Taka Taka - 34 Broad St, Bath BA1 5LP - 01225 470088
During lockdown Taka Taka (via Deliveroo) has been one of our "go to" delivery companies. You can't fault them on speed (normally about 20 mins) and the quality and temperature of the food.
So, when they got in touch and invited us to visit and try out some of the new items on their recently revamped menu, we jumped at the chance.
Social distancing measures in place and being adhered to, the staff were upbeat, polite and efficient despite it being one of the hottest days of the year.
The new illuminated menu screens are really eye catching, everything clearly laid out and explained, it makes choosing your food easier although it's a tough choice as everything looks so good.
We opted to try the new Magic Rolls, (£5.50 small, £6.70 large) we chose the Jaadu Khana which consists of pulled chicken, halloumi, tabbouleh, red onion, mango and pineapple salsa, cabbage, hot chilli and mint and yoghurt dressing and the O'Piratka - Lamb, hummus, spinach, cabbage, halloumi, feta, mushrooms, hot chilli and peppered mayonnaise.
The flavour combinations were a taste sensation, we shared half of each, my personal favourite being the O'Piratka as I love feta and halloumi, and my husband loved the Jaadu Khana as it was so spicy and the chicken was so tender.
We also ordered the new Halloumi Super Salad Bowl. Totally delicious chargrilled halloumi, with toasted pita bread, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, red onion, couscous and a gorgeous balsamic dressing. The chargrilled flavour on the halloumi was utterly gorgeous. We snuck in a portion of fries, crispy, tasty, lots of them, and a sprinkling of oregano.
In store there is also a lovely deli area where you can pick up authentic Greek delights such as olives, Lays crisps and olive oil. There is a small seating area, but it's currently closed and will be reopening soon. The great thing about the deli is that you can order these items on Deliveroo as well, so you can stock up on your favourites whilst getting a delivery.
In summary, we highly recommend Taka Taka. We always order the Chicken Gyros, so it was great to try something different. The Magic Rolls are action packed, brimming with fillings, and are a meal in themselves. The salad was so tasty, fresh and light, and a real taste of Greece. We will definitely be adding these to our next order, which will probably next week!
- www.realitalianpizza.co.uk - 16 York Street, Bath BA1 1NG - 01225 330121
Our first meal out since the beginning of March, we were really excited to be invited to The Real Italian Pizza Co. on Monday. We arrived at 6pm and were greeted at the door from a distance, and asked to sanitise our hands. We were shown to a lovely table in the new outside courtyard area, where the tables were spaced appropriately to allow for social distancing. The new covered outside eating area which links to The Real Italian Ice Cream Co. next door (meaning all the amazing desserts are available to the pizza customers too) was super stylish. Heaters for if it gets cool, and covered so diners are protected from the rain, it felt like a perfect outside space to enjoy a drink and some food.
The way you access the menu has been cleverly thought through, there are QR codes on the table for diners to scan so the menu uploads onto your phone, but if you don't want to do this, there are paper menus too.
We ordered some drinks whilst we browsed the menu - there is just so much choice it was so difficult to pick.
In the end, we both went for pizza (there are salads and pasta dishes too), and chose the Calabra (£12.95) and the Toto e Peppino (£11.95). The food arrived in no time at all and looked amazing.
The Calabra consisted of spicy nduja sausage, a rich tomato sauce, served with rocket and mozzarella on top. I also ordered anchovies as I love them so much! The Tote e Peppino was made up of mozzarella with tomato sauce and basil, topped with rocket and fresh tomatoes (with an additional mushroom topping added). Both were absolutely delicious. The base was so light and airy, and the tomato topping used was authentic in flavour. Both were piping hot and of a very generous size. Sisi, who was hosting us, wanted to create us one of their famous Freak Shakes, so we said - "Yes Please" and we waited to see what she would bring back for us. The dessert menu is vast, every type of ice cream, waffle, crepe, cookie dough and sundae creation you could desire. The freak shakes are especially impressive, with options to chose from such as Kinder, Biscoff, Cookie Dough and Bananas! We were absolutely amazed when Sisi brought these out for us....
