Bath (Gourmet Chick in Somerset)

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After having a beer in Beer on our last English mini-break, this time our aim was to have a bath in Bath. First of all MTV boyfriend and I wandered around Bath’s main draw card, the amazing ancient Roman baths, and then inspired we headed to the Thermae Baths so that we could luxuriate in true Roman style. Our taxi driver from the Bath station told us the Thermae Baths were a nightmare to build and ended up costing £45m rather than the £5m budgeted. I am not sure whether this is taxi driver exaggeration but the Thermae Baths are pretty flash. For £19 you can spend a couple of hours trying out the different levels where there are spas, treatment rooms, “flavoured” steam rooms (we liked the spearmint one the best) and a roof top swimming pool which looks out over the town.

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The Royal Crescent
 
There is a restaurant at the Thermae Baths as well but the menu didn’t look too exciting so instead we headed to the The Fine Cheese Company which was recommended in an Olive guide and at Malborough Tavern which was a great tip from American in London.
 
The Fine Cheese Company
You smell the Fine Cheese Company before you see it, and what a smell it is. This gorgeous cheese shop with its pretty aqua awnings also operates as cheery cafe during the day. The menu includes home made sausage rolls made with buttery puff pastry, macarons and of course brilliant cheese platters . We tried the chorizo sandwich which featured Brindisia chorizo, rocket and pepper on bloomer bread along with salad and crisps (£8.50). The sandwich wasn’t as good as the one Brindisia themselves make in my books as they were a bit stingy on the chorizo. A better choice was the croque monsieur (£4.50), filled with a slab of oozing melted Gruyere cheese and quality ham this was a truly gourmet toastie.
 
Details: 29 – 31 Walcot street, Bath, Somerset BA 15BN (Ph 01225 448 748)
Damage: Reasonable
6/10
 
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Chorizo sandwich
 
The Malborough Tavern
The Malborough Tavern is a bright and airy gastro-pub just near Bath’s Royal crescent. It’s a popular place with the citizens of Bath so be sure to book as it was completely full on our visit. There is a focus on local produce with producers listed on the back of the menu and alongside the concise dinner menu there are eight specials on offer demonstrating the seasonal nature of the food. Sardine fillets (£6.95) were pan fried and served on toasted Irish soda bread spread with salsa verde. Unpretentious and delicious.
 
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Sardines
 
The roast breast of guinea fowl (£14.95) was a little overseasoned but I enjoyed the accompanying potato rosti and braised Savoy cabbage. Slow roasted shoulder of lamb (£15.50) was melt in the mouth tender and heaped on braised gem lettuce and roasted vegetables which the meat juices had permeated. Dessert of peach tartin was seriously good with a disc of feathery light puff pastry topped with golden caramalised peaches. Service was endearingly slapshod. Our waitress managed to drip wine all over the menu and forget about us a few times but she was so charming and friendly that we didn’t really mind.
 
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Roast guinea fowl
 
Details: 35 Malborough buildings, Bath, Somerset BA 12LY (Ph 01225 423731)
Damage: Reasonable
8/10
 
Gourmet Travel Tips
 
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Our room at Dorian House
 
We stayed at Dorian House, a boutique bed and breakfast. It is really hard to find acommodation in Bath for one night only, most places try to make you stay two nights on the weekends and Dorian House only relented to take us for one night a few days before our arrival. Dorian House is 15 minutes walk from the station and is run by the principal cellist from the London Symphony Orchestra so the house has a musical theme. We stayed in the Stradivari room (£165) named after the famous violin and the room had the romance and history of an old four poster bed teamed with all the modern comforts of a flat screen TV, wireless and an ipod dock. Breakfast the next morning offered a buffet of cereal and fruit or an option for a full English breakfast or smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. The star of the full English was the fat, juicy Cumberland sausage but the scrambled eggs clearly only comprised one egg rather than the promised three.
 
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Full English at Dorian House
 
Details: 1 Upper Oldfield House, Bath, Somerset BA2 3JX (Ph 01225 426 336)
 
Bath is easily accessible from London by a one and a half hour train ride.

11 comments

  1. I adore Bath but have only ever been on a quick daytrip. After reading your post I now feel I have to return and stay for the night. The spa looks like my perfect place to while away a few hours.

  2. I’m loving the brekkie/brunch theme of recent posts. Lovely looking sausage, fine bacon, shame about the egg. But where is the black pudding? For me a full English can only be deemed to be a full English if it has black pud. I’ve had arguments about this…..

  3. Ah, we stayed at Bath one night over Easter and it poured with rain so my outdoor pictures were rubbish and I never got around to blogging anything about it. I could murder that cooked breakfast right now (it’s 11am and I’ve only had granola)!

  4. Sounds like a lovely weekend – I haven’t been to Bath for over 10 years. Might be time for a spearmint steam room, I think! Great pics. (Sorry, I see I missed your comment on the coffee in the Cafe Luc post!)

  5. Great tips, I’ll be in bath in a few months, so I’ll keep these recommendations in mind 🙂

  6. Great you made it, and even better, that you found somewhere to stay! I’ll be sure to check out the Fine Cheese Company next time, and I’m glad to hear the Marlborough Tavern worked out.

    I, too, love that mint-scented steam chamber the best, and would recommend that anyone headed to the Thermae Spa on a Saturday make sure they book a treatment so that they’re guaranteed an entry. Otherwise, our experience was that you’re likely not to get in on a first-come-first-served basis on Saturdays.

  7. That looks and reads like the perfect minibreak. I particularly envy you the chunky four poster bed and the oozy croque monsieur.

  8. Lucky you! I loved lying in the thermal baths overlooking the rooftops and the rolling green hills – a really perfect English countryside vista. Unfortunately I also had the worst food the few times I’ve been to Bath, so it’s good to see you discovered some good options!

    Jetsetting Joyce

  9. Jules – It is nice to spend the night there and it gets a lot quieter and chilled once all the day trippers leave

    Mr Noodles – didn’t mean it to be a theme but seems to be happening that way! Must admit black pudding was an option for the full breakfast but MTV boyfriend said no to it – sacrilege!

    Sarah – oh no – the rain held off for us luckily although check out those stormy clouds

    Greedy Diva – No worries! Yep great place for a trip I had never been before which was pretty slack of me given how close it is to London

    Heavenly Housewife – enjoy.

    American in London – thanks for the great tip

    Gin and Crumpets – It was a great mini break

    Jetsetting Joyce – Luckily I had some good tips

  10. Um, hello… you are still calling him MTV Boyfriend! How about MTV Husband???

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