Focus on Mabel’s in Old Town, Swindon

The Magical Mummy looks at Swindon’s coolest new coffee shop that’s causing a buzz.

The Wigwam team are nothing if not foodies, so in between bringing you the latest property news we'll be checking out all the best restaurants, cafes and bars in Swindon. This week we paid a visit to an impressive newcomer, Mabel's in Old Town. It's work, but somebody has to do it!

The back story

The coffee shop was conceptualized by local entrepreneur Dan Field, who also owns The Royal Oak and The Chop House in Old Town, Swindon.

Dan decided to open Mabel’s when he noticed the building opposite his two other businesses was empty. Instinctively he phoned the landlord and put in an offer. Knowing that it was a prime location and would go quickly he was happy to secure the lease.

With a passion for welcoming hospitality and good coffee he really wanted to open a coffee shop 7 days a week providing great cakes, fresh bread and tasty Illy coffee, which he was already a huge fan of.

So, why is it called Mabel’s? Well, it is aptly named after his four-year-old daughter, and if that isn’t cute, I don’t know what is!

Mabel's shop front

The look and feel

At first glance, Mabel’s reminds me of one of those quaint continental coffee shops. You know, the ones where locals would go for their grab-and-go coffee whilst holding a fresh baguette at the same time.

Perched on the corner of Devizes Road, Old Town, Mabel’s is eye-catching even from a distance with its classic navy Dutch blinds and cute name in white italic writing gleaming proudly. If you didn’t know better, you might assume Mabel’s is a well-known brand and there are a few more Mabel’s dotted around in surrounding towns and villages, but for now there is just one, but who knows what the future holds?

The interior consists of industrialised furnishing and en-vogue vintage filament light bulbs. I have it from the horse’s mouth too that more styling is coming soon, with plans for a feature wall and a statement piece, maybe even a bike.

The vibe is warm and inviting, I've been here a few times as a customer and I can say hand on heart it always has a nice mix of people and is neither too busy nor too empty, which adds to the welcoming atmosphere.

Mabel's menu

The coffee and cake

We all want to know about the stuff that matters, the food and drink of course. And Mabel’s doesn’t disappoint with its wide range of pastries, fresh bread and a variety of hot and cold drinks.

The loaves of bread are all organic, made to order if needed, and available from 8 am. The pastries don’t disappoint, spanning a wide choice from cinnamon sticky buns, flapjacks, almond croissants, carrot cake and my personal favourite Pastel De Nata or a Portuguese Tart as we Brits call it.

The Illy coffee is strong but not bitter and many customers say Mabel’s do the best coffee around, which is quite a statement but one I’m inclined to agree with. I am a flat white fan but hear that the flavoured lattes and cortados are fab.

If you want to try something a bit special for lunch, why not give their ciabattas rolls and bagels a whirl? I tried the ciabatta with mozzarella and rocket garnish and my only complaint is that I could have eaten another straight after as it was so nice.

Mabel’s brings a flavour of the continent to Old Town and it’s a refreshing change, one that I hope stays and flourishes as a good coffee and cake in a comfy atmosphere are hard to find.

Mabel’s Old Town is open 7 days a week from 8 am – 2.30 pm


Claire Philips

Claire Phillips
Blogger and Magical Mummy


Photos: Kerry Carmen O'Brien