18 York St, Bath BA1 1NG - 01225 308529
Last week we were invited to try the newly opened Casa de Tapas in the centre of town. Perfectly located, just off Bog Island and quite literally 30 seconds from the Roman Baths and Pulteney Weir, we were excited to try some tapas in Bath!
Located in the old Cafe Retro building, a fantastic transformation has taken place, and it feels like you are entering a tapas bar in Barcelona. We sat upstairs, at a prime window seat with views over Bog Island - we were there for a couple of hours and it's the perfect people watching spot!
A warm welcome from Alexis the manager made us feel really welcome and relaxed, and we gratefully accepted his food and drink recommendations.
Where to start with the food - a fantastic menu with so much choice! Nibbles, grazing, hearty dishes, comfort food, sweet treats.... so much to choose from, there is something for everyone here. I'm just going to post some pictures now and then tell you what we had as it was so good....
- Jamon Iberico Gran Reserva (£8), gorgeously soft ham with tiny crunchy breadsticks, a generous portion and good for sharing.
- Pan de la Casa con Alioli y Sal de Roca (£4) - super soft warm bread with a pot of alioli and salt, perfect for scooping up the sauce from the meatballs or prawns.
- Ensalada de Tomate con Aceitunas (£6.50), fresh rainbow coloured tomatoes and olives with watercress and olive oil
- Croquetas de Setas (£6), delightfully crisp mushroom croquettes, smooth and rich and beautifully presented
- Paella de Pollo (£7), classic Spanish chicken paella with green beans and saffron - a decent sized portion
- Croquetas de Chorizo y Jamon Serrano (£6.50), creamy and crispy chorizo croquettes - yum!
- Gambas con Pimenton y Ajillo (£8.50), garlic and chilli marintated prawns - a firm favourite and perfect for scooping the butter with the house bread....
- Pulpo con Patatas y Pimenton (£8.50), slow cooked octopus with fresh potatoes and smoked paprika. Our other favourite dish, super tender octopus served with potatoes... perfect.
- Mejillones al Vino Blanco (£8.50), mussels steamed and served in a white wine and cream sauce. This was really nice, I am not a fan of mussels and we didn't order this but it arrived at our table, and we actually really enjoyed it (we got this instead of the patas bravas that we ordered I think).
In summary - a fantastic selection of dishes and so much choice and variety that all tastes are catered for.
For dessert we opted for the Churros - yes (£6) and the Tarte de Queso con Fresa - Spanish style burnt cheesecake served with homemade strawberry jam. Both were utterly delicious and a lovely end to the meal.
We loved our evening at Casa de Tapas.... the staff really care about the customer experience, and the food is top notch. It's so lovely to find a slice of Spain in the centre of Bath, and we can't wait to return!
Last night we were invited to sample the supper menu at the Bath Arms Inn at Longleat. A short 30 minute drive out of Bath (during rush hour and with Cleveland Bridge closed), it's the perfect bolt hole to escape city life. Down some twisting tree lined lanes, we pulled up outside the prettiest village pub and headed in. Full of charm with all the old features still in place, yet tastefully decorated and restored, we headed to our table in the dining room. The menu offered a wide selection of dishes to cater for all tastes, with "pub" options as well as a la carte. To start we chose the Burrata (£9.50) and the Fishcake (£8.50). The burrata was deliciously soft and creamy, and was served with glazed apricots, Dorset charcuterie, pumpkin seeds and a garlic crumb. The sweetness of the apricot cut through the richness of the cheese perfectly, and the crispy meat and seeds added an extra flavour dimension and texture. Very light and satisfying. The fishcake was flavoured with lemon and herbs (delicious) and a chilli and lime dressing that added a lovely heat and zing. The crisp shaved fennel and samphire finished the dish off perfectly.
To follow we ordered Cider Battered Fish and Chips (£15.50) and the Pork Tenderloin (£19). Lightly salted crisp fries were perfect with the fish, which was in a deliciously airy crunchy batter. The fish was moist and flavoursome, and the tartare and mushy peas a perfect accompaniment. The pork was tender and juicy, served on a bed a carrot puree, with a rich and tasty chorizo and black pudding croquette. The orange and saffron braised fennel was a nice surprise as fennel can often be overpowering, but this was spot on and worked well.
