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Bath and Glastonbury?


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We are heading off to spend a long weekend in Bath a few weeks from now... and then hop over to Glastonbury while we're in the area, as I've never been there. Does anyone have any eating suggestions, restaurants or local products?

Of course, I've heard Cheddar is not far away, which makes me laugh because a few years ago in America there was this Wendy's commercial where they interviewed the residents of Cheddar on how they felt about Cheddar! (this was to market their new cheddar burger)... it was very funny, anyone else see it? :biggrin:

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We are heading off to spend a long weekend in Bath a few weeks from now... and then hop over to Glastonbury while we're in the area, as I've never been there.  Does anyone have any eating suggestions, restaurants or local products?

We had a very nice lunch at Fishworks in Bath recently.

It's basically either a restaurant with a fish shop attached, or possibly a fish shop with some tables depending how you look at it. You can choose from the menu or specials on a blackboard, or you can just pick something from the shop and ask them to cook it.

We both had some brandade as a starter. I then had spider crab grilled with garlic butter, and Judy had sea bass with a side order of samphire (and a long wait while I worked systematically through the crab).

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BATH! Well, how long have u got?? ill make it easy and tell you the very best.... Royal Crescent hotel to sleep and have dinner....

also the moody goose is a brill restaurant and if you want to wonder out of town a little bit, there are some fab country hotl restaurants.....

spoilt for choice in Bath. Also they have a great indian called the Rajpoot.

ps - in Glastonbury, there is a delightful pizzaria on the high st. called Gi Gi's and the garlic bread pizza there is heaven

Edited by cappers123 (log)
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Best 2 restaurants in Bath are Moody Goose (centre of town) and Bath Priory (couple of miles out of town). Both starred, Priory does better food, Moody Goose is more adventurous and informal.

With all respect to Duncan (and I have met him so don't want to offend him :smile: ) I disliked Fishworks quite intensely as a sort of sub Rick Stein copy , not half as good and charging the same prices. The way you can choose your fish is good, but when we were there the cooking of it was not great, and the mashed potato was rubbish. Mind you, we have not visited for a year so the above view may be more reliable.

No 5 Bistro used to do quite good mediterranean bistro food, grilled Tuna etc and is a nice informal space to sit.

Paul

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With all respect to Duncan (and I have met him so don't want to offend him  :smile: ) I disliked Fishworks quite intensely as a sort of sub Rick Stein copy , not half as good and charging the same prices. The way you can choose your fish is good, but when we were there the cooking of it was not great, and the mashed potato was rubbish. Mind you, we have not visited for a year so the above view may be more reliable.

I'm not offended. We've only been there once, so it might vary wildly, and we haven't been to Rick Stein's at all, so I can't compare the two. They say the Bath restaurant has been refurbished recently, but I wouldn't know whether that includes food as well as decor.

I thought the spider crab was very nice, but I haven't actually had spider crab before (I've looked at them in Oxford market and concluded we didn't have anything big enough to cook one). The bread was pretty reasonable, and was served with garlic mayonnaise and sauce vert for dipping, and they replenished both bread and sauces when our brandade arrived.

Judy, I believe, liked her sea bass, but didn't think it was the best she had ever had.

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Lots of good places in the country outside. Prime country house hotels.

In no particular order

Charlton House at Shepton Mallet (GFG 6). I used to have a company in the old malthouse opposite, and the palce is much improved.

Homewood Park at Hinton Charterhouse (GFG 4)

Hunstrete House, Hunstrete (GFG 4)

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I'm very excited about the pizzeria... we will definitely find that, I'm always hoping to find good pizza in the UK.

Is Rajpoot better than the Indian restaurants in London?

And, Paul, what do you mean Moody Goose is more adventurous? Creative in their food? Or an adventure as to what you might get?

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mmm perhaps adventurous was not the best word, I meant it in relation to the Bath Priory rather than to say Fat Duck. Bath Priory sticks pretty closely to the modern British (i.e. French with a mediterranean bit chucked in) idiom, you know pan fried sea bass with shellfish risotto, roast rack of lamb that sort of thing, but does it very well and sometimes exceptionally well. The Moody Goose has a similar modern British style but would use more traditional vegetable accompaniments (swede, turnip, cauliflower stuff, albeit not during the summer I guess), or would be the sort of place to possibly include lambs tongue or kidney with your rack of lamb, that sort of thing. The sort of thing you would possibly not do in a five star hotel in Bath but can do in your own restaurant.

