Restaurant Review: Allium Brassiere at the Abbey Hotel in Bath
Candy floss pink and overlooking one of Bath’s widest promenades, the Allium Brassiere within The Abbey Hotel is a relaxed and creative dining space. Eye catching, conceptual art works dot themselves around the room and sleek bare wooden tables make way for the expertise of head chef Chris Staines who previously held a Michelin star at Foliage at the Mandarin Oriental.
It’s a Sunday and menus comprise a choice of their set Sunday lunch list (available from 12:30-4pm) or their a la carte. Keen to compare the two we select across both. ‘To share or not to share’ has some inviting options within the start of the a la carte listing. A whole baked camembert served with breadsticks, pickles and Parma ham is presented oozing on a wooden board. Whilst lighter, the lightly smoked salmon served alongside an inventive combination of crab mayonnaise, baby gem, picked Thai shallots, apples and goats cheese mirrors the quality of chef Staines Michelin heritage. Sunday lunch starters include a beetroot and citrus salad, terrine of chicken and butternut soup.
Despite delicate culinary artistry and an ample menu, the Allium does not tiptoe around Sunday roast offerings and serves arguably one of the best quality roasts in the city. Roast topside of black angus beef with all the trimmings and a red wine jus is faultless and perfectly pink whilst the roast loin of pork with parsnips, cabbage and apple sauce boasts a large portion of crackling. Flicking back to the a la carte, main options available to diners throughout the week include chorizo poached haddock, rib eye and miso cauliflower steaks and favourites such as beer battered haddock; which I suspect is more sophisticated than its similar pub presentation. A red wine to pair, our helpful waiter recommends a South African label – Chakalaka, created by the Spice Route Winery.
The dessert menu, amongst others, features Baileys and cheesecake mousse, caramel panna cotta and a British cheese board; all with their own dessert wine pairing suggestion. We share a chocolate brownie cake with poached pears and a scoop of pear sorbet from the Sunday menu and an espresso martini, served in an elegant chrome glass.
Described by Jay Rayner as a restaurant ‘worthy of a journey to Bath’ and with a handsome limestone facade, Allium Brassiere within the Bath Abbey Hotel is worth booking yourself into. It is distinguished as a relaxed and sociable place to dine with a strong sense of fun and just behind, towards the rear of the building is the ArtBar; a cocktail bar with an equal measure of creative flair. A G&T connoisseur, the bar can create up to 64 combinations of gin & tonics, whilst on top of this can also create new adaptations to guests’ tastes. House spirits come from Chase Distillery and an art installation, made from 500 vintage wine glasses; all individually collected for the piece, plays its piece centrally.
Unstuffy and with great food, the creativity of the Allium is all-encompassing. From the art work to the interiors and the menus; Allium doesn’t take itself too seriously but instead focuses on offering diners high quality food in an unpretentious and fun environment.
Address: Abbey Hotel, Allium Brasserie, 1N Parade, Bath BA1 1LF, 01225 809469, abbeyhotelbath.co.uk/restaurant-bar/allium
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