The restaurant of our sister property, Abbey Hotel, Bath, we’ll always have a soft spot for Allium. The restaurant décor – all swathes of hessian curtains, strings of glass pendant lights and vast pieces of contemporary art – is as original as the cooking. Expect the best of seasonal ingredients transformed into inspirational yet informal dishes which are a joy to eat. With three AA Rosettes and a Best Restaurant accolade from the Bath Good Food Awards under its belt, Allium is reliably at the forefront of the city’s competitive restaurant scene. To make a reservation, call 01225 461603.
Because our restaurant is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner, we wanted to share some of our favourite local restaurants for you to get your teeth into during your stay…
Henry Scott has garnered rave reviews with his eponymous restaurant on Bartlett Street since opening last year. His tagline of honest, independent food doesn’t give much away, but Henry has an innate ability to conjure beautifully-imaginative platefuls and offers a mix of seasonal classics – often with a nod to his West Country roots – alongside a full-on, and entirely delicious, vegan menu. The restaurant vibe is modern British, with a relaxed informal atmosphere.
If you’re a fully signed-up member of the steak-loving tribe, then we suggest you join the Herd for your dinner. Supremely succulent, locally-reared slabs of Aberdeen Angus and Hereford crosses, hung for 21-28 days, are served up alongside your favourite accompaniments – think twice-cooked chips, béarnaise sauce for dunking and thick-cut onion rings. They pride themselves on the provenance of their meat and serve a lip-licking sticky toffee pudding too.
A picturesque Italian with unbeatable views of Pulteney Weir and lashings of charm to match, Ponte Vecchio is our go-to for traditional Italian food with a side of culinary flair. You can expect everything from simple pizzas to perfect homemade pasta dishes, refined mains and classic Italian puds. And while you’ll undoubtedly find sunshine-filled comfort food and a decent bottle of red on every night of the week, if you’re staying on a Friday, you get the added bonus of sultry live jazz.
Fish ‘n’ chip fans will be sold by the Scallop Shell’s Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year accolade, which it deservedly picked up at last year’s National Fish & Chip Awards, but we can’t rave about this indie enough. With its rustic beach-themed décor, open kitchen and roll-top ice bath, filled with the catch of the day – from moules to giant prawns and crab, alongside the classics – this local favourite hits the mark, and then some, every time. We can’t wait to see the new 60-seat expansion upstairs, which will include a terrace, an extra special seafood display and a window into their potato room…
Seekers of vegetarian fine dining need look no further than Acorn, a destination foodie haunt in one of Bath’s oldest and most beautiful buildings, which dates back to 1622. They take a medium-size plate approach, meaning you can mix and match your dishes – salt-baked celeriac, chioggia beets, Maris Piper and kale beignets, walnut tortellini and the like – or simply order the whole ultra-seasonal menu and share and share alike. Classic or connoisseur wine matching will only add to the dining experience.
The Mint Room
Renowned for its modern approach to Indian cuisine, the food is more lamb biryani – local to Hyderabad – concealed beneath a theatrical pastry lid, than your usual chicken tikka masala. While you will find some of the classics alongside their lesser-known dishes, we’d definitely recommend the Mint Room’s tasting menu, which takes you on a culinary tour of the subcontinent, via roadside cafes and Delhi’s vibrant street food. The flavours here are clear, fresh and bright and they’ve also been working with a wine expert to meticulously match the notoriously tricky plates.
Taking inspiration from culinary luminaries Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson and Joyce Molyneux – for their unfailing ability to source the best ingredients, cook them simply with respect, while also putting their unique stamp on them – chef patron of The Circus, Ali Golden, specialises in beautiful platefuls of food that you really want to eat. She has a lightness of hand with fish, an expert understanding of flavour pairings, and currently holds the accolade of making the best mac ‘n’ cheese – complete with crispy onions, apple sauce, gruyère and lardons – we ever did eat.
Perching above a cheese shop on a corner of John Street, Olé feels every bit the hidden gem – and all the more special due its bijou size. Super-friendly Spanish staff and an awesome wine (and gin) list ensure the sort of buzzy vibes that transport you straight back to sun-soaked holidays. Expect on point tapas classics such as acorn-fed jamón and nutty Manchego, slow-cooked chorizo in Rioja, gambas pil pil humming with garlic and chilli, alongside pokey fresh anchovies served on hand-made crisps, the most tender paprika-dusted octopus, seriously good churros and much more…