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

Breakfast Preview at The Ivy Brasserie Bath

BREAKFAST PREVIEW

I was invited to attend a little preview of the breakfast menu this week. We were given a small taster menu of the breakfast on offer.

We were given a selection of mini pastries and tea and coffee to start.

I chose the Eggs Royale and Green Juice.

Egg Royale: Poached eggs on top of an English breakfast muffin, with smoked salmon, lemon, and a hollandaise sauce. The hollandaise sauce is perfection!


Green Juice: full of natural goodness: Avocado, mint, celery, spinach, apple, parsley.

Not too “grassy” but maybe not the best green juice to start with if you are not a fan of green juices.

I really enjoyed the Green Juice however it was quite filling with the rest of the breakfast. Maybe just a juice and a couple of mini pastries would be enough for another breakfast.

One of the best seats in the house. With a view of the busy Milsom Street and below the stunning chandelier inside.

A little gift to take home…

Another £10 Tasty Bargain! Great Bath Feast ‘Tenner Treats’: The Clifton Sausage Bath

I had to make the most of The Great Bath Feasts amazing ‘Tenner Treat’ offer, AND this time, I visited somewhere that serves one of my all-time, favourite meals… EVER! The classic, BANGERS AND MASH!!

The Clifton Sausage, Bath.

“a trio of gourmet sausages (Bath Blue cheese & leek, Clifton and Old Spot Pork) served with creamy mash and homemade gravy and accompanied by a 125ml glass of house red, white, rosé wine or a soft drink for £10 at The Clifton Sausage throughout The Great Bath Feast

Perfect comfort food for the cooler Autumn months.

First of all, I was surprised at how big this restaurant was – covering two floors and extending out into a conservatory and outdoor terrace at the back, they have a great view of Bath. We sat in the perfect spot to see the view and were very excited to treat ourselves to a classic British dish.

So, get to it! The meal! 

As I mentioned above, this meal is my favourite meal, OF ALL TIME (not being over the top, it seriously is!). If it’s anywhere on a menu I have to have it! Sooo… I don’t think it’s going too far to say that I am quite the “connoisseur” of sausages and mash 😉

It was a delicious meal made up of three varieties of gourmet sausages – Bath blue cheese & leek, The Clifton (pork, cider and wholegrain mustard) and Gloucester Old Spot Traditional Pork, accompanied with mash potato, onion gravy and parsnip crisps.

The presentation was great, with a good amount of parsnip crisps on top and a generous serving of gravy on the side.

The sausages were great! I really enjoyed all the flavours but the flavour that stood out for me was the traditional Gloucester Old Spot pork sausage. Second in line was the Bath Blue cheese and leek sausage, it was nice to have a stronger flavour come through but the sausage meat was slightly crumbly (if that’s the right word to explain it). Finally, The Clifton sausage with pork, cider and wholegrain mustard. This was nice, however, I would have much preferred to eat this sausage in a casserole (such as my Mum’s homemade sausage, apple & cider casserole). Still, it was great to be able to try three different varieties of sausage in one meal!

One small issue to note – not a massive issue, just a small one – was that I was a little disappointed in the amount of mash. Maybe this is just me being a mash fiend and maybe I don’t need/shouldn’t have a giant mountain of mash potato on my plate (think of the carbs Katie!) but let’s just say for me this wasn’t my “normal” portion of mash (…usually a half plate’s worth if I’m being honest). But I guess that is what you are paying for, £10 for a meal and a drink.

Still, if you are a sausage and mash connoisseur like me I would definitely pay The Clifton Sausage a visit – these sausages are too good to be missed!

FYI: NOT PART OF THE GBF OFFER BUT… we finished our meal off with a cheeky Eton Mess 😉

GBF Tenner Treat abbey hotel bath

Not to be missed! Great Bath Feast ‘Tenner Treats’: The Abbey Hotel Bath

GET INVOLVED. BE INDULGED. ENJOY THE BIG BATH FOODIE EVENT OF THE YEAR!

On the hunt to treat yourself to some delicious food and drink at this year’s GREAT BATH FEAST?

GBF Tenner Treat abbey hotel bath GBF Tenner Treat abbey hotel bath

Make the most of their great ‘Tenner Treats’ offers for the next two weeks (ends 8th October).

Myself and fellow Bath blogger Georgie visited The Abbey Hotel ArtBar for their ‘Tenner Treats’ offer. Choose from a selection of delicious bar snacks (2 dishes per person) and a glass of wine or beer for only £10 each. What a bargain!

