Featured

Melt in the mouth seasonal goodies with The San Francisco Fudge Factory, Bath

For that someone who loves a sweet treat this festive season.

The San Francisco Fudge Factory in Bath kindly sent me some festive fudge to try this week.

The family run business has been making fudge for over 24 years in the centre of Bath, using only natural, locally sourced ingredients to create some truly creamy melt in the mouth fudge. As a company they are passionate about supporting the city and local communites, which has led them to support groups such as Focus Counseling, Dorothy House and Mindfulness. This really does make them stand out, not only do they produce delicious handmade products but they also think about giving back and supporting fellow Bathonians.

 

“100% Handmade right here in Bath, with absolutely NO artificial ingredients all of our fudge is GLUTEN FREE – apart from Cookies and Cream”

When popped into their shop earlier this year on the Savouring Bath Guilty Pleasures Food Tour and did not want to leave without trying all the flavours. From chunks of buttery fudge to peanut brittle, chocolate dipped marshmallows plus many more other handmade treats, their shop is a sweet tooths haven!

Great news! They even have vegan flavours too, including chocolate and peanut butter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the fudge…

I was sent Christmas Pudding and Salted Caramel flavours to try in a cute little gift box. Myself and Rob were VERY happy to take part in a taste test, however, if I’m honest I can never tell if I am a huge fudge fan. I am always to and fro whether I enjoy it or not but really, as soon as this fudge was placed in front of me I was more than happy to indulge!

I may not be able to eat it non-stop like I do with chocolate but actually that just helps it last even longer! It’s the perfect little bite to have when you have friends round for a cuppa or an after dinner treat.

My favourite out of the two had to be the salted caramel, and I’m not even a salted caramel fan. Rob said his favourite was the Christmas pudding flavour, and he hates Christmas pudding! So overall we were both pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed these flavours, therefore I think it’s definitely worth trying flavours that you wouldn’t usually go for.

Their cute little gift boxes of fudge like this one would be great Christmas presents for your colleagues, friends and family.

OR… just throwing an idea out their, instead of a ‘cheese board’ create your own ‘fudge board’ when you have family and friends over during the festive season. Buy a selection of different flavours of fudge, place them on a board and create a fun sweet treat for everyone to enjoy.

The time is now!

It’s the perfect time to pop and visit the fudge team on Church Street if you are visiting the Bath Christmas Market, which starts this Thursday 22nd November. Pop across to the fudge factory, located right next to the abbey square where many of the market chalets are situated. I’ve been told the shop now looks like a grotto and they are now offering mulled wine and cider – so remember that, if you don’t want to queue at the mulled wine stands in the market!

Anyway, thank you for reading this blog post peeps, I am now going to spend the rest of my Sunday relaxing, snuggled up in me blanket and eating some delicious fudge.

Thank you to the owners Maureen and Mark for creating this fabulous fudge and to Emma and the team at the Fudge Factory Bath for sending me this delightful treat! I will be popping in to buy some Christmas goodies very soon – get that mulled wine ready too!

 

Bring a smile to your friends face with a little treat from The San Francisco Fudge Factory, Bath. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit their website below.

TW: @BathFudgeShop

Order online at www.sanfranciscofudge.co.uk

6 Church St, Bath BA1 1NL – “The shop was located slap bang in the centre of the city, right under the shadow of the majestic Abbey.”

MONDAY – SUNDAY 9am – 6pm

Featured

The cool Kid of Bath’s Restaurant Scene – Fire & Brew

Welcoming you to the Bath’s local pizza and craft beer hub. This quirky, cool kid of Bath’s restaurant scene offers you delicious handmade pizzas and a super tasty selection of craft beers – many of them being made in Bath! Fire & Brew opened in 2016 by brewery owner and cider maker, Lee, Chris and Krow and has really become a favourite amongst locals.

What can you expect from the menu?

The main event, the hand stretched pizzas cooked with fresh, local ingredients are the first thing that pops out of the menu, all cutely named after surrounding streets of the restaurant (Moorland, Shaftsbury, St Kilda…).

But if you aren’t a pizza love (WHAT?!) then no worries, choose from other dishes such as nachos, salads, bruschettas or a sharing platters, there is enough to please everyone. AND YES, EVERYONE – they also have vegan (#plantbased) options on the menu too. Another fantastic date night place for me and Rob. WIN!

To start we shared bruschetta (with tomatoes, basil and garlic oil) and the garlic bread with vegan cheese. The garlic was A-MA-ZING – truly. I know we are just talking about garlic bread here but this really was amazing, and one of the reasons I loved it so much was because of the vegan cheese (Yay, finally, vegan cheese that tastes great!) I was dreaming about that starter for weeks after and we have since ordered on Deliveroo.

Onto the mains. The pizzas are the perfect size and thickness (obviously, depends on your preference – thick or thin) and scattered with a good amount of toppings.

I went for the Margherita, one because this is one of my favourites, even though it’s ‘plan old Janes’ choice but also because I really believe that the best way to see how good their pizzas are is to try the basic traditional, so if they can’t get that basic right and then it’s a no go…

But luckily, IT PASSED THE TEST!

Rob tried one of the vegan options, The Faukland (tomato base, roasted courgette, aurbergine, roasted peppers, red onion and vegan cheese. AND FINALLY I HAVE TASTED A GOOD VEGAN PIZZA. Both myself and Rob were really happy to see a great selection of vegan options on the menu and I would even order that vegan pizza myself (and I’m not #plantbased!).

BRING ME A PINT

To be honest with you I’m not much of a beer fan but since I was sat in a place that specialised in craft beer I thought I’d have to give something a try. We both got a pint each (yes, I got a pints worth haha) of Electric Bear Edison (British Pilsner). It was light, refreshing and really easy to drink. Now I can feel like a “cool kid” who drinks beer 😉 haha. I would happily order this again and can’t wait to go back to discover more delicious craft beers.

