Monday, 6 January 2014

A foodie day out in Bath

Bath. I absolutely fell in love with the City the first time I visited on a University of Bath Open Day way back in 2009. I set my heart on going to the uni that day and lo and behold here I am in 2014 half way through my third year there.

So far I've had so many wonderful experiences on my placement year but I've still found myself missing the little things about my uni town, which has become so much like home! Whilst I was in Somerset visiting my boyfriend, I couldn't not take the opportunity for a flying visit...

So many of the things I love about Bath are food related...I am indeed a self confessed fatty! With so many amazing restaurants (both chain and independent), you could go to a different place for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a year and still have missed some out. I've lived there for two years and still haven't even made a dent in what is on offer.
A real favourite is Bea's Vintage Tea Room, which we made a bee-line for as soon as we parked. We got their soaked to the skin only to discover that it was closed for their annual two week holiday. Such a shame - not that I would ever bugrudge them it, the staff always work so hard and are so friendly. With wartime decor, music and mismatching tea cups, the tearoom is so quaint and is definitely the place for a traditional afternoon tea that wont break the bank. It will be one of the first places to visit in my forth year - a very British return to the city.

As we skirted the alley way next to the assembly rooms, where lots of independent boutiques are clustered, Rich suggested that we duck in to a tapas bar for a light lunch.

Same Same But Different is one of the places that I have walked past numerous times, always meant to pop in, seen how busy it was and decided against it. Luckily there was a table nestled in the window so we nabbed it before anyone else could. After umming and ahhhing over the sandwich menu and the tapas menu, we decided on a main course each (very naughty) with a bread and oil and chorizo to share.

The restaurant and its chefs have won numerous awards and I can see why...the food was SUPERB. Rich ordered the Sticky Ribs with triple cooked chips and I had the Butter Bean Cassolait with Pork Collar. Now I'm not usually a fan of pork but it was so tender in the bread crumbed cake and the sauce of the cassolait was something truly special. The Sticky Ribs will defintely be what I order next time - I'm not 100% what the sauce was made of but it had the edge of sweet balsamic to it. AMAZING. The warmed bread had a hint of char to it, perfect dipped in to the oil of the chorizo. The chorizo was perfectly cooked but not crisped (how I like it). It's given me a taste of Spain just before my departure...I'm looking forward to trialling the tapas of Sevilla. I am confident that I've found my Spanish fix for when I return in 4th year - independent over chain La Tasca any day. For anyone in the Bath area looking for a January Christmas party, Same Same But Different are doing festive tapas parties perfect for the retail crowd who couldn't fit a celebration in the busy shopping period. If anyone takes them up on that offer, let me know how that is...I'm excited to try their tapas menu in the near future...!
The West Gate was a sit-down saviour after a wander around the shops...mainly because of this little beauty...
Lilley's Apples and Pears is the love of my Somerset life, quite literally. Its the best cider on the planet and I miss it far too much when I'm away. As a pub, I love the West Gates chilled and sometimes miss-matched decor with its chilled out music and great open mic nights in the week.
I have had the odd club sandwich there on a lunch time but their evening food looks great - any recommendations from the menu?

Last but by no means least on our culinary whistle-stop tour is the Bengal Brasserie, the ultimate Indian in Bath. They put up with my fussy ordering and always bring me enough food for about 3 days (or maybe my eyes are bigger than my belly?!).
so much love for their booth layout and traditional style pieces.

Indian food is one of the things I've missed most in Russia as there are just no restaurants to cater for it - as far as I can tell Russian's aren't big fans of spice in general. Needless to say, we went a bit mad with the ordering. Sizzling Tandoori Chops that came on a hot plate (with a bowl of salad), garlic chilli chicken with mushroom rice for Rich and special biriyani (with a chicken korma sauce - told you I'm fussy!) for me as well as poppadoms and sides of sagg paneer and mushroom Bhaji (which I coerced Rich in to sharing with me).

I cannot rate this restaurant enough. The waiters are great (and, ashamedly, know us on sight now!) and the food is amazing. Most of this lot came home with us in a takeaway bag, with a cheeky 10% discount for students. I think we got a bit snap happy towards the end (food giddyiness I guess) as some gurning (and food napping) ensued.

The inner fatty in me was certainly satisfied.
Until final year Bath...

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