Stunning desserts! This was the Kinder Freak Shake (£8.95) which had a full on Kinder Egg and toy attached, along with numerous chocolate bars, and gorgeous milkshake and a hot waffle! We also had the Biscoff Cheesecake, which I can honestly say, is quite possibly the nicest cheesecake I have ever eaten, it was amazing! Although linked with the lovely courtyard, you can also just pop in just for dessert if you want to.
In summary, our first meal out after lockdown felt very safe. The food was totally delicious, great value, and the service was spot on. Huge thanks to Sisi for hosting us and doing such a great job, and for creating the most amazing desserts for us to try! We can't wait to go back and work our way through the menu!
88 Newbridge Hill, Bath BA1 3QA - 07471 940352
We were invited to visit Bathen House Boutique Hotel's new restaurant Bouvardia on Thursday evening for dinner. The hotel has recently been renovated, and has been finished to a very high standard. We were warmly greeted by Nic, and shown through to the restaurant. Elegantly designed, with large tables laid for two, we sat in the window.
One thing that was really nice was that the tables were not crammed in, there was plenty of space between guests, which is something I really like, as it's really uncomfortable when you are almost part of another tables conversation because you are so close together. There is a simple menu with three options for each course, one of which is vegan. To start we opted for Seared Scallops and the Crispy Duck Breast. Both dishes arrived promptly, and were delicious. The accompanying asparagus that was served with the duck was fantastic, and just "popped" when you bit into it. The scallops were tender and plump, and served with local black pudding and crispy pancetta.
For our main dishes we chose Braised Beef with Potato Rosti and Monkfish wrapped in Pancetta. Again both dishes did not disappoint. The portions were generous and the presentation beautiful. The beef dish was rich and warming, served on a thin crisp rosti, broccoli puree, shallots and a mushroom and pancetta forestiere sauce. The monkfish was light and juicy, with crisp pancetta wrapping, served with a smooth herbed potato puree, a balsamic reduction and onion relish.
Although full we were tempted by the dessert menu, and chose the Cashew and Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake and the Blackberry Mille Feuille. both dishes were stunningly presented and finished the evening off perfectly.
The quality of the dishes at Bourvardia restaurant really is very impressive.
The restaurant has only been open about 4 weeks, so at the moment this is a well kept secret that we want to keep to ourselves, but feel it's only right to share it with you!
The current menu is on a promotional price until 31st March, with 2 courses for £22.95 and 3 courses for £29.95. If you live in Bath, or are staying in Bath, we highly recommend a visit, you won't regret it!
6 Newmarket Row, Bath BA2 4AN - 01225 460240
On Sunday, we were invited to sample the recently revamped Joya Restaurant, on Newmarket Row, overlooking Pulteney Bridge & Weir. Specialising in steaks and Italian dishes, we could not wait to taste the food.
Raining outside, we were happy to be in the cosy welcoming restaurant. A lovely fire burning in the main room, we soon warmed up and dried off. Before we talk of food, the decor is really stylish and worth more than a fleeting mention. The colours are elegant, the pictures and mirrors on the walls beautifully created and hung. The two upstairs dining rooms are delightfully sophisticated, and really make the most of the views over the bridge.
Once seated Daniela brought us our drinks whilst we browsed the menu. There are daily specials alongside the main menu and Dani's enthusiasm in describing dishes to us left our mouths watering!
To start, we chose the Calamari Fritti (£7.95) and the Beef Fillet Carpaccio (£8.95). Neither dish disappointed. The portion sizes were spot on, and the flavours clean and crisp. Lashings of parmesan garnished the soft flavoursome beef, and the crisp calamari was complemented beautifully with the chilli mayo.
For our main we chose the Pan Fried Salmon Fillet (£18.95) and off the specials menu, the Risotto Mari e Monti (£15.95).
The salmon was crisp on the outside, soft and flaky inside, and the Italian roasted vegetables had such a rich fresh flavour. I'm going to search the recipe out to make this at home. The risotto was a taste sensation with favours of the sea coming from squid, mussels, prawns and mushrooms - all adding to the flavour. Again, portion sizes just right, which meant we had room for dessert!
We chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding (notice a theme here) at £5.95 and the special dessert, meringue with cherry gelato and summer fruits.
Both desserts were presented so beautifully, gold sheen across the sticky toffee pudding, served with a salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream and a pretty flower garnish. The special was absolutely delicious, consisting of a freshly baked meringue, crispy on the outside and sticky in the middle, served with a tart fruit compote, and a zingy cherry gelato. Perfect flavour combinations and a credit to the Chef and creator Matthew.
After lunch we had a look around to take some photos, including these of the upstairs dining room and the view.....
Although we didn't order the steaks, we really need to tell you about the "Hotstone Steak Experience" that Joya are famous for. You pick your cut of steak and it is then served to you on a hot volcanic stone for you to finish cooking at your table. The steak, which is locally sourced and 28 day matured, is flash fried to seal in the flavours on the char-grill, then served with a choice of infused butters for you to cook with, and a sauce for dipping. We are definitely going back to try this out next time.
As we were finishing up Daniela walked by with a giant freshly baked focaccia, the smells wafting through the restaurant. We had to investigate, it was quite possibly the most delicious bread we have tasted. If you pop in and this is on the menu for nibbles, you must try it!
A huge thank you to Iveta the manager and Daniela who looked after us wonderfully for the afternoon, and to Thomas and Matthew for the delicious food!
Lansdown Rd, Bath BA1 5TJ - 01225 482682
We grabbed an Uber up to the Hare & Hounds for our dinner invite last Tuesday. We arrived at 6pm and it was busy already, always a good sign. We were shown to our seat by the window, so we could admire the breathtaking views across Charlcombe Valley, Larkhall and even as far as the Westbury White Horse.
The menu is very comprehensive, with new dishes recently added. We spent a while deciding, then to start we chose the Twice Baked Smoked Haddock & Cheddar Souffle (£7.50) and the Pan Fried Tiger Prawns (£9.50).
The souffle was beautifully light, with the cheddar complementing the fish perfectly. The salad was tasty, with a balsamic glaze and delicious capers that popped in your mouth. The prawns were fresh, tasty and the garlic butter added a richness to the dish. Portion sizes were spot on, and left us in anticipation for the mains. We opted for Chargrilled Fillet of Salmon (£17.95) and Pan Fried Fillet of Seabass (£17.50).
The salmon was perfectly cooked, soft with a crispy skin (my favourite bit). The green beans were al dente and the Sicilian caponata was absolutely delicious, soft, tomato flavours, super rich and perfect for a cold day. The seabass was served with tenderstem broccoli, new potatoes and a tasty salsa verde sauce. Both dishes were really impressive and we enjoyed the clean tasty flavours.
For dessert we chose a cheese board, and sticky toffee pudding.
Lovely local cheeses, and a large selection of crackers meant I could not finish everything, but refreshing to see lots of crackers as often you only get a couple. The sticky toffee pudding went down well, served warm with salted caramel ice cream. Delicious!
In summary, we had a lovely evening at the Hare and Hounds. The location is stunning. In the warmer months you can sit on the outside terrace, or move down onto the grassed lawn with ample benches. There is a play area (away from the seating) for children, and they are dog friendly in the garden too.
Service was spot on, the staff were welcoming and friendly. When quizzed about the menu (we struggled to decide so needed some advice), Lloyd's passion for the food was obvious, and he guided our choices with his enthusiasm for the dishes. Big thank you to Alice and Alex too, who looked after us perfectly!
13 South Parade, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8PR. 01275 331100.
On a blustery cold Tuesday last week, we headed out to Chew Manga to sample the menu at the Bear & Swan.
A charming local pub with a thriving restaurant, we were really excited about this review. We were warmly welcomed by Connor the Manager, who was fantastic throughout the whole evening.
We had heard great things about the chef, Dan Edwards, who has previously worked at the Redan and the Marlborough Tavern, so we knew we were in for a treat.
