The Swigg: Eating Vegan Down on Swansea Marina.


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Towards the end of last year, I made a promise to myself that I would take control of my anxieties and social anxiety, and push myself do to more things. January 2017 came around and to my surprise, I followed through with that promise:  I find myself saying yes to more things now, even when I don’t really want to.  Of course, I’m always a bag of nerves doing these things and for the duration of those social activities, my insides are churning, my voice shakes and I stutter and stumble over all of my words. But however awkward I may come across, I’m always happy when I push myself out of my comfort zone, as it’s another step closer to becoming a lot less uncomfortable with day-to-day things.

So when Ruth, the owner of The Swigg, contacted me a few days ago and invited me down to try their new vegan menu; once again I found myself saying yes. Since hearing about this hip new café and restaurant, down on Swansea marina, I have desperately wanted to go; mostly because I love the marina. But also because…vegan food – duh. It just so happened that my mother and I were planning a trip to Swansea this week (yesterday) and I thought it would be silly not to go and try it out, since I would be in the area. Naturally, I was nervous and I very nearly didn’t go, but thankfully I pushed through those anxieties because it was a pleasure to dine at this sauvé new bistro.

From the second I walked through the door at The Swigg, I felt at home; it has a very chilled, relaxed vibe about it, with a contemporary, modern interior design: it’s a place you may expect to find mostly younger people hanging out – I know I was. But you’d be wrong. The Swigg is a place for everyone: young or old, vegan or omnivore – The Swigg, have got you covered. Whether you are looking to catch up with friends for coffee, or drinks with a partner, there is something there for everyone and you will instantly fall in love with the atmosphere and surroundings.

So, for someone like myself, who isn’t too keen on social interaction, it was perfect. However, when the weather breaks and the welsh weather starts to provide us with more vitamin D, I hope to be able to dine alfresco on their outdoor benches, the next time I visit Swansea Marina and The Swigg; because that view, while sipping on a soy latte, would be priceless.

Of course, the food was the main reason I visited The Swigg and while the menu isn’t very extensive; it is nonetheless, delicious and I am not biased when I say that. On the rare occasion when I eat out, I’m always left underwhelmed by the food I eat: bland, flavourless, and drab. I rarely ever go back.  However, the food at The Swigg was packed with flavour, abundant with colour, and smelled equally as good, as it tasted. I’m sure some people will be quick to call the type of food, they serve at The Swigg – ‘fancy’ – but it is considered tapas, which you are encouraged to order and share. However, they do have their own take on some welsh favourites too  (not vegan) such as – welsh rarebit (my mother can confirm that it was absolutely divine) as well as faggots and peas, cawl, and Glamorgan sausages. Although, I’m pretty sure their talented chef could knock up a vegan welsh rarebit pretty easily too – please do it! 😉 To view the full menu at The Swigg, click here.

I opted for the Tabbouleh salad, this lunch time – bulgar wheat cooked in a delicious spinach, parsley and lemon sauce; topped off with pomegranate seeds and cherry tomatoes – not something I would usually opt for which is why I chose it. I can’t even describe to you how much flavour and colour that plate of food had and even though they were small portions, they were still satisfying and perfect for a light lunch. Although, for me, there was slightly too much parsley for my taste buds and I found it overpowered the other flavours a little. Although, it was still delicious and something I might order again, accompanied with some of the other dishes. However, it really made me happy, that a business finally has a chef who can cook; not just normal food, but vegan food too and the fact that their ingredients and produce are seasonal, and locally sourced, was the cherry on the vegan cake.

There were other vegan options on the menu also;

  • Beetroot Hummus, served with local carrots and radishes.
  • Thai Salad; with shredded carrots, peanuts, pomegranate, and a nori dressing.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms; with leeks, laver bread and lemon.

I was also told by Toby, the manager of The Swigg, that they try to have a vegan special on the board everyday – today (March 29th) it was cauliflower in Moroccan spices, with apricot puree – and it was heaven to my ears to hear that they also go to the effort of providing vegan specials too, as not many places have vegan food, let alone a vegan special everyday. I feel the guys know what they are doing when it comes to providing vegan food at The Swigg and if they don’t, then they’re doing a pretty good job of faking it.

Since The Swigg, is a cafe by day and a bar by night, there are also many, many drinks available: cocktails, wine, beer and hot beverages – with vegan options too – all of which can also be served with the lunchtime menu, which starts at 12pm. As well as drinks, there are of course desserts and thankfully their vegan desserts are as good as the rest of their menu, or at least they look pretty enticing – provided by Naturally Kind Food – you have the option of their infamous chocolate cups, or their thick slabs of cakes; both of which come in various different flavours. Today, I was lucky enough to try the chocolate cherry cup and holy chocolate; it was good: filled with a thick chocolate ganache and cherries, it was like a party in my vegan mouth. My mother also bought a slab of their matcha and pistachio cake, and another of their cherry chocolate cups to take home and we both left The Swigg, more than satisfied with our visit.

So would I visit The Swigg, again? I think that much is obvious. I would definitely pop in for a coffee and a chocolate cup, at the very least, when I’m in the area next; or even just pop down for the pleasure of it. As for people local to Swansea, you would be fools not to use this café/bistro on a regular basis; if not for the food, for the warm and friendly staff because those are the people who made the whole experience enjoyable and chilled for me, and the main reason the atmosphere is so warm and welcoming at The Swigg. I think as I’m someone who suffers a lot with anxiety and I worry tremendously about how I come across, and what other’s are thinking of me, when I meet people who are genuinely down to earth and friendly, that stands out the most for me and it’s those little things that make me warm to a place and keep me going back.

All that said, my only negative for this business would be for them to better advertise it around the marina and Swansea. The marina doesn’t seem to have very many functioning businesses, where you can go for food and drinks, at the moment. But The Swigg, still seems to blend in to the buildings, rather than stand out like it should. From my experience, it can easily be overlooked and missed – possibly more so in the evenings – and that’s a shame because this place is definitely worth checking out.

Afraid you will miss it?  Just look for that big, red boat – you know the one –  and  you will find The Swigg, next to the National Water Museum – so pop in and say hi! Still not sure where it is? Watch this video of The Swigg

I would just like to thank The Swigg , once again, for inviting me down to try their vegan menu and I really hope to visit you again soon.

You can also view ScandiNathan’s review of The Swigg, here.

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© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2017
All photos, recipes and texts are copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
All Rights Reserved


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