If you are a beer novice like me or a beer enthusiast then this place is the place to be. They have an extensive ‘beer bible’ to browse through, so take your time and try a few of the local brews.

We have beers from some of the UK’s & the world’s best new breweries including Electric Bear (naturally), Magic Rock, Beavertown, Tiny Rebel, Cloudwater, Fierce, Wild Beer, Wylam, Good Chemistry and many more! The range grows and varies often, with availability, seasonality and new releases.

(But if you really don’t like beer, not a problem. Fire & Brew also have a range of high quality spirits and snazzy cocktails to choose from)

PUD

To end we decided to have a bowl full of ice cream each, two scoops of Jules mint choc chip ice-cream for me and two scoops of vegan ice-cream for Rob, one mango, one coconut. But don’t worry, they also have a board full of desserts on offer, including nutella pizza, homemade cakes and affrogato (that’ll have be tried and tested next time).

Wondering when to visit?

What about brunch with your friends for £5 each – offering smoked bacon and avocado bruschetta, breakfast baguette + more. Or pop in for lunch and coffee with your pooch (yes, it’s dog friendly too – THE DREAM!) with a selection of wraps and smaller pizzas to choose from. AND don’t miss out on their fantastic pizza and drink for £10 too!

Overall we had a great dining experience at Fire & Brew. Staff were super friendly and attentive and you weren’t rushed out of the door once you had finished. I would really recommend visiting, whether you are eating alone or with friends and family, it’s warm relaxed “vibes” makes it’s a lovely place to eat and chill out.

Thank you to Fire & Brew for inviting me to review – it’s great to add another date night, vegan friendly (dog-friendly! ha) restaurant to our favourites list.

 

In the mood for pizza and beer now!? Find more details below.

 

Fire & Brew

49 Moorland Road

Bath

BA2 3PJ

01225 356794

www.fireandbrew.com

Bar + Block Steakhouse Review

Bar + Block Steakhouse is situated on James Street West, just a stones through away from the city’s cinema and a short walk to the main highstreet. The restaurant is focused on serving great quality hand cut steaks accessible to all, giving customers the opportunity to customise their meal. With a large menu offering a wide range of dishes it is guaranteed to appeal both those “light-meal” customers and “hearty-meal” meat lovers.

We welcomed in by their super friendly waitress who walked us through the restaurant which is decked out with wood and leather, making it feel a warm and welcoming. We were seated on one of their sofa bench seating areas where we could glance across to their open fronted kitchen.

Starting with drinks we choose one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic drink (forgot to tell mum not to drive, damn it!) BUT it was great to try both sides of the drinks menu. I usually find that testing a mocktail is a good way to see if they’ve thought about the flavours of a mocktail or have just decided to take the spirit out and not given it much thought. I chose their NEW Rhubarb Gin Fizz cocktail (Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin shaken with lemon juice and topped with prosecco) and my mum chose the Mitango (their take on a Virgin Mojito) …and I’m please to say both were DIVINE – yes both! I ended up asking my mum if I could keep “trying” her drink as it was so refreshing and full of flavour. (Hurray! They passed my mocktail test 😉)

Whilst sipping on our cocktails and choosing our courses we were given beef drippling popcorn. I know… doesn’t sound that appertising at first BUT don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I couldn’t stop eating it – a warm pot of popcorn dusted with beef drippling powder. It was really nice to have something to tickle your taste buds while choosing your food and really gets you in the mood for some high quality beef.

THE MENU

The menu is large with options of steaks, salads, grilled meats, handmade burgers, fish and a selection of indulgent sharing plates and nibbles to choose from.

(I have my eye on the Mac & Cheese bites and Crispy Gnocchi Bites for next time)

Their main focus is on cooking classic cuts of steak from British breeds of cattle reared across the Pampas in South America. The meat is hand cut on site and customised to the customers tastes.

STARTERS

With a great selection of Grazing Plates to choose from we decided to try the Pulled Beef Croquettes and the Chargrilled Vegetables & Houmous – both new starters on the menu.

The croquettes were delicious, the rich slow cooked beef marinated in rich port, black treacle and bone marrow sauce and dipped into the lemon and garlic mayo was very indulgent for a starter. The only downside it that I could have eaten all the three croquettes to myself and not shared with my mum (Tip to remember for next time!). The chargrilled vegetables with houmous was a nice counter balance with the rich croquettes.

MAINS

I chose the NEW Deconstructed Beef Wellington, not something I would usually eat in the summer however it didn’t look like the usual Autumn/Winter classic.

I really enjoyed this dish, loving the fact that there was a perfect amount of rich Malbec sauce on the side. I had my 10oz beef cooked medium however due to the size of the meat and the style of dish the meat was more medium to well done – maybe due to the meat being sliced after, however it still tasted good to me. Accompanied with vegetables and light layers of puff pastry filled with garlic spinach and creamy truffle flavoured mushrooms it was a great restyling of a traditional classic – making it lighter and easier to eat in the summer months.

My mum chose the NEW Sea Bass Fillets, cooked over charcoal with garlic, lemon and thyme, served with sprouting broccoli, baby capers, chilli and cherry tomatoes. Obviously, I had to try a bit and I was really happy to see that even though they specialise in more beef/meat dishes, this dish was deliciously cooked.

NOW THE FINALE

I didn’t think we could eat anymore but one of their desserts was calling my name since it was something I used to make A LOT when I was little – Lemon and Clementine Cheesecake, drizzled with summer berries.

Now maybe it’s because I have a major sweet tooth but the dessert was the course that stood out for me. I think if someone asked me what course would I have again straight away it would have to be this one!

(Can you tell how big my sweet tooth is?!)

Overall I was impressed by the welcoming and efficient the staff, the stylish décor which is spot on for a modern steakhouse, the price range and wide range of options on the menu. This place is great if you are visiting with a group of friends – there’s something for everyone.

Thank you very much to Bar + Block for inviting me to review their NEW summer menu, it was great to finally visit and enjoy a B+B feast!