Paul

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Akiko, there are some previous posts on this where Cappers gave some very good recommendations. At the risk of an overly long post, I am pasting here an email I sent Cappers after a weekend in Bath. I have inserted some follow up comments in italics into the original email. More recs follow the cut and paste job.

"Stayed in Bathford at The Eagle, which I highly recommend for a B&B. The proprietors hit that right mix between being extremely friendly and welcoming without being intrusive, and the place is large enough that although you feel you are in an intimate space, you dont feel as if you are intruding in someone's home. We plan to stay there again this weekend.

Friday dinner: ate in Bathford, at a place the name of which I dont recall, but will follow up when I am there again this weekend. [never did, but the place wasnt very good anyway]

Saturday lunch: after much dicking about in the Roman Baths, we tried the cafe above the cheese shop (didnt have any bread left) and ended up at a pub next door called Salamander, which had excellent Bath ales on tap and very tasty hot pots.[Have been back to this place twice since and recommend it for a nice pub lunch, more on pubs to follow below] Not an extremely glamorous lunch, but it was very good all the same, and the guys boozing it up were extremely friendly. In fact, I got caught up there for three hours or so, drining with three gentlemen, one a middle aged tour guide wearing a wig, the other a self professed cockney gangster who had spent most of his life as a "guest of the queen" and the other a musician who played backup for Badfinger in the 70's. Many pints later I waddled out for a nap before dinner.

Saturday dinner: Blinis. This was our blowout, and it was excellent. A very good recommendation. I had an excellent pork belly, with seared scallops for a starter. The only improvement would have been to ask for a table near the window as that would clearly add immeasurable ambience and enjoyment. [Note: I am not sure if Blinis is still open]

Sunday lunch: Once again we were stymied in our plans due to our laziness. We had planned tea at the Royal Crescent, but never ate lunch and by two I was too hungry to wait, so we went to a pub which had been recommended to us for Sunday Roast, called Rummers. It is right on the river, just south of the bridge and I believe has just come under new management. The recommendation was accurate, we had the roast beef and the roast lamb. The roast beef came, as is all too rare, perfectly pink in the middle with a very nice own made gravy, and the lamb was very tender and juicy.

Overall view of Bath was obviously favorable as am going back for the weekend again. Was very impressed by the pubs (as you may have already noticed)."

Additional places I have visited since and would recommend include the Moody Goose, already much discussed; and the Sign of the Angel in Lacock. The food at the Sign of the Angel was quite good, and Lacock itself is a wonderful little National Trust preserved town. There is also an excellent pub called the George which was worth a visit in its own right.

Speaking of pubs, if in Bath, in addition to the Salamander (John Street) and Rummers mentioned above, I cannot recommend strongly enough the Old Green Tree and the Star. The Star in particular is extraordinarily friendly and off the beaten track so not overrun with the busloads of tourists. On the three occassions I have been there, they have done a lock in so you can carry on to your heart's content. The beer is kept very well, and from the CAMRA literature scattered about, I assume they are a CAMRA favorite. In addition to the more common Bass ale and Wadworths 6X (both kept very well) they have the more unusual Abbey Bellringer. Dont leave without trying it. The last time I was there I enthused so openly about the Bellringer that they gave me a Bellringer pint glass to take home.

If you have any questions regarding any of the longwindedness above, feel free to drop me an email. And if you dont have lodging yet, I repeat my enthusiasm for the Eagle House in Bathford, yet another National Trust preserved villagewhich is about three miles outside of Bath.

Edited by Thomas Secor (log)

Thomas Secor

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Saturday dinner:  Blinis.  This was our blowout, and it was excellent.  A very good recommendation. I had an excellent pork belly, with seared scallops for a starter.  The only improvement would have been to ask for a table near the window as that would clearly add immeasurable ambience and enjoyment. [Note: I am not sure if Blinis is still open]

.

Blinis seems to have closed. I had hoped to go there when we ended up at Fishworks, but we couldn't get an answer on the phone number in the Good Food Guide and Duncan found a link confirming that it had closed.

Judy

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Thanks thomas. Basically, i spent a year eaing Bath so any reccs will be quite good ! !

Rajpoot is a great place and on par with what there is in London.

As for Gigi's in Glastonbury, its the best garlic pizza EVER...

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Not so smart as some of the suggestions but the Wookey Hole Inn, which is opposite the Wookey Hole caves attraction, does some really good dishes in a very funky setting (think buddhas, good Belgian beer and Glastonbury Tor pictures!) Can get quite busy on a Friday and Saturday evenings though so probably worth booking in advance if you are interested. Website here Wookey Hole Inn if you are interested

I also second Charlton House in Shepton Mallet for a 'dinner' rather than a supper. We also had the most fab cream tea there the other day.

