Review: The Goddard Arms, High Street, Swindon

By Kieran Hadfield - 8 September 2020

Food & DrinkFeatures

Be sure to make use of their EOTHO scheme, with fantastic food and a calm dining experience.

  • Breaded scampi, chunky chips and mushy peas with a tartare sauce

    Breaded scampi, chunky chips and mushy peas with a tartare sauce

  • Southern-fried chicken wrap with grated mozzarella and cheddar, accompanied with skinny chips

    Southern-fried chicken wrap with grated mozzarella and cheddar, accompanied with skinny chips

  • 10oz horseshoe gammon steak, served with a fried egg on top. Also with chunky chips and tomatoes

    10oz horseshoe gammon steak, served with a fried egg on top. Also with chunky chips and tomatoes

  • 8oz rump steak (medium rare), chunky chips, onion rings, mushrooms and tomatoes

    8oz rump steak (medium rare), chunky chips, onion rings, mushrooms and tomatoes

With some restaurants extending their Eat Out To Help Out schemes, my colleagues and I decided to take advantage and grab lunch at The Goddard Arms

Situated on Old Town's High-Street, Goddard's has been around for over 300 years, with it previously being used as an old Coaching Inn for horse-drawn coaches. This prior function has evident perks for the pub, with an extremely spacious layout providing a well-suited socially-distant dining experience. 

After being guided through the one-way system and making use of the hand sanitation zones, the staff placed us by the window, looking out on the beer garden. With ordering now at the bar and limited movement around the place, there was a distinct calmer and quieter atmosphere in Goddard's than usual. 

However, what Goddard's may have lacked in atmosphere, they certainly made up for in the incredibly quick service. The waiting staff were extremely attentive and ensured our ordered soft drinks arrived quickly. Partnered with the speedy service, it was fair to say we were impressed. 

With the food on our table, we all remarked at how neat the presentation was, feeling that it positively enhanced our experience prior to eating. 

One colleague had the breaded scampi, served with triple-cooked chunky chips and mushy peas, accompanied with a tartare sauce. A traditional classic done well, he felt extremely satisfied with the scampi. The soft texture of the mushy peas merged well with the crispy chip exterior creating a delightful blend. 

In contrast to this array of textures, one colleague chose a more simplistic dish- a southern-fried chicken wrap with grated mozzarella and cheddar, served with skinny chips. Although it may be lacking in spice and textures, she felt this meal was perfect for her palate.

Our boss chose the 10oz horseshoe gammon steak, smothered with maple-flavour mustard and an apple glaze, served with a fried egg on top. This also came with the triple cooked chunky chips and tomatoes. As a gammon lover, high expectations were placed on this meal. Fortunately for The Goddard Arms, these expectations were met, with the crispy edge working in harmony with the glazing to create an extremely succulent flavour. Partnered with the crispy chips that mopped up the fried egg, our boss thoroughly enjoyed his pub lunch.

For myself, I chose the 8oz rump steak (medium rare), accompanied with the chunky chips, onion rings, mushrooms and tomatoes. The steak came as desired and was not too chewy, providing a nice balance of juice and thickness. I too thoroughly enjoyed the golden, crispy chunky chips, especially with the mayonnaise that came with it. I also surprisingly enjoyed the mushrooms. As someone who does not like these very much, it was a pleasant experience eating these. These mushrooms were not soggy and kept in line with the main textures of the dish. The only critique of my meal would be that there were not more onion rings to go with it, a minor problem. 

Although we praised the staff's attentiveness, we were left a little upset by the etiquette at the end of the meal, when the waiter took 3 of our plates and left our colleague still eating. We felt that this was not the correct etiquette and all plates should have been collected together when everyone was finished. 

Weighing up our meal at The Goddard Arms today, we felt that despite the quieter ambiance, no doubt due to COVID, and the minor poor waiting etiquette, the pub delivered a very good dining experience. The portion size was suitable and the food in general was fantastic.  

We would recommend coming to Goddard's and especially on their extended Eat Out To Help Out Scheme. Our final bill came to just over £25.50 for 4 people, with 4 mains and 4 drinks, a price that is definitely well worth the money. 

The Goddard Arms can be contacted at: https://www.classicinns.co.uk/goddardarms and on 01793 619090.

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