 

 

Bar + Block

4 James St W, Bath BA1 2BX

01225 618888

www.barandblock.co.uk

The Cosy Club Bath NEW Menu

What a lovely weekday treat! Last week I popped to The Cosy Club in Bath to review their new menu.

I have had breakfast, tapas and cocktails here many times (not at the same time might I had!) but I haven’t visited CC for dinner that much so I was excited to properly try out their NEW menu – launching new dishes across their main, vegan and gluten free menus, PLUS their cocktail menu too.

With a large variety of dishes to choose from it’s the perfect “I don’t know what type of food I feel like tonight” place, plus it caters for a variety of diets such as vegan or gluten free.

I was particularly excited to see their separate vegan menu since my boyfriend is plant-based. We do sometimes struggle to find restaurants that have a good amount of vegan dishes to offer and we weren’t disappointed looking at the new vegan menu.

The best way to start a meal — WITH COCKTAILS OF COURSE!

New drinks on the menu

Oh my, oh my… Rob picked a gooden. I ADORE this drink, actually ADORE IT. Mr Jenkins – Don Papa rum, Aperol, vanilla and lemon juice.

“This drink is just as compelling as the man who invented it.”

This drink just reminds me of a holiday (aww, bliss). This is my sort of drink!

Now my choice was Summer Sangria – Orange liqueur, red wine, orange and lemon juices. I really enjoyed this too, however Rob’s Mr Jenkins drink was still in my mind. Any drink with rum in and I’m pretty much hooked.

(We’re going back for a couple of these drinks very soon!)

Starters

After sipping on our cocktails we decided to start our meal with a selection of tapas dishes.

Squid & Chorizo –pan-fried with red wine and garlic, served with mixed leaves and a butter bean aioli.

The chorizo wasn’t chewy! Finally! YAY! I haven’t always been the biggest fan of chorizo because it can be quite tough sometimes, however, these chorizo bites with squid rings were absolutely delicious! AND the butter bean ailio was as yummy as it sounds.

Tempura King Prawns with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.

Who doesn’t love tempura prawns with a dipping sauce – I just can’t fault it. The soy and ginger dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment with these fresh king prawns.

Goat’s Cheese and Spinach Croquettes (v) with tomato tapenade.

The tapas dish that really stood out were the croquettes! Accompanied with a tomato tapenade. The croquettes were soft, gooey and melt-in-the-mouth and the tomato tapenade was a great sauce to accompany the creamy indulgent bites.

 

Onto the mains!

One of my favourite meals is risotto so I had to try it! Even though I was struggling choosing between the Aubergine tagine, Whole Rack of Baby Back Ribs AND Crispy Duck salad! (Ok, so I deliberated for a while ha!) But I am so glad I chose this dish!

Courgette, Edamame & Mint Ristotto with toasted seeds and beetroot & rosemary hummus.

This is exactly the type of flavours I would want in a risotto. Beetroot and rosemary hummus, a sweet, tangy taste to cut into the creaminess of the dish, with sharper flavours from the broken up feta on top. Plus with the addition of courgette (actually obsessed with this vegetable at the moment) and edamame, it was the perfect combination. Exactly what I would put into a risotto.

Now Rob’s dish was just a beauty!

Thai Green Vegetable Curry with coconut & coriander rice, spring rolls and sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Just look at that GOD DAMN “INSTAGRAMMABLE” platter of dishes! I loved that this dish came with a side of spring rolls too. It’s great to see a vegan dish look so exciting and taste so delicious too (had to have a cheeky bite of his meal – for the blog, for the blog 😉 )

The main courses were both presented beautifully and the portion sizes were great, however, I would say that maybe hold back from ordering three tapas dishes BEFORE eating a main and then dessert – for me, it was quite a lot of food to consume but obviously I HAD to try it all, hehe 😉

Wow, indulgent puddings ey?! I think sooo!

Rob chose Salted Caramel Cheesecake (v) with butterscotch sauce and sweet & salty popcorn.

And I chose this magical fairy looking dessert – Nutella & Vanilla Cream Doughnut (n, v)

topped with candy floss and raspberry dust.

You’ve seen brownies with toppings for dessert but I’ve never seen a DOUGHNUT with toppings before!! I love it! A ring Nutella doughnut with a light, airy chocolate mouse on top, decorated with a pinch of candyfloss. I haven’t had candyfloss in YEARS so this was definitely a nostalgic dessert – kind of an adult version of a pudding I used to have when I was young. I was into my dessert soo much that I completely forgot to try Rob’s dessert, but from the looks of it that’s my kind of dessert too – popcorn on top!? WHUT!!?

Well what can I say, we were well and truly full after this meal but it was lovely. Still can’t get over having fairy dust and candy floss on my dessert! Now that’s a way to end a meal.

Thank you so much to the lovely people at The Cosy Club for inviting me to review, I had a lovely evening and can’t wait to come back and try more of your new dishes. I’ve got my eye on more of your tapas dishes! And cocktails!!! CALLING MR JENKINS!

 

To try The Cosy Club Bath new menus visit: www.cosyclub.co.uk/clubs/bath/

T: 01225 464161 

E: 

Where? Unit R4, SouthGate Place, Bath, BA1 1AP

NEW “Guilty Pleasures” Food Tour with Savouring Bath

Treat yourself to an  indulgement  afternoon, tasting Baths finest guilty pleasures, meeting the cities great artisan producers and a behind the scenes look at many of Baths best foodie hotspots. Don’t miss out on this food tour!

Savouring Bath food tours are all about finding the cities best culinary delights from local, independent purveyors. I was really excited to join the press preview of the NEW “Guilty Pleasures” Savouring Bath tour. As soon as I heard the name I thought this would be a fantastic tour since the city has SO many great foodie sites. Plus I am HUGE CHOCOHOLIC, so this is right up my street!

So where to start, even as a Bath resident I know I didn’t know of EVERY foodie hotspot in town… and I was right! After attending this tour I found so many more amazing stores/cafes/restaurants I had never been to and learnt some much about the behind the scenes production.