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Notwithstanding Cappers' pizza place, which may be excellent, I'd be inclined to hit and run if you feel you must go to Glastonbury, unless you're into New Age tat. What could be a nice town is, for me, completely spoiled by the hordes of crusties. The Abbey is lovely, and it's worth climbing the Tor, but I wouldn't want to stay there. We have friends in Wells, and it is, for me, a much, much nicer place. The street market is good - bought excellent olives there on a number of occasions. Our friends have two small children so we tend to eat in while in Wells, so I'm afraid I can't speak to restaurants. There's a place in the Good Food Guide that sounded alluring, though.

Adam

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Adam,

We're not staying there... I like spas so we are staying at the royal crescent in bath

But I also like mythology and folklore so we're taking daytrips to Glastonbury and go to Stonehenge on the way home.... we plan to walk up the tor, stroll at the Chalice Well, and go to the Abbey... anything else you think I should see?

so far we have Moody Goose, Rajpoot, and pizza on our itinerary.. I don't like caves but I do like the sound of Wookey hole inn so we'll try and swing by for a meal!

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Akiko, if you have become at all interested in pubs since you have gotten here (and if you havent, I dont know how much we have left to say to each other :biggrin: ), please get the Star on your itinerary. Its only a hop, skip and a stumble away from the Royal Crescent.

Of course you are more likely to be belly up with the folks who work at the Royal Crescent than the ones who stay at the Royal Crescent, but then again, thats the point isnt it?

Thomas Secor

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent the weekend in Bath at short notice, here are a few thoughts (most of them not new)*

Accomodation: we followed Thomas's advice and stayed at Eagle House in Bathford. It is a very pretty village but not ideally located if you don't have a car. It's £8:00 one way into the centre, but there's a very regular bus service too. Eagle House is lovely but I thought it was quite expensive given the location and the fact that you have to pay extra for a cooked breakfast :-0

Friday night: arrived at 9:30 and everywhere in Bathford had closed. A very special mention must go to the waitress at the Waterside restaurant (who serve until 10:00pm) who refused to give us a table despite the fact that we arrived at 10:02pm and my explaination that I had a broken foot and had been slowed down. We went to the Loch Fyne place in town instead. The oysters were distinctly small and not very well flavoured, but a main of wild altantic prawns had lots of prawns (and hence lots of prawn heads for sucking) and was pretty tasty.

Saturday lunch: Moody Goose. I was really looking forward to this but left a bit disappointed. They do a lunchtime set menu with about five choices for each course. We chose scallops and asparagus and tomato and goats cheese tart to start, followed by pork with an apricot tarte tatin and mustard and cheddar souffle. The cooking was hit and miss with a tendency to over complicate the plate, and hence over power the ingredients. For example, my starter was scallops and asparagus layed with deep fried onion rings and topped and tailed with a pastry lid. It looked a bit like a burger. I didn't really see the point and felt that the scallops were completely overwhelmed. Jack's tart was much simpler, and hence nicer to my mind. My main also suffered from over-complication with a perfectly delicious mustard and cheese souffle perched on a potato rosti and "glued" to the plate with some sweet potato mash, but oddly drowned with a vegetable broth that soaked into the rosti and the mash making everything very runny. Serves me right for ordering the vegetarian option i guess :-) The Moody Goose is closed on Sundays and they suggest booking 1-2 weeks in advance. Lunch and pre-theatre menu is £13 for two courses and £17 for three.

Saturday drinks: The Lounge. 43 St James Parade. Really good cocktail bar, not crowded, not smokey, music not deafening. Why can't all bars be like this?

Saturday supper: FishWorks. Despite the fact that the waiting staff remind me of a group of children playing at running restaurant (our reservation was lost, 40 minute delay between courses, missing dishes, unordered dishes arriving) the food was good. The oyster selection was a million times better than Loch Fynes, my salt baked bream was really moist and flavourful, the tuna was "really rare" as ordered and the mussels plentiful. It wasn't expensive as suggested on these boards previously. I really enjoyed the food, but then, how wrong can you go with covering a fish in salt and baking it? The service means I probably wouldn't go back. Which is a shame.

*new to me, obviously :-)

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted to bring this post back to the top of the food chain for two reasons:

First, Akiko have you gone yet? Where did you end up? How was it?

Second, there was an article in yesterdays NY Times regarding Bath which future visitors might find of interest. I attach the link

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/10/travel/10tab.html

Thomas Secor

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