GBF Tenner Treat Abbey HotelGBF Tenner Treat abbey hotel bathGBF Tenner Treat

We chose the salt and pepper squid with tomato and chilli salsa, two scotched quail’s egg with a DELICIOUS homemade brown sauce and finally some salt cod croquettes with saffron and garlic aioli. Out of the three dishes, I think the Scotched quail’s egg was my favourite – particularly because the homemade brown sauce was amazing! (And for someone who isn’t fussed about brown sauce that’s saying something!)

GBF Tenner Treat abbey hotel bath

GBF Tenner Treat

Don’t miss out! Go and try one of these great Tenner Treat offers at one of the many restaurants in Bath. Instead of using that tenner you would normally spend on an “occasional” weekly takeaway, use it to experience a local foodie hotspot in Bath instead.

Find the offers here: Great Bath Feast ‘Tenner Treats’

**I would advise calling any of the restaurants ahead of your visit to check what times the offers run – sometimes only Mon-Fri or only afternoons with some venues.

NEW! NANABAR London: “like ice cream, but good for you”

“NAUGHTY BUT NICE-CREAM”

“like ice cream, but good for you”

London’s first made-to-order Nice Cream bar – 45 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch.

OPENED: SATURDAY 1ST JULY


After popping to London for a few errands, walking through Shoreditch where I used to spend a lot of time visiting my sister, I stumbled across a new foodie hot spot.

It caught my eye as I saw a photographer outside taking photos. As I glanced in I could see people sat on giant wooden steps (picture below), loud music blaring out and a buzz of people inside. I glanced at the sign and read MADE WITH FROZEN BANANAS, before reading on I immediately thought back to my old uni housemate showing me how she made healthy ice-cream by freezing bananas and blending them. I remember it tasted amazing – thanks for introducing me to it Alice 😉

Then, reading on, I realised they were selling just that!

The second time I walked past that day I popped in to explore. I walked up to the counter and saw a sign saying ‘Today’s flavour’… it said mango (I hate mango). As I couldn’t see any other flavours I thought, ‘Naah, I’ll give it a miss’, but as I was walking out the founder Justin caught me and asked if I needed any help. I said I didn’t like mango so I wouldn’t be a fan and I couldn’t see any other flavours.

He went on to tell me that they serve one flavour per day and reassured me that they had other great flavours to try too. I started to get interested when he asked if I liked chocolate (how did he know), and mentioned that the Sunday flavour, HAZELNUT TART, is basically Nutella. (Now I’m interested!)

Justin told me that all the ingredients they use to make their Nice Cream are Natural, Organic & 100% Plant-based and persuaded me to try the SATURDAY FLAVOUR:

Mango Nice Cream topped with Coconut flakes, Pumpkin Seeds & Broken Brazil Nuts, served with a Medjool Date caramel.

You can also add extra toppings like chia seeds, nut butters or granola. I chose to add peanut butter, thinking that at least if I didn’t like the other flavours I could just eat the peanut butter. Whilst I was waiting for my order I thought, “How will it be successful… with just one flavour per day, and with people like me, who have a MASSIVE sweet tooth for all things chocolate – how could I be converted to a fruity, healthier option?”

BUT…

(you knew this was coming),

…after trying a pot of flavours/ingredients that don’t usually take my fancy I was completely surprised! I don’t like mango, or coconut or brazil nuts but I devoured the whole pot!

 

Homemade caramel made out of medjool dates

After thinking that I wouldn’t like any of the ingredients I was so surprised that I loved every single mouthful. 

It was refreshing and moreish, and even after eating a large pot of Nice Cream you didn’t feel over indulged on sweetness. It was just the perfect amount of sweet, icy, deliciousness!

The NICE-CREAM (as they like to call it) had the lightness of sorbet and the yummy, moreish-ness of ice-cream.  As you tucked into the flavoured nice-cream you occasionally came across a lump of frozen banana, adding a nice refreshing crunch.

You also get a substantial amount of nice-cream for your money, and it is definitely enough to share between two!

PRICE
One pot of Nice Cream £5.50 (with no added extras)
Upgrades:
– Granola 50p
– Regular shots: Chia/Flax/Peanut Butter 50p
– Premium shots: Hemp/Almond Butter 75p
 
 
So far I’ve tried one flavour combination and it was delicious. On my way to London again today and I’m definitely popping back in to try the MONDAY FLAVOUR SENSATION. 

Check out my Instagram to find out what flavour I try next >> @katiewoo_