For dessert we chose the Peanut Butter Cheesecake (£8.50) and the Lemon Curd Tart (7.50). Both were really pretty and beautifully presented. The deconstructed cheesecake was a taste sensation, rich peanut buttery white chocolate served on a thin biscuit base, with fresh raspberries and a zippy raspberry sorbet. The tart was light and delivered a fabulous lemon hit, served with marscapone ice cream, mascerated strawberries and a gorgeous brandy snap. The powdered lemon sprinkled on the plate was truly delicious.
The setting for our meal was really impressive, there was a nice atmosphere, and the staff were very attentive. it was clear they all enjoy their jobs and care about the customer. Alice looked after us for the evening and she was professional, knowledgeable and very efficient.
After our meal we had a little look around. The outside covered seating area is impressive. When the chilly weather sets in the sides can be drawn down so there is the option to sit outside if you want to. Brianna showed us one of the bedrooms which was really cute - beautifully decorated and cosy with a view over Longleat Forest.
If you are a Bathonian, visiting Bath, or wanting to stay near Longleat then we highly recommend The Bath Arms Inn.
We really enjoyed our meal and will be back soon!
11 Cleveland Place West, Bath BA1 5DG - 01225 313747 - www.thecurfewbath.co.uk
On Sunday we were invited to sample the new Sunday Lunch menu at the Curfew pub. Just a ten minute stroll from our house, this was a perfect way to start our lazy Sunday. The menu goes live from this Sunday, the 19th September and we would suggest you book as the food was really good!
We sat upstairs in the tastefully refurbished dining room, lovely and bright with large windows and a cooling breeze - a lovely spot to relax. We opted for the Whitebait with dill mayonaise (£5.95) which was a generous portion. Piping hot and crisp, these were delicious. The Breaded wedges of brie with sweet chilli dip (£6.25) were oozy (is that a word) and creamy - a real treat to start the meal.
For the main course, my husband chose the Sunday Best (£15.95) - Chicken, Beef and Pork, and I went for the Pork (£13.95). Both were served with roast potatoes, honey roasted parsnips, seasonal veg, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and a delicious red wine gravy. The meat was tender and moist on both dishes, crispy roast potatoes (nothing worse than a soggy roastie), piping hot veg, and most importantly - a jug of extra gravy! I adore lashings of gravy so this made my day!
Although the dessert menu was extremely tempting, we were just too full to do it justice, so on this occasion we had to pass. We did see them however, and they looked very good!
In summary, we had a really impressive meal at the Curfew. Roast dinner out always makes me nervous as my husband cooks the perfect roast, but I have to say, this was spot on. Really good value for money, the portions are large, and everything was tasty and well presented. The staff were efficient, polite and we felt looked after, which is always nice. I would feel confident recommending to eat here, and as I said at the start of this review, you might well need to book a table as I think the Curfew's roast will be very popular!
3-7 Milsom Place, Bath BA1 - 01225 300600 - www.bandookkitchen.com
This week we were invited to visit Bandook in Milson Place for an Indian street food feast. A wet evening, we arrived between showers and were so pleased to see there was outside covered seating, so we could sit out and keep dry and cool. We were welcomed by Joanna the manager who talked us through the menu, and we chose some cocktails whilst we looked at the extensive range of dishes on offer. On Joanna's advice, we went for the chef's selection of dishes to showcase the menu. The cocktail menu is really varied and covers all tastes, offering a 2 for 1 at £8.50 which is a great price for the centre of Bath.
Our first two dishes came out and were so pretty as you can see. The Kale Pakora Chaat (£6.50) was delicious, crunchy fried kale, served with onion, tomato, chickpeas, vermicelli and a mint glaze. We were so pleased to see the Pani Puri (£4.50) which we loved from our Mint Room visit, puffed semolina shells served with jal jeera water. You pour it into the shells and eat in one go!
Next up was the Crispy Chilli Squid (£7.50) nicely spicy with fresh chillis and onions - really tasty and the Bombay Prawns (£8.50) were really good, king prawns marinated in caraway, peanuts, sesame and tomato salsa, sprinkled with coconut. Really juicy and flavoursome, we liked these a lot!
Next on the showcase was Keema Pav (£6.00) soft buttered brioche buns with curried minced lamb - these were so moreish and a firm favourite from our evening. The Delhiwale's Pocket Kebab (£8.50) was another tasty treat, layered paratha (so good) stuffed with chicken and spicy veg. The highlight of the evening for us was the Taco Dosa (£12.50) South Indian pancakes made using fermented butter from ponni rice & black lentils served with drumstick sambar and the most delicious tomato chutney. Ours came with chettinad pulled duck, which was so tender and full of flavour - one we will be ordering next time we visit for sure.
