of them. The Swallow Bakery is somewhere that we’ve passed a lot but only visited for the first time a few weeks ago. We went on a quiet Monday lunchtime and were greeted by a counter full of delicious looking food, so of course we over-ordered!
I had an egg and cress sandwich on thick, white bread. I’ve not been eating bread much for the last few month and this was heavenly! Soft with chewy crusts – just how I like it! David went for the open sandwich with cream cheese, salami, roast peppers and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar which again seemed to go down well.
In order to make a bit of an indoor picnic of it, we also shared a sausage roll and a scotch duck egg. Both were exceptional. The sausage roll had some sort of soy glaze on the ends which gave it a kick of sweet and saltiness and stopped it from being the usual boring stodge. The scotch duck egg was massive so ideal for sharing. The sausage meat was very tasty again – it looks like it has mustard seeds in the mixture, not so much to give it a strong flavour (which I dislike) but to give it an extra something. The crumb coating was perfectly crispy all over and very well done.
We just couldn’t see the piles of cakes and sweets and not get something. Luckily we were able to take these away to eat later. We decided to share a lemon drizzle cupcake and a brookie (a brownie topped with a cookie of course!). The cupcake was a little dry, but the lemon topping was lovely and tangy so rescued it a bit. The cookie portion of the brookie was good, but the brownie was a bit overdone – most likely the concept of a brookie forces this unfortunately. It was tasty, but I think I’ll try something different next time.
And there will be a next time. The bakery also looked like it had a good selection of salad options alongside hot and cold items and is really conveniently located in Cheltenham for a lunchtime treat. It is definitely a treat type price point, we spent around £20-25 so it’s not cheap but it is in line with the quality.
If you’re a local or have visited, please leave me your recommendations for places in Cheltenham and Gloucester in the comments.