12/13 Milsom Place, Bath BA1 1BZ. 01225 465907
On Tuesday evening we were invited to Le Vignoble in Milsom place, to sample their menu and wines.
The concept is very clever, you are given a credit card that you pre-load with cash at the till, and it can then be used to dispense wine in a sample, small or medium sized glass. There are over 20 wines in dispensers dotted around the two rooms, as well as bottles available to buy.
The menu is tapas style, and very tasty. We had 3 dishes to share and they were more than enough to fill you up.
We had the baked brie with apricot and honey, the charcuterie board, and the baked tomatoes with blue cheese. There was plenty of bread served with all three dishes, perfect for mopping up the tasty pesto and baked cheeses. With one of us having a white and the other a red wine, the cheeses complimented both perfectly and cut through the richness.
Ona and Diane are so knowledgeable and talk with passion about both the food and the wine. They made us feel incredibly welcome and comfortable, and not at all intimidated by all the wine choices around the room. You might wander through Milsom Place and think this is a wine shop, which it is (you can buy the wine to take away), but there is so much more on offer. In the warmer months, there is a lovely outdoor terrace to enjoy so why not pop in for a glass and some nibbles, you won't be disappointed!
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.
16 Argyle Street Bath, BA2 4BQ. 01225 807770
Underwood is a charming restaurant and bar on Argyle Street, within throwing distance of Great Pulteney Street and Weir. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly, and offered one of the best seats in the house, overlooking the weir.
We quickly chose the delicious house red to sip on whilst we perused the menu. Thoughtfully created, it was hard to decide, we opted for the Hispi Cabbage with Blue Cheese Dressing (£8.50) and the Mackerel and Quail Egg Salad (£9).
The cabbage had a lovely crisp charred flavour, and the dressing was delicious, just enough to compliment and cut through the bitterness of the cabbage. The mackerel was cold smoked, an intense flavour paired perfectly with the quail egg. For our main course, we opted for Chicken Supreme (£19) and the Rump of Lamb (£22). We also picked a side of Seasonal Greens (£3.50).
The Chicken Supreme was served with a creamy pearl barley, rich and satisfying, with some juicy oyster mushrooms and an artichoke puree. The chicken was moist and flavoursome, with a delicious crispy skin. The Rump of Lamb was placed on top of a potato fondant (delicious) with smoked aubergine and black garlic puree, confit shallots, tenderstem broccoli and a red wine jus. Both dishes were presented immaculately, and looked absolutely stunning. The greens on the side also looked incredibly appetizing, and were soon polished off between the two of us.
Dessert was an indulgent affair. We were so full we decided to share, and went for Chocolate Mousse and a couple of cocktails. We sat back and enjoyed the rain whilst nibbling our final course. On a sunny day you can sit out on their sun terrace, which we plan to do next year.
The cocktail bar is very atmospheric. Mood lighting, dark walls and a cheeky monkey light named Robbie.
We definitely recommend Underwood, perfect for a romantic meal. There are lots of hidden areas and a couple of floors to choose from in this building that is much bigger than it appears from outside. The bar is great for meeting friends for cocktails or pre-meal drinks.
@ The Grapes Pub, 14 Westgate Street, Bath, BA1 1EQ
On Saturday we were lucky enough to be invited to the Secret Izakaya Supper Club above the recently renovated and reopened Grapes pub.
We arrived early so we could have a drink and soak up the atmosphere of the pub. It was buzzing with activity and a good crowd of people were in.
We were not sure what to expect, but were really looking forward to the experience as we love Japanese food.
Ellie the landlady and our host, took a group of 8 of us upstairs into the stunning dining room (that is also a yoga studio during the day). The room was so beautiful, with a Jacobean ceiling still in tact.
We were seated at a large dining table, with a menu for us to devour. The selection was just perfect, and we were given some sake and pickled cucumbers to nibble on whilst we were given an overview of the Izakaya and the food on offer from the chefs Dave and Suze.
Everything is prepared in the kitchen to the side of the main room, and is all cooked/prepared freshly for each course. Our first couple of courses were sashimi based, and had the most fantastic flavours, complimented perfectly with Dave's choice of sake. To kick things off we had Komu-cured Sea Bream Tartare followed by Shime Saba (mackerel sushi) two ways, raw and seared.