We had spoken with Dan a few days before, as he wanted to check we were happy to have a tasting menu especially created for us - how could we refuse!
We sat in the dining area of the pub, which is really well laid out, the tables are not too close together and it was lovely and warm.
Our first dish was the Appetiser, which consisted of an Artichoke Veloute, an Ox-Cheek Croquette and an elegant pastry with horseradish puffed rice. The flavours were light and delicate, a perfect start to the menu. The croquette left you wanting more, and was a particular highlight.
The Starter was so beautiful, the presentation stunning and the flavours divine. Beetroot Canelloni, with walnut, compressed apple and sauce. The sweetness of the fruit complemented the savoury goats cheese and beetroot perfectly, creating a taste sensation that buzzed around your tastebuds!
The fish course was a small fillet of Hake, served with Lobster Bisque, Tender stem Broccoli and Samphire. The bisque was silky smooth, the hake crisp on the outside, flaky light inside, the samphire and broccoli flavours cut through the richness of the creamy lobster bisque perfectly - a true delight to eat!
The meat course was Venison Fillet, served with tender stem broccoli, parsnip crisp, potato fondant crisp, pea puree and poached pears. The red wine jus was so rich and flavoursome, and it pulled the whole dish together. The venison was cooked to perfection, tender and melt in the mouth texture, with a gorgeous seasoning. The whole dish was fantastic and my favourite of the evening I think ( I keep changing my mind as they were all so great)!
Dessert was Textures of Chocolate and was truly stunning. The rich chocolate fondant, the light mousse, pistachio cake and meringue with zingy passion fruit and orange made the perfect combination.
The dishes were light and just the right size, by the end of the five courses we were full but not uncomfortable. The presentation was stunning, each dish a delight on the eye and the tongue.
The Bear & Swan also offer stunning boutique rooms, perfect if you are heading away in the morning, as it's just 10 minutes from Bristol Airport, and so much nicer than a bland chain hotel.
In summary, we absolutely recommend the Bear & Swan! The pub was really busy when we were in, and you can order from their delicious and comprehensive menu (see below) or book in for their regular events that include tasting menus (vegetarian/vegan options too) like the one we sampled. Thank you Connor for being such a charming host, and to Dan, for spoiling us with the most delicious tasting menu.
A lovely atmosphere and a warm welcome, a roaring fire, stunning food and lots of local ales on tap - we love the Bear & Swan!
103 Locksbrook Road, Bath. BA1 3EN. 01225 427119
Invited along to try the main menu, we arrived at the Locksbrook Inn, on a freezing cold Tuesday. At 6pm the bar was buzzing, and we had a drink to take to the atmosphere and wait for our table.
We were greeted by Helen who showed us to our table, in the dining room out the back, with views onto the outdoor patio and river.
There is a Starter and Bar Snack menu to choose from, we opted for the Scotch Egg with HP sauce (£4.50) and the Potted Crab with Apple and Toast (£8).
Whilst waiting we chatted to Suzie the Manager, and it was clear how proud of the pub she is. Our starters arrived promptly, and we tucked in. The Scotch Egg was lovely and warm, with a slight gooey yolk, complimented perfectly by the tart brown sauce. The Potted Crab was soft and smooth, and delicious with the toast and slices of apple.
For the Main Course we went for Confit Duck Leg (£17.50) and Hake with New Potatoes (£17).
The duck was beautifully soft and fell away from the bone. The crispy skin and delicate fried onions on the top were fantastic, a great compliment to the softness of the cassoulet it was served with. The hake was light, and perfectly pan fried, served with caper beurre noisette, buttered kale and new potatoes. Both meals were perfect for a cold winter’s evening, and the portions were generous.
Although full, we decided on Sorbet (£4.50 for 3 scoops) and the Lemon Tart (£5). The sorbet packed a punch (in a good way), zingy lemon, tart raspberry and refreshing mango – a lovely combination. The Lemon Tart was fabulous, warm, with a caramelized crisp top, and served with Chantilly cream and raspberry coulis. The name lemon tart really did not do this dish justice as it was so much more!