Listening to the stories behind the local producers and their products really brought Bath artisan culture to life.

As the name suggests this tour is all about the food/drink we categorise as a “guilty pleasure”. Our enthusiastic, very informative tour guide Mike led us to the lesser known locations in Bath, taking us to the cities hidden artisan hotspots. We visited nine different outlets, tasting their best products and some specially curated samples. The tastings were both food and drink, and a mixture sweet and savoury treats.


QUICK OVERVIEW: Who are Savouring Bath?

  • This foodie tour company in Bath is all about highlighting and celebrating the city’s food revival in artisan produce.
  • Founded in 2016 by US born Jennifer Dugdale. She couldn’t understand why there was nobody offering regular tasting tours to Bath’s visitors, around the city’s incredible and unique food artisans, and so quickly set up Savouring Bath to plug a gap in the city’s tourism sector.
  • From 2017 Mike took over the company with his partner Mark, after Jennifer headed back to France.
  • sharing Bath’s incredible culinary history and the wonderful foods and artisans who continue to keep Bath firmly placed on the UK’s foodie trail.
  • The first food tours were “Food Heroes” & “Local Flavours”

THE TOUR

This tour was fantastic! I would definitely book it again!

This tour focused on my favourite food/drink type – GUILTY PLEASURES! From chocolate, meats, teas, wines and cheeses – this tour gives you the chance of fully indulge for the afternoon. We were told to eat light before we arrived and that was definitely a good idea – there were a great amount of tastings over the 3-hour tour.

Something different to the traditional tourist spots in Bath. Walking down the quirky backstreets of Bath, finding hidden gems and culinary delights.

The locally made products and the effort they put into making bespoke food really made this tour feel unique and special. The producers we met emphasised the importance of supporting fellow artisan traders, whether it’s here in Bath or on the other side of the world.
Whilst nibbling/sipping on samples the suppliers would tell us about their business – where it started, what they specialise in, what their most popular product/dish is etc. Each artisan producer offered top tips on how to fully experience their store/cafe/restaurant.

THIS TOUR MADE YOU FEEL PART OF BATHS ARTISAN COMMUNITY

We were introduced to local producers/traders, hearing their food stories and understanding the story behind their independent stores. They all had an interesting story to tell, whether it was bringing new flavours to the city from other countries or talking about their specialism and bespoke production of their products. Each producer projected a great sense of pride about their business.

All of this made it feel very special and unique to any other food tour as you really felt involved in Baths artisan culture.


At one of the tasting stops we were introduced a very talented producer –  the second person to win the prestigious ‘Roux Scholarship’.

I had a go at blowtorching the top of this lemon meringue pie. I felt the pressure, not only because of everyone in the group watching, BUT THE FACT THAT THERE WAS A ROUX SCHOLAR STOOD RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

Mike (tour guide) was great and full enthusiasm. He had plenty of historical and foodie knowledge about the city. Whilst walking around the quirky backstreets Mike provided us with facts about Baths food history and great anecdotes. I learnt variety of interesting facts, facts that aren’t the traditional things you here on other tours in Bath.

He also kept each food stop a mystery, so you wouldn’t know where he would be taking you next.

“…We’ll take you to all the places where you’d love to go and indulge on a daily basis but really feel you shouldn’t!!”

Savouring Bath

Mike also gave us a selection of restaurant recommendations, pointing out the hidden gems that serve great food. Many of these are family-run restaurants, which would definitely give you a much more personal experience when eating out in Bath.

IS THIS TOUR FOR YOU?

I would really recommend going on AT LEAST ONE of Savouring Bath tours. If you are new to Bath then it’s a MUST, to cover so many important foodie hotspots in Bath – some of which are the hidden little gems which many tourists wouldn’t stumble across. AND even if you live in Bath then it’s worth booking too, you’ll be surprised with how many things you might miss if you live in Bath. It’s great to have a few hours to fully take in and immerse yourself in Baths foodie artisan world.

Even as a resident of Bath I felt like a tourist in my own city, realising there were so many eateries/stores I hadn’t even noticed.

These tours are all about celebrating the best in Bath – the best products, makers and producers in the city. Allowing you to be part of the amazing artisan culture. So if you are visiting Bath or want to plan a day out then I would highly recommend booking this tour! Who doesn’t want to end their week with GUILTY PLEASURE food and drink?

Thank you to Mike from SB for inviting me on this tour. It was a great afternoon with a lovely group of people and delicious Bath bites! I’ll be back for another tour soon!

 ****** MORE TOURS… ******

“There are always new tours in production, and the team & suppliers are currently working on a vegan tour, a sweet treats tour, full day tours of food producers in the local region, as well as upcoming combined food & pampering experiences!” Savouring Bath.

To book the “Guilty Pleasures” tour OR another Savouring Bath Tour click here or email hello@savouringbath.com.

GUILTY PLEASURE TOUR INFORMATION: 
Tour Duration – 3 hours |  Price per person – £35

Operating capacity – min 2 participants, max 10 participants

Public tour schedule – Thursdays & Fridays at 2pm

For a minimum of 4 participants, this tour can run on request (Monday to Friday afternoons only).

 

Special Easter Dessert at The Ivy Brasserie Bath

To celebrate Easter Weekend myself and UltraRunnerBean decided to visit two of our favourite wine and dine spots in Bath.

First, the new wine lounge in Milsom Place called Le Vignoble (blog post coming very soon), and second, ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT, The Ivy Brasserie Bath. The reason we decided to eat there was because The Ivy have a NEW special, limited edition, Easter bunny dessert on their menu (only there until Monday 2nd April!) With us both being chohoholics we thought we MUST go and try it! 

[If we want to see our whole meal at The Ivy read below — or if you want to skip to the dessert, scroll down to the bottom]


THE MEAL

To Start

To start we had Zucchini Fritto (courgette fries). So thin and not greasy like some fries are, they were very moreish! Served with a lemon, chilli and mint yoghurt. It looks like a lot of fries but once you start eating you can’t stop!

