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!
1 Terrace Walk, N Parade, Bath BA1 1LJ. 01225 482900
Sunday lunch out always makes me nervous. Mr PLB cooks the best roast dinner ever, and when we've had them out in the past they have just not been up to his standard. Those crispy roast potatoes, rich gravy and amazing Yorkshire Puddings take a lot of beating.
Invited to the Huntsman to try their recently renovated upstairs dining room, we booked in for midday and headed in. We've never been upstairs in there before, in fact we didn't know there was an upstairs. The dining room spans the length of the pub, and is tastefully decorated, with the option to book for private events as well.
Hannah greeted us and showed us to our table where our host for the afternoon Joe was on hand to settle us in. We had a fabulous table by the window, overlooking Bog Island, where we could watch the hustle and bustle outside whilst relaxing and ordering a glass of wine each.
We chatted with Joe (totally charming) for a while about the menu and then we ordered our starters. Grilled lamb kofta with cucumber, pomegranate & mint raita and flatbread (£7), and Avocado & pesto bruschetta with roasted tomato salsa (£7.50).
Both starters were light, fresh and really tasty. The chilli packed a punch on the bruschetta, so if you order this be aware, as it's not listed in the menu as an ingredient. We enjoyed both, and were hopeful for the main courses.
We opted for Roast leg of south coast lamb (£17), and the roast Cornish orchards Braised South coast pork belly (£15).
Both were served with a giant Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, savoy cabbage, honey roast carrots and parsnips, squash puree and red wine gravy. The meat on both of our dishes was super tender, and the gravy rich and tasty. The Yorkshire pudding, although huge was incredibly light and airy. The meal was totally delicious and got the thumbs up from both of us.
Dessert was a squeeze but both of our favourites were on the menu, Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6) and Eton Mess (£7.50). Both were light, tasty and a perfect end to a perfect meal.
We both agreed we would be back to eat at The Hunstman again. The service was amazing, Joe is so passionate about his job, evident in his knowledge and interest in all of the dishes and the wine list. We highly recommend the roast, especially if you get a table with a view!
50 Rivers Street, Bath, BA1 2QA. 01225 360017
For Saturday lunch we were invited along to the Chequers to sample their set menu. We used to live almost opposite when we first moved to Bath in 1998, and this pub used to be our local. A lot has changed since then, for both us and the pub. Now owned by the Bath Pub Company the Chequers had a complete over hall a few years ago and really looks the part.
The set menu is available from 12-3pm and 5.30-6.30pm, priced for 2 courses at £16 and 3 courses for £19.50.
We pondered for a while, and chose the Cornish Mackerel and Ham Hock & Belly Pork Terrine to start.
The mackerel packed a punch flavour wise, totally delicious, served with potted shrimps, soda bread and a rich mussel sauce. The ham terrine was complimented beautifully with a raisin puree and crispy toast. The salad had a really tasty home pickled selection of onions running through it that were just the perfect vinegar flavour. After a very short wait our mains were served, Smoked Haddock and Beef Onglet.
The smoked haddock was served with a tasty kedgeree arancini that was just the right level of crispiness and soft inside. Softly boiled quails eggs, spinach and a fragrant and spicy madras butter sauce completed the dish. The beef onglet was served with green beans and a garlic crumb. The Bearnaise sauce was delicious, not overpowering as it sometimes can be, and the handcut skin on fries were perfect.
For dessert we chose the Lemon Steamed Sponge Pudding, and the Dark Chocolate Terrine. Both beautifully presented, one hot one cold. The lemon sponge was so lemony, we could not imagine how so much flavour was packed into it. The fennel pollen custard cut through the citrus, and the white chocolate and lavender flapjack added a totally different dimension to the flavour combination. The Terrine was so deliciously rich, a perfect end to a meal. The lightness of the white chocolate combined so well with the sticky terrine and soft fruit, a definite winner in my book!
Very popular, by the time we left at around 1pm they were filling up and most if not all tables had reservations, so booking ahead would be a good idea. There was a relaxed vibe, and Harriet and Kyle were charming and attentive with their service. Our compliments to the Head Chef Ross and his team who cooked our delicious lunch. Only 5 minutes from town, it's a great lunch (or evening meal) spot, with a restaurant upstairs and options for private dining.
We recommend the set menu, and will be popping back, especially as the weather gets colder as it's a cosy venue. Things have changed since the pub days, but we still love the Chequers.
Ham Green, Holt, Wiltshire, BA14 6PX. 01225 782326
A short 15 minute drive out of Bath and you will find yourself in Wiltshire and the beautiful village of Holt. We arrived for our booking at 6.30pm and the car park out the back was already filling up. We chose a lovely table for two in the side eating area. The pub has been charmingly restored, and has a lovely cosy feeling. Once settled, we were promptly brought our drinks and the menu.
We opted for Crispy Duck Egg (£5.95) and Thai Spiced Crispy Chicken (£6.95) to start. Too tough a choice to decide, we shared both dishes between us.
There is a lovely selection of starters and all reasonably priced. The duck egg had the lightest of crispy coating, and was warm with a perfectly runny yolk, a creamy artichoke and truffle puree complimented it perfectly. The Thai Spicy Chicken was truly Asian in flavour, with chili jam and a fresh slaw. By this point the room around us was full, and we saw some of the other starters pass by and they all looked delicious, and judging by the clean plates they must have been! For mains we went for Pan Fried Cod Loin (£17.50) and the Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Risotto (£13.95).
If you are after comfort food, this risotto is for you. Gorgeously creamy and cheesy, with flavoursome mushrooms throughout. The parmesan crisps on top only added to the feeling of total indulgence. One of the best risotto I have had for a long long time and I will be going back to have this again. The cod loin was a deliciously fishy affair. A crispy crust, perfectly tender and moist, with a lemon and cockle butter. Saffron and garlic dauphinoise potato underneath, with samphire to compliment the fish meant a delicious combination and a clean plate.
Although full, we could not resist the dessert menu, as the rest of the meal was so good. A really nice selection to choose from, we ordered the cheese board (£8.50) and the sticky toffee pudding (£6.95).
The cheese board consisted of cheddar, blue and brie, with a really generous cracker selection. We could not finish it all, and would probably share this next time as it's lots for one. The sticky toffee pudding went down well, with warm honeycomb pieces and a clotted cream ice cream, this was voted the best sticky toffee pudding my husband has ever eaten (and that's lots over the years).
There is also accommodation on site, which was fully booked when we were there on a Tuesday night. Based on our experience, booking for food would be essential as all tables were full when we left. There is a really appetising lunch menu if you are passing and feel peckish and we hear the Sunday roasts are legendary too!
"Tollgate Wednesday" covers a different theme each week, such as Italian, Indian and Fish and Fizz. Thursday is "No Corkage" night, where you can take your own wine in with you when you are dining.
In summary, we would definitely recommend the Tollgate Inn. The staff were attentive and extremely welcoming, as well as being very efficient too! The menu is varied and caters for all tastes, including Gluten Free and Vegan.
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.