Although tucked away, just a 15 minute walk from town will lead you to the Locksbrook Inn and it’s certainly worth the trip. There are parking spaces out the front, and if you cycle or walk you can travel along the towpath and take the scenic route. There are theme/special events most nights, including Meat Free Monday, Quiz night on a Tuesday, Steak Night on a Wednesday, Wine Night on Thursday! Open from 8.30am seven days a week for tea, coffee, smoothies and breakfast, they stay open until 11pm Mon-Thurs, and Midnight on Fri-Sat, 10.30pm on Sunday. In the summer there is a large outdoor patio area, perfect for al fresco dining!
35 Marlborough Buildings, Bath BA1 2LY. 01225 423731
On a dreary Wednesday night, we walked across town to sample the menu at the Marlborough Tavern. A stone's throw from the Royal Crescent, the Marlborough is easy to find and just a short walk from town.
We arrived at 6pm, and it was already busy. The after work drinks crowd were in, and food was being served, making for a warm atmosphere. Jordan showed us to our table and talked us through the menu, making sure we felt welcome. A really mouthwatering menu, as usual it was a tough choice. Whilst deciding, Callum the manager chatted with us and took our drinks order. We opted for Ox Cheek Croquettes (£8.50) and the Goats Cheese Salad (£8).
The croquettes were light and crisp, served with gorgonzola aioli and charred baby leeks. The flavours were delicious, and perfect for a cold winter's evening. The goats cheese salad was a delight, the pomegranate and basil cut through the goats cheese perfectly and the flavours of the baba ganoush completed the dish perfectly.
Onto the main course, we decided on Roasted Sea Bream Fillet (£21.50) and the Fish & Chips (£14.50).
The Sea Bream was served with green onion mash, tender stem broccoli and a brown shrimp and cockle bisque. The flavours were stunning, the bisque was rich and moreish, the fish light and crisp. Definitely a dish we will order again. The classic Fish & Chips was served with mushy peas and tartare sauce. Light crisp ale batter around flaky white cod was delicious, and the hand cut chips were spot on. So often this dish can go so wrong, but not here. It was perfect.
Although full, we looked at the dessert menu and just had to order as two of our favourites were on there. Sticky Toffee Pudding (£7) and Lemon Posset (£7).
The Sticky Toffee Pudding was served warm, with salted caramel ice cream, toffee sauce and honeycomb pieces. It was super tasty and a firm favourite. The Lemon Posset was delicate in flavour and very rich. The berry compot complimented it beautifully, cutting through the creaminess and adding an extra depth of flavour. The lemon shortbread was a great accompaniment, and tasted incredible.
In summary, we really enjoyed our evening at the Marlborough Tavern. The staff were great (also a shout out thank you to Caitlin), and the service was fast and efficient. The menu includes specials and pub classics, offering Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan options as well. You can sit outside even on a cold day or evening as they have outdoor heaters by many of the benches, in fact we sat outside in February last year on a sunny snowy Saturday. Thank you MT for hosting us, we will be back soon!
In the run up to Christmas, we were so excited to be invited to spend the day exploring Bath as a guest of Visit Bath on a press trip.
An early walk into town on a sunny December Thursday morning through quiet streets before the Christmas market opened led us through Abbey Courtyard and onto the Thermae Bath Spa, our first stop.
Visitors will find four natural thermal baths, but our first destination was the stunning open-air rooftop pool with skyline views of the City. We were lucky enough to have a sunny morning, and the steam rising made for some great photo opportunities.
A 2 hour session costs £36 Monday to Friday and £40 on Saturday and Sunday. Included in the price is a robe and slippers, and access to the rooftop pool, the Minerva Bath and the Wellness Suite, as well as the Springs Cafe. There are many treatment and spa packages available, which you can check out at www.thermaebathspa.com/
After a relaxing couple of hours, it was time for a mooch around the shops. As well as the Christmas Market, there are some lovely independent shops around Bath. Walcot Street, called the Artizan Quarter, offers some gorgeous gift shops, and lively cafes and bars. Milsom Street is also another great destination for some fantastic independent shops, perfect for browsing clothing, footwear, jewellery and more!
