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Bath weekend break guide: the best places to eat, drink and stay

The best places to eat and drink in Bath. West Country ciders, tangy cheeses, smoked eel and rhubarb vanilla martinis are a few of the treats this spa town offers

1 Best for coffee

Head to Colonna & Small’s for a serious espresso. The brews, all double shots, change weekly, there are tasting notes for each one, and the in-house baristas are all experts (6 Chapel Row).

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2 Top-notch produce

Visit Bath Farmers’ Market – the first of its kind in the UK. On Saturdays (9am-1.30pm) you can pick up a wedge of Westcombe Dairy’s tangy Somerset Cheddar or try a pint of Dick Willows’ proper West Country cider (Green Park Station).

3 Best-value lunch

Go to Allium Brasserie in the Abbey Hotel to enjoy chef Chris Staines’ elegant cooking at bargain prices for two courses such as salt-baked beetroot salad with goat’s cheese, hazelnut dressing and grilled gem, and soy-braised pig cheek with carrot and ginger quinoa and nam jim salad (North Parade).

4 The afternoon tea

Bath buns are up for grabs at lots of posh hotels in the city. Bathonians, though, head to Sam’s Kitchen in the city’s artisan quarter for tea, cake and fabulous people watching. Try the white choc chip brownie (61 Walcot Street).

5 Meat-lover’s treat

The place to satisfy carnivorous cravings is The Chequers. Owned by the team behind two other well regarded Bath pubs, the Marlborough Tavern and the Hare & Hounds, this double AA-roseette-winning gastropub offers popular Sunday roasts, 35-day dry-aged rib-eye steaks and superb burgers. It’s also a convivial place to sit and enjoy a pint of Bath Gem ale (50 Rivers Street).

6 The £50 tasting menu

Try Menu Gordon Jones – at this intimate dining room the dishes are imaginative and expertly cooked, with offerings such as Severn & Wye smoked eel with salted purple potatoes, maple syrup, cucumber and radish. The waiting list can be three months long, so you’ll need to book ahead. All wines are organic and biodynamic (2 Wellsway).

7 Best for veggies

Typical dishes at Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen include smoked field mushroom glazed in a rich mushroom demi-glace with baby baked potatoes in a mustard and chervil sauce, salt-baked celeriac purée and market greens. The house cocktails are always imaginative, too. Rhubarb vanilla martini, anyone? (2 North Parade Passage).

8 The gin thing

Don’t miss the Canary Gin Bar, which offers up to 200 gins to choose from. Try the new Bath Gin (£7) – it’s flavoured with 10 botanicals including burnt orange peel and cardamom, and Thornbury’s 6 O’Clock, mixers included (2/3 Queen Street).

HOW TO DO IT

One-bed Halcyon Apartments, next door to sister restaurant and cocktail bar The Porter.
The Great Bath Feast is a month-long food festival.
For more information, see visitbath.co.uk.


Words LAURA ROWE  Photographs TRAVEL PIX COLLECTION, AWL-IMAGES

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TRUST olive Laura Rowe lived and worked in Bath for a decade and was the editor of local food magazine Crumbs.


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