Crispy courgette fries with lemon, chilli and mint yoghurt

The Mains

I ordered my favourite, The Ivy Shepherds Pie. This dish is exquisite! The combination of minced lamb with small chunks of melt in the mouth slow-cooked lamb & the local Wookey Hole cheddar mash on top makes this shepherds pie stand out to any other I have had.

Slow-braised lamb shoulder with beef and Wookey Hole Cheddar potato mash

Plus, to accompany this dish you are served a side of gravy and a bottle of Worcester sauce. (They know me so well) SAUCE IS EVERYTHING! Not that this dish needs a lot of sauce but I LOVE how they give you extra sauce just in case.

Of course I did cover mine in gravy – you can’t not, the gravy tastes so good!

(Sharing a plate of Green Beans with Almonds on the side)

The other main course (which I will be ordering next time I’m in) was outstanding. From one mouthful of lamb and I was instantly jealous!!

Mustard and herb crust with creamed potato, garlic, spring vegetables and a rosemary sauce

UltraRunnerBean, who was eating this dish said:

“That was the best lamb I’ve ever had!”

I don’t think I need to say any more… that says it all. Melt in the mouth lamb! No wonder we were both quiet eating.

 

NOW ON TO THE BIG SPECIAL EASTER DESSERT

 

The Pud – EASTER BUNNY DESSERT

Melting Chocolate Easter Bunny

Served Friday 30th March – Monday 2nd April, this limited edition Easter dessert is a pure indulgent treat.

Priced at £7.95, the dessert features mouth-watering chocolate mousse, honeycomb and popping candy, all encased in a chocolatey bunny-shaped shell and accompanied with milk foam and a drizzle of warm caramel sauce.

Not too sweet and still quite light, this dessert was also a “stop talking and eat” dish. Don’t get me wrong, this was pure chocolate indulgence but it still didn’t taste TOO sweet or TOO much — so what I’m saying is, you CAN eat it all to yourself and not feel bad! Ha!

The airy, light chocolate mousse with spoonful of the golden chocolate bunny with a gooey chocolate centre was perfection!

Just look at it… (PLEASE KEEP THIS DESSERT ON THE MENU IVY BRASS!)

Sorry Bunny!!

Oh and we had to have another one of my favourite dishes too: my FAVOURITE (I know, I’m saying this a lot – but it’s true!) Creme Brûlée!

Classic set vanilla custard with a caramelised sugar crust

Thank you to The Ivy Brasserie Bath for another great meal, and special thank you to our waitress, Harriet.P. – great service!!

Happy Easter Everyone! I hope you all have a great long weekend!!


The Ivy Brasserie Bath – All Day Casual Dining Restaurant

39 Milsom Street, Bath

www.theivybrasseriebath.com

Le Vignoble Bath Featured

NEW “Pick’n’Mix” Wine Lounge: Le Vignoble Bath

The Grand Opening of Le Vignoble – Love the Vine – Wine Lounge & Retailer


 

There’s a new watering-hole in town – a “self-service wine” watering hole. It was the grand opening of Le Vignoble (a wine lounge & retailer) a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to attend the preview and launch party and trust me, it’s worth a visit. 

Remember that feeling you had looking at the pick’n’mix when you were a kid, well I had that same excited feeling looking at the enomatic wine machines at Le Vignoble.

Pick’n’mix – just an adult version, with wine!!

If you wanted you could have a taster of every single wine!

 

This wine bar is like no other I have been too before. The super trendy enomatic dispensing system is set up with a large selection of wines to choose from.

Yannick Loué, co-founder of Le Vignoble started the company in Plymouth in 2011. They opened their first lounge/retail store in Royal William Yard in Plymouth. Six years later, after the success of their innovative concept of a self-service wine lounge, Yannick brought it to Bath.

Located in Milsom Place (opposite Hunter & Sons), this is the perfect wine oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The space is light and open so you can still watch the passers by whilst you sip on a selection of high quality wines.

Le Vignoble, which means ‘the vineyard’ in French

So, how it works!

There are six dispensing cabinets in the lounge with a variety of different wines. You can see the bottle inside and below, in front of the (let’s call it) “WINE MACHINE”, there are tasting notes about each wine.

They change the wine in the dispensers monthly.

You can walk around to each dispenser, looking at the wines available and reading the tasting notes. It’s as if you are taking yourself on your own little wine tour. Nearly all the bottles offer a tasting option. You can get a shots worth (25ml) of wine in your glass starting from 60p – £8.70. This option gives you the opportunity to taste all the wines in the wine dispensers – a “try before you buy” experience. It’s a great idea!

Sizes available – 25ml Taster, 125ml, 175ml

For someone who isn’t a big RED wine drinker, I loved this idea. I can taste multiple red wines to find the right one for me.

Le Vignoble Cards

You can only use Le Vignoble cards when you use the wine dispensers (using your credit/debit card would probably be quite dangerous wouldn’t it!? Haha).

Card Option 1:  The Tab Card

A card for you and your friends to use throughout your visit and paying the amount at the end of your wine lounge experience. There’s no limit!

Card Option 2: The Top-Up Card

This is your own personal, private Le Vignoble wine card. Top-up with £5 or more and use this card without settling up a bill at the end of the night. This card makes you feel like you aren’t spending money at all (clever/dangerous idea) but it’s great as you can take this card away with you and can use it on each visit.

In order to get a Top-Up card you must put a minimum of £5 on the card. Money on the card is available for 1 year and can also be used at their wine lounge in Plymouth.

The reason I preferred this card over the Tab Card is because it keeps track of what wines you have tried throughout your visit. On your next visit you can be reminded what wine you tried, simply by asking them to check your card history.

Why Le Vignoble is different?