Our last selection of dishes did not disappoint. We were very full at this point but still had to try all these amazing mains that came out. Railway Lamb Curry (£14.50) an authentic lamb curry full of flavour, not too hot was super tasty and the Keralan Moilee (£11.00) a gently spiced coconut milk sauce with aubergines was an interesting combination of flavours and textures. We had sides of Kurkurit Bhini (£5.00) crunchy fried okra which was a real surprise as neither of us like okra but this was delicious. Pilau Rice (£3.00) and a Bread Basket (£5.50) with roti, naan and a garlic naan were also fantastic.
We were way too full to try desserts, so we will have those next time we visit. We do plan on returning as paying customers as the flavours and range of dishes were so good. Joanna was charming and really took the time to chat with customers (including us) to make sure they (and us) had a great dining experience. Service was quick and efficient and lots of walk in's were accommodated whilst we were there.
Located in the centre of town, it's a great place to meet with friends and family for an informal relaxed evening.
In summary, we recommend Bandook - its a hidden gem that you really need to try!
Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB - 01225 446656 - www.themintroom.co.uk
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to the Mint Room. We've not been for years, so were really exciting to visit again. Reviews are really good, so we had high expectations.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by Adrian, who talked us through the tasting menu we would be sampling. Everything sounded delicious and we could not wait to start.
The tasting menu is called "A Tour of India" and includes multiple courses and flavours for just £39 per person. This is really great value and something we would most definately do again. To go with the food we ordered the recommended Wine Flight at £21 per person. The menu takes you on a tour of the Indian continent offering flavours and spices from rich tomato meat dishes to coconut and fish dishes with gorgeous sides in between.
Our first course was the Indian Street Food. Three fantastic pots of delicious flavours, and a fun start to events. Our waiter was extremely knowledgable and talked us through the dishes and how to eat them. Crunchy puffed rice with toasted nuts was like a very tasty and upmarket bombay mix. The deconstructed punjabi samosa with chickpea masala, seasonal salad and pomegranate seeds was perfection - light spicy fresh flavours with every bite. The third dish was also brilliant, crispy pastry balls with spicy chickpeas, diced potatoes, pomegranate and mint and tamarind water. You pour the shot glass into the crispy shell and eat in one mouthful - really good fun and tasty too! We had a glass of Piper-Heidsieck champagne with this course and it worked perfectly.
Next up were the Rajasthani Lamb Chops. Free range Welsh lamb marinated with Kashmiri chilli, yoghurt, cloves and cardomom with a sweet potato shami (spiced sweet potato patty with ginger and green coriander chutney. The lamb (all sourced locally) was so unbelievably tender and flavoursome, the chutney just right, and the potato patty was gorgeous. We especially loved this dish, which was served with a Viognier from South Africa.
Next was the Keralan Seabass Moilee, a pan fried fillet, served with a spicy creamy coconut sauce tempered with mustard seeds and red chillis. Such a rich and moorish dish - this left us craving for more. Accompanied by an Albarino, this cut through the richness of the sauce perfectly.
After the fish course we had a lovely lemon sorbet to cleanse the pallet - just right.
The next course was Beef Chettinad, gorgeously tender 8 hour marinated blade of beef, served in a rich spicy coconut and star anise sauce with curry leaves and spicy mash. This was utterly delicious and a firm favourite. Served with a Rioja Crianza - perfect with such a rich dish.
Next up was a delightful platter board that had Dehli Old Style Butter Chicken (tandoori chicken tikka) in a lovely creamy tangy sauce. Served with Saffron rice, vegetables and fresh bread. This was more of your traditional curry, and the ultimate comfort food - we loved this!
For dessert, we were invited up onto the roof terrace for a look around. It really is great up there, perfect on a hot evening. They have really decked it out nicely, with a tropical feel due to all the plants. We ate Gulab Jamun for dessert, served with chocolate mousse, and ice cream - a perfect way to end a perfect meal. Dessert wine in the form of Sauternes worked perfectly against the chocolate in the dish.
In summary, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Mint Room and will be recommending it to everyone we can! The Tour of India menu was a true delight, and something we would return for again and again. The restaurant was really busy, so booking is most definitely advised. The staff were all so knowledgeable, helpful and professional, which is always so nice to see - a real credit to the restaurant.
Thank you Mint Room see you soon!
Francis Hotel, Queen Square Bath - 01225 473351 - www.bohomarche.com
Last week we were invited to dine in Boho Marché, the restaurant in the Francis Hotel. A Moroccan inspired menu with a twist of Mediterranean, we were looking forward to seeing the decor and sampling the menu.