A quick lunch stop and then onto my personal highlight of the day, glass blowing at Bath Aqua Glass....
The store offers beautiful examples of baubles professionally blown, as well as gorgeous jewellery and homewares.
The "Breath in a Bauble" experience takes place in the glass blowing studio located on Walcot Street. Watching the glassmakers work is mesmerising, and this activity includes encapsulating your breath within a glass bauble which you get to keep. The bauble takes 24 hours to cool, and can then be collected or posted out to you. Costs are £20.95 You can read more about it here www.bathaquaglass.com/
Our next stop was a quick drink at the Apres Ski Bar outside the Abbey Hotel. A cosy winter wonderland cabin, complete with burning stove, mince pies and fur throws. Definitely worth checking out if you are all shopped out! https://www.abbeyhotelbath.co.uk/christmas-new-year-2019/
Next on the agenda was a visit to the ice rink in Victoria Park. https://www.bathonice.com/
£10 for children and £11.50 for adults, there are a variety of ticket options available, including family tickets and hot chocolate options too! Open until 5th January, there is still time to get your skates on!
The final stop of the day was to visit the Christmas Market after dark. With all the Christmas lights on, and the smells of mulled wine, mince pies, and bratwurst, it really started to feel like Christmas. So many gorgeous gifts and products to choose from, I came away with some pickles and chutneys from https://www.gowildpreserves.co.uk/ who are based in Somerset, and a gorgeous bauble from https://shakspeareglass.co.uk/
A perfect day spent in Bath, a city I am proud to live in!
20 High St, Rode, Frome BA11 6NZ. 01373 830900. www.thecrosskeysrode.co.uk
If you are looking for a beautiful traditional pub for a classic Sunday lunch, the Cross Keys at Rode is the place to go. We were invited over to sample Sunday lunch last week, and it did not disappoint. Just a short drive out of Bath in the direction of Frome, you will arrive in Rode, a gorgeous village, with a lovely winding road that leads down to the Cross Keys on the left. Parking is round the back, and we were greeting by a beautiful cat wanting some fuss!
We were really surprised at the size of the pub when you go inside, a tardis of lovely bars and cosy snug areas with log fires and a fabulous dining room.
We were welcomed warmly by James and Ellie, and sat in the window by the internal workings of the lovely old clock outside on the roof.
The menu offers a wide selection roasts, as well as some pub classics for those not wanting the full works.
We opted for Forest Mushrooms with Garlic Butter & Truffle Oil on Toasted Brioche & Parmesan (£6) and Chicken Liver Parfait with Apple & Ale Chutney & Toast (£5.50) to start.
Both starters were hearty and filling, generous portion sizes and delicious flavours. Served quickly, we soon polished them off in anticipation of our roasts. We opted for the Rare Topside of Beef and Braised Lamb Shoulder £13.50 for the regular size or £10 for a small (beef and lamb).
Served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cheesy leeks & cauliflower, honey roast parsnip & carrot, summer greens & Proper gravy. Both meats were exceptionally tender, the Yorkshire airy light, and the gravy was delicious. So refreshing to get such a large jug of gravy as well, something that is often scrimped upon when eating out, and frowned upon when asking for more!
Although full, the dessert menu was just too tempting to skip, especially the thought of homemade peanut butter, Nutella and Biscoff ice cream!
We chose the Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Sauce and Peanut Butter ice cream (£6) and a scoop of Nutella and Honeycomb ice cream (£1.50 each).
A totally fabulous experience, we really loved our afternoon at the Cross Keys. The quirky crockery used for the meals was so charming and in keeping with the pub, and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming, nothing was too much trouble. We arrived at midday, and quickly took some pics of the dining room, but within 15 minutes it was full. After lunch we took a stroll around the village, and said goodbye to our new furry friend (who was still waiting by our car)! We will definitely be returning soon, as we want to work our way through the menu!
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.