WINE TASTING DOESN’T NEED TO BE “SNOBBY”

Yannick explained that he wanted to create a wine lounge that was welcoming and friendly, open to those who may not know a lot about wine. Their brand ethos is to appeal to new and experienced wine drinkers, and stepping away from “wine snobbiness”. He reminded us that wine is produced by farmers (and there is no snobbiness in that side of the production) therefore since the wine makers aren’t snobby about their wine means that the enjoyment of wine shouldn’t be pretentious or elitist either.

They focus primarily on small producers and unusual wines. The staff are happy to talk about the story behind each wine (they have 300 wines available!).

Why you need to visit!

You become your own wine connoisseur!

This is the perfect place for a date. Fancy, in the sense you are going out to drink good quality wine, but a friendly environment to feel relaxed and chilled. The self-serving concept it also a great talking point for any “first date awkward silences’.

It’s a fun place to visit whether you’re a couple or group of friends. You can try any wine you like and don’t have to make a commitment to drinking one wine; it gives everyone the opportunity to be their own wine conisseur.

The staff are there to help you, give you recommendations of wines you might like and knowledge about where the wines comes from. But, if you would prefer to discover and build your wine tasting knowledge yourself, that’s fine! You are given free range of all their wine dispensers and can expand your own wine knowledge by reading the tasting notes and sipping on tasters.

As mentioned before, this all lends itself to their ethos, stepping away from “snobby wine talk” and instead, focusing on your individual taste and palet.

A selection of charcuterie, cheeses and nibbles are on offer, to accompany your wine.

HELLO CAMEMBERT!

EXTRA NOTE:

  1. Le Vignoble will be offering a variety of events such as “Meet The Winemaker” and themed food and wine nights (see Plymouths list of events for examples of what’s to come to Bath)
  2. There will be weekly talks about the wine industry/where it’s made/how to discover wine/how to drink it.
  3. Private wine tastings sessions available.
  4. Mégane, the manager of the Bath store is French and a champagne/sparkling wine expert.
  5. And if you are interesting in developing your knowledge even further, Le Vignoble offer WSET qualifications such as the Level 1 Award in Wines (QFC) & Level 2 course in Wines and Spirits.

Le Vignoble has so many things to offer, whether you want it to be your casual Friday night spot for a drink and nibbles OR if you want to learn more and expand your knowledge of wine. It’s an sleek, relaxed wine lounge that will definitely become one of the go-to wine bars in the city. I highly recommend a visit if you want a fun (and affordable) wine tasting experience.

Thank you to Yannick and all the lovely staff at Le Vignoble for a great party and for being so friendly. And thank you to Madeleine at CoCo PR for the invitation!


Le Vignoble Bath

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 12:00 – 23.00 / Friday & Saturday 12:00 – 00:00 / Sunday 12.00 – 23:00

12/13 Milsom Place

Milsom Street

Bath

BA1 1BZ

t: +44(0) 1225 465907

e: bath@levignoble.co.uk

Tapas Rev

Tapas Revolution Bath – The Unveiling of the NEW Spanish Mural (the only one in the UK!)

It was great to be invited back to Tapas Revolution Bath to see the unveiling of the bespoke hand-painted mural. In June last year, when I was there for the Press Preview of the restaurant, Omar Allibhoy told us that he had collaborated with renowned tile artist Antonio Lastrucci and Estrella Galicia, to create a special mural for this restaurant.

Omar talked about it so passionately that I was very excited and intrigued to see the mural in person.

As mentioned in my previous Tapas Revolution post, this restaurant is all about giving you the traditional, authentic experience of Spanish cuisine. With the addition of this beautiful hand-painted tiled wall you get a really sense and feel of Spanish history and tradition.

“Inspired by historic Spanish tile art tradition – this special mural will be the first of its kind in the UK”

 

Inspired by Estrella Galicia and Tapas Revolution

Artist and Author: Antonio Moreno Lastrucci, Cerámica Lastrucci.

Designed and painted by hand following the Sevilliano ceramic tradition in Seville, 2017.

How long did it take to create?

It took Lastrucci (based in Seville and one of the few remaining tile artists in Spain) over six months to hand-paint the tile mural.

This large traditional piece of art is over four meters wide and three meters tall.

What’s the inspiration?

The inspiration is from Estrella Galicia – a family owned Spanish brewery – and the history and craft behind making the beer.

Omar told us the brewery still looks exactly the same today and is definitely worth a visit.

Origins of Hand-painted Tile Art in Spain

Spanish tile art dates back thousands of years and in medieval times artisan tile murals were often found in palaces and churches throughout Spain.

 

“I’m really excited to unveil this amazing piece of art in Tapas Revolution Bath. Tile art has a fascinating history in Spain dating back thousands of years and it is important to me to bring a flavour of this to my restaurant in Bath”

Omar Allibhoy, Chef & Founder.

 

Omar explained that each decorative element has its own symbolic meaning. For example, the boarder contains scallop shells that are the symbol of Galician and its sea. The base of the image represents the fountain that provides the pure spring water used in the production of Estrella Galicia and is the base of the product’s quality. The spring water used is a symbol of purity and freshness and bunches of hops and barley along the bottom of the mural symbolise nature and its fertility. The overall symbolic meaning behind this mural is the celebration of sea, land and it’s natural fertility.

The symbolic connotations in this traditional Spanish art links to Baths historical significance with natural spring water.

 

The symbol of a star is often referred to as oldest guild emblem of brewers.

Spanish Mural Tapas Revolution

Spanish Mural Tapas Revolution

TAPAS REVOLUTION

“the very best of Spanish food to the people of Bath, from traditional tapas to modern cuisine. The contemporary tapas bar offers dishes cooked with the finest ingredients sourced from small artisan producers in Spain, all freshly prepared.”

Tapas served at unveiling – it was DE-LICIOUS!!! Great tapas!

Tapas Rev

Omar wants this traditional mural to be a must-see in Bath – especially as it is the ONLY hand-painted Spanish mural in the UK! People can come into the restaurant to see it, whether they are eating or just passing by. It’s definitely worth a look!

I’d definitely recommend if you are walking in Southgate, pop by, sit at the bar drinking a glass or two of Spanish beer, eating a plate of tapas (or two) and take in this Spanish tiled master piece.