Whilst we looked at the menu we ordered cocktails, a Rapsberry Spritz, (£9.50) and a Bloody Mary (£9) - both were delicious and arrived promptly.
The decor is really beautiful with so much to see - there are lots of little booths and hidden tables for dates, as well as a private dining area for groups.
For starters we ordered the Spicy Salmon Crisps Toastados (£11), which was a lovely combination of yuzu cured salmon, avocado, red onion with BBQ mayo and fresh herbs and the Five Pepper Squid (£9) served with a spicy ginger sauce. Both were really tasty and we would order them again.
For the main course we went for the Fillet of Hake (£21) - pan roasted and served with confit rosemary onion, cannellini beans & ras el hanout roasted tomatoes. This was tasty but a little dry. I had a side order of Brocolli (£7.50) which came with a delicious soy and yuzu sauce, which I poured over the beans - and that was delicious. My husband chose the Ox Cheek (£22) - Slow braised and served with smoked creamy mash and red wine jus, very tender and tasty.
For dessert the Sticky Toffee Pudding (£7) was my husband's choice, which he said was really good but it could have done with more ice cream as it was a very small scoop. I went for the Deep Fried Ice Cream (£6), which was gorgeously crispy with a melting vanilla middle - fantastic.
In summary, we really enjoyed our meal at Boho Marché. Pricing is on the high side, but it is a hotel restaurant and it is in a very central location. There are some lovely outside seating areas for Al Fresco dining, and they are open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast & Brunch 9am-12pm – breakfast bookings essential
All-day dining à la carte menu 12pm-10pm
Saturdays & Sundays
All-day dining à la carte menu 4pm-10pm
We will be back to try the breakfast next!
www.aroama.co.uk - firstname.lastname@example.org
Last weekend we were delivered a fabulous feast from AROAMA Foods in Batheaston. Taking inspiration from around the world, the menu changes every week. Local independent suppliers are used wherever possible and the guys are really keen to support the local community. Free delivery within BA1 and BA2, delivery is on a Friday or Saturday. You chose your dishes from the meat or vegan menu, place the order before 10pm the previous day for next day delivery - so simple! You then reheat at home as per the supplied instructions.
Our dishes were from the Turkish week, and they were a true delight. We opted for Cabbage Rolls stuffed with lamb with a tomato and pomegranate sauce as our main dish, and wow, it was so tasty. The lamb was so tender, and the tomato sauce was delicious, and there was lots of it too, which was great.
For the side dishes we had Green Beans a la Turka - perfectly cooked beans in a tomato dressing with onions, Shepherds Salad, with feta, fresh tomatoes, olives, cucumber and red onion, Saffron Rice and a refreshing Carrot Salad with dill and yoghurt. Generous portions meant we feasted well on such delicious flavours.
Our meal cooked in 25 minutes, which gave us time to open the wine and relax in anticipation of such a tasty looking spread. What I like really liked about our meal was that we got to try dishes and flavours we would not oridinarily have chosen. It's a great way to try new things, and we certainly loved every dish in our Turkish meal.
We are crossing our fingers for a Japanese week soon, and we will definately be ordering again - give them a try!
6 Newmarket Row, Bath BA2 4AN - 01225 460240 - www.joyarestaurant.co.uk
Last week we were invited to Joya Italian Steakhouse Restaurant to sample their new menu. It was a lovely warm evening, but inside it was cool and the tables were safely spaced for social distancing.
We ordered drinks whilst we perused the menu - before making our choices.
To start we ordered the Calamari Fritti (£8.50) and the Panzerottini di Puglia (£7.50). The calamari was crisp, and tender with a really tasty chilli mayonnaise, and the Panzerottini (3) were golden fried pizza parcels with tomato and mozzerella filling - really tasty and very authentic.
For the main course we chose the Hotstone Steak Experience Fillet Steak (£29.95) and the Ravioli Del Plin (£15.95).
When you order your steak (there are 4 different cuts to chose from) you then pick your choice of butter which you use to coat the hot stone to cook your steak so it does not stick. We chose garlic and herb butter. You also pick a salt, we went for chilli, and then finally a sauce. We opted for Gorgonzola, which was rich and creamy but not too strong. We chose fries as the side dish (£3.50). When the dish is brought out, the hot volcanic stone is sizzlingly hot, you slice up your steak and cook to your liking on the stone. It was perfectly tender meat, and cooked exactly as we wanted it. If you don't want to cook it yourself, the chef will cook it for you on the grill. A great concept and totally delicious.