Between courses we had fantastic tasting dishes of soy marinated mushrooms, miso green beans and spicy tomatoes, all a sensation on the tongue and a freshener before the next course.
Next we had Miso and Sake Mussels, Chicken Karaage and Spicy Miso Ramen - I was fit to burst but had to squeeze everything in as the flavours were so stunning.
The dessert of Soba Cha Pudding was also delicious and rounded off the meal perfectly.
There are plans for the Izakaya to have a permanent home upstairs in the Grapes from November, called Budo Ba, with plenty of small dishes prepared right in front of you, with choices of Japanese beers, Sake and Shochu. We can't wait!
5-8 Saville Row, Bath, BA1 2QP 01225 809302 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing feels more decadent than a lazy Sunday morning brunch out, and today was no exception. We headed out on this warm sunny morning with a leisurely stroll along the canal into town, cutting through Sydney Gardens and down Great Pulteney Street before heading up the top of town to the charming Saville Row.
We were greeted and sat at a lovely spacious table for two, and spent some time struggling to decide what to order!
Whilst deciding, we ordered a Bloody Mary and a Mimosa, (you have to brunch in style), and a pot of tea for two. Eventually we chose the Big English (£10) and the Savoury Waffles, with eggs benedict (£8).
The food was piping hot, and totally delicious. Portion sizes were just right, and just enough to satisfy a mid morning hunger pang. I'm always a bit nervous of waffles as I don't like the sweetness with savoury toppings, but these were savoury waffles, and a revelation to me (I now want to buy a waffle maker), super light and fluffy, and complimented the runny eggs beautifully. The Big English was super tasty, with a nod to the sausages and black pudding, which were both especially flavoursome. The homemade baked beans were also a winner.
Service was courteous, welcoming and relaxed. There is a lovely atmosphere here, no pressure to leave or feeling rushed (even though they were busy). The bistro is open every day except Monday for coffee, nibbles, lunch, supper and wine. Lunch options include salads and sandwiches and they offer tasting plates and specials for supper.
We had a mooch around the bottle shop after our brunch, and it really is lovely. They have so much choice in regard to wines from around the world, and they offer many food events including cheese nights, and a duck and claret night (coming up next month).
We really enjoyed our morning here, and will be popping back to sample some of the other brunch choices very soon!
4-5 Newmarket Row, Bath, BA2 4AN 01225 461956 email@example.com
Cappadocia has one of the best views in the whole city. One of the main attractions of Bath is Pulteney Bridge and Weir, and this bar and restaurant looks out on both. We were invited in to sample the food and drinks on a sunny Thursday late afternoon. We were lucky enough to be sat in the window, but pretty much all of the tables look out over the two vast large windows, framing the bridge perfectly. Cappadocia opened about 7 weeks ago after an extensive and very stylish refit, having been the Marmaris Turkish restaurant and takeaway for many years. The interior is beautifully designed, cool blues and stylish touches such as artwork painted directly on the walls from a local Bristol artist, and floral garnishes on the ceiling.
We were welcomed with a cooling Turkish beer each whilst we perused the menu. The staff were attentive and on hand to make personal recommendations, as the choice is extensive, and tough to choose as there are so many delicious choices. Vegetarian and Vegan choices are also included.
Whilst choosing our food, we were brought some bread, hummus and crudites. We chose the Mixed Hot Meze for 2 to start, as you get a selection of the chefs best dishes of the day for £14.95. The flavours were sensational, and we soon polished off the plate of delights as we had both not eaten all day!
For our mains, we ordered Mixed Shish £13.45 (Chicken & Lamb served with rice and salad) and Iskender £15.95 (Minced lamb, chunks of chicken in a tomato saucewith yoghurt, toasted bread and black butter, served with a salad). The portions were large, and if we were to return we would most likely share smaller starters as we could not finish our mains (gutted).
We could not squeeze in any dessert this visit, but the menu looked really delicious, so we will definitely try some next time. After our meal we were also brought an amaretto shot and some fresh turkish delight!
To summarise, we could not fault the food or the service, and will be returning very soon!
After our meal, we were invited to the hidden gem upstairs, the cocktail bar Cappa Bar. Review of the bar is on our next blog post!
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.