Thank you to Neil Reading PR and Omar Allibhoy for the invitation to see the unveiling of this beautiful piece of traditional Spanish art, along with the delicious tapas dishes and Estrella Galicia beer. Great evening!

 

Tapas Revolution Bath: http://www.tapasrevolution.com/bath/

20A St Lawrence Street, Southgate Bath, Bath, BA1 1AN

P: 01225 312 917

E: bath@tapasrevolution.com

THE IVY BATH BRASSERIE OPENS PRIVATE DINING ROOM AND SECOND FLOOR TERRACE THIS SPRING

“Everything in this place is gorgeous – food, décor, service, the people – that’s why it’s one of my favourite places to eat in Bath”

BIG NEWS! The Ivy Brasserie Bath has now opened there second floor private dining area AAAND a fabulous outdoor terrace/secret garden!

I was very lucky to be invited back to The Ivy Brasserie for a delicious preview breakfast. We were invited to take a sneak peek at the NEW private dining area and outdoor terrace.

Private Dining in The Baldwin Room

“Taking its name from architect Thomas Baldwin, the beautiful light and airy space in the heart of Bath will be available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, events, celebrations and informal meetings, seven days a week.”

The walls are adorned with the colourful, Bath inspired artwork which add quirky character to a very glamorous, bright and eclectic space. We sat around a HUGE dining table which was laid out beautifully with bright flowers, dazzling, classic silver wear and adorable little tea stands with breakfast pastries. I felt very glamorous for a Tuesday morning – having a weekday breakfast in a room like this!

This private dining room is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner (see example menus further down).


As much as this room will be used for a lot of corporate events and special occasions it still felt like a  relaxed space for more informal occasions too. As I left that morning I was trying to think up ideas to book this room out myself. Maybe a special birthday breakfast in September?

  • Perfect for celebrations, private parties, corporate breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
  • Accommodates 30 guests on one long table, 40 across four rounds or 70 guests for a standing reception – a minimum booking of 16 guests.

This room has a great view over Milsom Street. I could sit in these gorgeous blue velvet seats, enjoying a fancy cocktail (or a civilised afternoon tea) and sit there for hours watching the world go by.

For the extra special touch, depending on your event, complimentary menu cards and place cards are provided, as well as tables beautifully decorated with local seasonal flowers and tea lights.

The Ivy Brasserie Bath “interiors are designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio”

Here are a few of the set menus you can choose for your group/event.

It was lovely to have another breakfast at The Ivy Brasserie again. This time I had the Hot Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, lemon balm and a warm strawberry sauce. It was also accompanied with Greek yoghurt, however, I asked if I could change it to Coconut Yoghurt (which was on another dish on the menu). They were more than happy to change that – and might I recommend having the Coconut Yoghurt instead – just adds a bit more sweetness (if you’re a sweet tooth like me).

These pancakes were DE-LICIOUS! Even though I was non-talking with fellow bloggers before we were served breakfast, as soon as breakfast arrived I fell silent. And it wasn’t just me, quite a few of us at my end of the table just stopped talking – surely this is a good sign of great food?! OR are we just really anti-social?! Haha!

 

Al Fresco Terrace

Shhh! The “secret garden”

Here’s a sneak peek of the outdoor terrace – what I would like to call the SECRET GARDEN OF MILSOM STREET.

Beautiful French style table and chairs, large mirrors all around, making it feel like a larger space, and an old open fireplace to make it feel cosy. I felt like whatever the weather, whether it’s cold or hot, I would want to sit out there and enjoy a late brunch or a cocktail or two.

You don’t have to book a table to visit the upstairs terrace but I would definitely choose a good time to go – this will be a VERY popular spot. Opening at the perfect time now, with the sun making an appearance and the evenings getting slightly warmer, I know where I will be spending weekend brunches and evening cocktails.

Big thank you to Madeleine at CoCo PR and The Ivy Brasserie Bath for inviting me back again. I love my visits to The Ivy Brasserie. It feels like I’m visiting my dream home – ‘DECOR GOALS!’ (Or even ‘wedding décor goals’….. too soon?? Probably. But I’ll keep it in mind 😉 )

Private dining and outdoor terrace opening to the public Monday, 12 March 2018.

“The Ivy Bath Brasserie will now be able to offer visitors and locals alike a variety of sophisticated and friendly all-day dining options across two floors.”

 

39 Milsom Street, Bath, BA1 1DS

www.theivybathbrasserie.com

Reservation phone number: 01225 307100

Instagram & Twitter: @ivybathbrass

Thanks to Madeleine from Coco PR for the invitation – www.weareco.co.uk

Blackberry Cheesecake at The Bybrook

Michelin-Starred Chef Robert Potter presents his NEW Autumn Menu for The Bybrook

It was a lovely surprise to be invited to preview the new Autumn menu at The Bybrook restaurant at Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe. Michelin-starred chef Robert Potter served us eight Autumnal themed dishes – yes! I did say 8! I basically rolled myself back home after all that food! 

A 5 STAR COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL AND GOLF CLUB

“Standing to attention in the cosy Cotswold countryside, The Manor House offers a wealth of experiences to savour, from overnight breaks to unrivalled meetings, world-class dining to award-winning golf, dream weddings or the perfect setting for a private family celebration. Surrounded by 365 acres of spectacular Cotswolds countryside, The Manor House is one of the most beautiful destinations you will discover. At the heart of the 14th century village of Castle Combe, and waiting to be explored are the carefully tended parkland, woodland and gardens and village beyond.”

Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe

It was a pleasure to have Executive Chef, Robert Potter explain how each dish was created, drawing our attention to the locally sourced ingredients (some of which were grown in the hotel’s own garden). It was good to appreciate how much work went into each dish, making all of them memorable.

“Potter says he has “a dedicated focus to serving seasonal and classical food combinations” and his aim “is to create a relaxed fine-dining menu influenced by the seasons as well as being dictated by the beautiful British produce harvested from within the grounds of The Manor House.’’ The Bybrook.