The ravioli consisted of a riccota and spinach filling in a rich tomato sauce. They were generously filled and tasted delicious, especially with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.
For dessert we chose the Torta al Limone (£7.50), a lovely light lemon cake, with lemon cream and the most delicious lemon sorbet. We also chose the Torta al Chioccolato (£6.50), a rich but incredibly light chocolate fudge cake with gorgeous homemade vanilla gelato.
The newly refurbished upstairs dining room has the most amazing murals on the walls, there is a real sense of theatre in there. The front upstairs dining room is cool and airy, with stunning views over Pulteney Bridge.
In our opinion Joya is one of the nicest restaurants in Bath and the food is stunning. The service we received from Karina and Zuzia was second to none. Paola Hubert the chef - we also thank you for cooking us such a fabulous meal.
If you haven't been to Joya yet, you really must go - tell them we sent you!
9 Edgar Buildings, Bath BA1 2EE. 01225 920600. www.edgarsfoods.co.uk
This week we have been cooking up a storm with the amazing frozen seafood from EDGARS Foods at the top of town. We popped in last week to collect a bag full of frozen goodies from Izzy and to have a look around. The store is full of very competitively priced delights, from seafood to desserts, pantry items and condiments, and a brilliant pick and mix seafood section. You can buy fish by the fillet, and price wise, it cheaper than the big supermarkets! The quality is superb, the fish sustainably sourced and responsibly harvested, and where possible wild caught and MSC certified - so you know it is of the best quality.
Below are a selection of photos of the dishes my husband created using the fish from EDGARS - (he is a fabulous cook).
EDGARS also offer home delivery - free until the end of June, for the wider Bath area - give them a ring to check they cover your area if you are not sure, full details are on the website. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm and Sunday 11am til 4pm.
In summary, we have been really impressed with the quality and flavour of the items we received. We will definately we going back to stock up the freezer soon!
8 Bridge St, Bath BA2 4AS. 01225 421850 www.nataco.co.uk
You've probably heard of Nata & Co - their reputation around Bath for their gorgeous Pastel de Nata is legendary. However, you might not know that they have a stunning Portuguese (with a hint of Brazilian) restaurant upstairs.
Recently opened, we were invited to try out the restaurant earlier this week. We were lucky enough to have timed our visit perfectly with the first sunny day in what felt likes months, so Portugese food seemed very fitting. The upstairs restaurant is a real hidden gem, tastefully decorated, elegant and with stunning views across to the Victoria Art Gallery and Pulteney Weir, it really is a fabulous location.
We ordered a glass of wine each (also bottles available to order) from the extensive wine list, and were treated to a little appetiser whilst we enjoyed our drink and tried to decide what to order.
To start, we chose the Croquete de Alheira & Queijo da Serra (£6.95) and the Salada de Polvo (£5.95).
Both dishes were utterly delicious, the croquettes were crisp and filled with spiced sausage and melting sheeps cheese centres, a fabulous flavour combination complimented perfectly with the slightly sweet chutney. The octopus salad was so tender, light delicate flavours with a wonderful texture - a delight.
For our main course we went for the Prego Bun (£11.95) - Picana thin cut 21 day aged rump steak served in a bolo do caco bun with a fried egg, garlic mayo, salad and chunky chips and the Camarao Tigre (£16.95) - a large tiger prawn served with homemade garlic butter. For sides with the prawn we chose chunky chips (£2.95) and Fried Polenta (£2.95).
Both dishes were so incredibly tasty. The steak was so tender and full of flavour, it was like a refined burger, with far more style and flavour! The prawn was moist, juicy and had all the authenic Portuguese flavours that brought back memories of past holidays. The polenta was divine, and the chunky chips a real treat.
We shared a dessert as we were so full, but we could not leave without trying the Pastel de Nata. It was served with a simple elegant vanilla ice cream - the perfect combination.
In summary, the restaurant upstairs in Nata & Co is one of our new favourites for sure. We genuinely could not fault anything about our visit or the food. The service was impecable, Urico was charming and informative about the food, the building and the company. We really enjoyed our evening at Nata & Co and really hope that the word gets out about this hidden gem!
You can pop by or ring ahead to book a table (probably best to book for the weekend), and they serve breakfast, lunch and evening meals, open until 10pm.
We will be heading back very soon!
Husband & Wife living in Bath for over 20 years. All views are our own although we do get freebies along the way, which we will always tell you about.