The chef introduced each course, explaining how he created it and the flavours we would expect to taste, then the sommelier matched a wine to each dish and explained the pairing. I’ll give a brief overview of each dish and the photos will speak for themselves.

First, we were served with an amuse-bouche – a selection of three small dishes to get our taste buds fired up. One of which was foie gras in a small cone with golden raisin puree at the bottom.

Plus a selection of warm, homemade bread. The favourite of the night – the caramelised onion bread roll.

So, onto the main event!

1. CRAB – Hand rolled macaroni, Cornish white crab, mooli, Exmoor caviar, chervil, shellfish foam.

Served with Albarino, A20, Rias Baixas, Spain, 2016

This dish wasn’t too fishy, even with the Exmoor caviar, and the shellfish foam was light and delicate. I think this meal would even appeal to someone who isn’t too keen on fish.

Would I eat this again? Yes, but not my first option for a starter.

2. SALMON – Confit of citrus cured Loch Duart salmon, marinated garden beetroot, Yukon gold and horseradish mousse, dill.

Served with Crémant de Bourgogne, Veuve Ambal Grande Cuvée, France, NV

I am going back to visit JUST for this dish. The combination of flavours with the salmon was amazing!

Hmm, so words to describe this dish – I’m not a food critic but let’s go with… succulent, tender, melt-in-the-mouth salmon with a tangy kick from the beetroot and horseradish. I wish I could create this meal at home!

Would I eat this again? Well, obviously, yes! ^^^

3. FOIE GRAS (controversial I know, but had to try it) – Torchon of Rougie foie gras, golden raisin puree, sweet wine jelly, date and walnut toast.

Served with Sauternes, Le Garonnelles, Bordeaux, France, 2015

It was interesting to try. The foie gras dish was accompanied with warm date and walnut toast. The foie gras was a smooth, rich, buttery pate, I wasn’t blown away by the foie gras flavour but with a little spread on the toast together with sweet wine jelly added some sharper flavours to offset the richness of the foie gras.

The wine that accompanied this dish also stood out – it was a sweeter tasting wine, the same wine used in the sweet jelly. The wine had a honey and toasty flavour which also went with the next dish.

Would I eat this again? Hmm, I wouldn’t order this as a dish but wouldn’t say no to a canape style version (like the amuse-bouche we had at the start).

How does the sommelier pick the wines for each dish?

Manuel, the sommelier, told us that he does not only take into account matching a wine with a particular dish but makes sure the wine taste actually goes with the next dish to be served – as that wine flavour will linger in your mouth as you start your next course.

4. HALIBUT – Braised Gigha halibut, buttered lettuce, sea purslane, cockles, mussels, chive beurre blanc.

Served with Chateau Pierr-Bise, Clos de la Couilaine, Savennieres, France, 2014

Perfectly cooked halibut that was buttery and tender and served with a silky smooth beurre blanc. The wine that accompanied this dish was perfect! A clean cut, mineral flavour with a hint of citrus fruit.

Would I eat this again? Maybe, I’m not a massive lover of seafood (well cockles and mussels), I would be more than happy with just the Halibut. So I guess, yes, I would, but a simpler version of this dish.

5. BEEF – Fillet of Herefordshire Longhorn beef, braised oxtail, pancetta, crushed salt baked celeriac, girolles, truffled heritage potatoes, red wine sauce.

Served with Fog Mountain Merlot, California, USA, 2015

Everything you want in a warm, hearty, Autumnal meal, but with added luxury taste of braised oxtail and truffled creamy heritage potato on the side.

Would I eat this again? YES! In a heartbeat!

6. YOGHURT – Whipped yoghurt, iced muscat grapes (+ grapes 4 ways)

This was a great palette cleanser and we all agreed that we would love to eat this for breakfast every day. Light and refreshing yoghurt with added texture from the grapes prepared in a variety of ways e.g. dehydrated, crushed, poached and a surprise frozen grape at the bottom.

Would I eat this again? I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t order it after tasting the other desserts. It would be a good choice if you only wanted something light as a dessert, but, I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth so this might be just a bit too healthy for me 😉 As I said, I would have this for breakfast!

7. BLACKBERRY – Brillat-Savarin cheesecake, blackberry jelly, confit lemon, blackberry sorbet.

Served with Dow’s Late Bottle Vintage, Douro, Portugal, 2011

I’m not always a fan of cheesecake but this cheesecake was the perfect combination of being indulgently creamy but still very light. The sharpness of the sorbet, lemon and blackberry arrangement on the plate and the sweet blackberry jelly layer on top made this cheesecake a delight to eat.

Would I eat this again? Yes, in a flash! Tangy blackberry is the perfect flavour to accompany this cheesecake. Also, I would order this dessert for the presentation too, just to impress my friends 😉

Blackberry Cheesecake at The Bybrook

Blackberry Cheesecake at The Bybrook

8. LEMON – Amalfi lemon tart, Oakchurch farm raspberries, baby basil, raspberry sorbet.

Served with Tokaji, Late Harvest, Hungary, 2015

This was the dessert that Michelin highlighted across their social media when it was announced that Rob Potter had been awarded a Michelin star. Unfortunately, this dessert is only on the menu for the next two weeks as the raspberry season is over. We all felt very privileged to eat this dessert since it was a stand-out dish in the Michelin Guide this year!

Would I eat this again? YES! It’s exactly what you would expect from a Michelin-star dessert. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the BEST LEMON TART I have ever tasted. The smooth lemon filling was perfect, the pastry base melted in the mouth and I enjoyed the crunchy, sugary topping.

Thanks to everyone at The Bybrook. It was a pleasure to be invited to such a special evening!

Don’t wait for a special occasion, go and visit – you won’t be disappointed with the quality of food!

Book here: https://www.exclusive.co.uk/the-manor-house/restaurants-bars/the-bybrook/Or call: 01249 782206