Restaurant Review: The Bath Priory, Weston Rd in Bath
Bath’s one and only Michelin Starred restaurant* lies in 5 star surroundings, namely The Bath Priory Hotel. With views over the hotel’s four acre, well maintained and beautiful gardens, the restaurant offers up award winning cuisine in the form of a menu surprise at £105, an eight course tasting menu (£95), a la carte (three courses for £80) and my menu for the day – a three course lunch menu (£35).
A gloriously sunny day offered my guest, Nick, and I the opportunity to sit on the terrace and enjoy a glass of delicious Prosecco (Il Selvaggio extra Brut Giacomo Montresor), while nibbling on some canapés of crispy fish croquette, with a lime sauce (lovely, light, crispy with a zingy lime bonus) and a creamy goat’s cheese mousse with little walnut pieces and crispy crunchy bread sticks.
After a chat with one of the sommeliers we were informed that our table was ready inside so we left the blazing sun for a seat in the shade (I was thankful for this, I am not a heat lover, though there is seating on the terrace.) We took in the grandeur of the reception room en route, which showcases a tall fireplace and large portraits resting on the walls.
The formal restaurant space offers a more airy and modern environment with windows lining the length of the room bringing in the lots of natural light and giving you the pleasure of taking in the views of the pretty gardens while you dine. A pale truffle colour sits on most of the walls keeping with the neutral tones of the room, while hints of rusted orange and mustard along with images of chefs and Bath scenes complete the décor in the room.
Our starter wines were brought to us – Glen Carlou Pinot Noir (South Africa) for me and a Turkish white (Mahra) for Nick – as well as an appetiser of shellfish soup with diced potato and crème fraiche, which had a lovely, delicate, sweet flavour.
For my starter I had chosen the crispy guinea fowl croquette with peas and charred shallot and was thrilled with the smells emanating from the plate when it was presented to me. The gorgeous scent was coming from a chicken reduction, which complemented the sweeter, more delicate flavours in the peas and pea purée garnish and the richer, earthier flavours of the meat. The croquette was delightfully crispy on the outside with a creamy potato and meat inner, though the meat did get a little lost in the potato. It was a very tasty and refined dish, delicately put together with a fantastic wine choice to complement.
Nick’s starter choice of ‘Cornish sardine, tapenade, tomato on toast’ looked very elegant and colourful. He liked the rich, salty flavours and crispy textures, commenting on the successful tomato and sardine pairing. He described it as a “posh sardines on toast” but a very refined plate of food.
As our visit fell on a Sunday, I felt it only fitting to go for a traditional roast beef (arguably my all time favourite choice of main course) and in this case a ‘slow roast longhorn beef with traditional garnish and red wine jus.’ The first thing to catch my eye was the large Yorkshire pudding, which was crispy and delicious. The beef was really tasty, aided by the jus and a creamy Bernaise sauce, which was packed with flavour. A few potatoes, which were crunchy on the outside and extremely fluffy on the inside, mangetout, green beans and roasted carrots completed the dish, which was full of flavour in every bite.
Nick’s main course of glazed lamb breast with garlic potato and broad beans received a very complementary “ten out of ten” from him. The happy customer described the lamb as “the best he had ever had” and said it fell apart, using the words succulent, tender, delicate and “wow” to describe it. The potato was very thinly layered and stacked with creamy and crisp layers and a crisp top and the broad beans, peas, samphire and tasty jus added fresh spring flavours to the beautiful plate of food.
For our desserts we decided to satisfy our sweet cravings, although if we had chosen the cheese option we were pleased to see that there was no supplement for it. I opted for the passion fruit soufflé, which was served with a coconut sorbet on the side. The soufflé was light and fluffy, quite perfectly cooked, and a sweet sauce was poured into it at the table. I liked the flavour of the sorbet and the sweetness of the fruit, but not necessarily together . I’m not really a tropical fruits fan, and fruit chunks in the bottom I could have done without, but it was a lovely soufflé nonetheless with lots going on.
Nick’s dessert of strawberry sable breton with tonka bean and basil was a work of art. The soft, buttery biscuit held fresh, light cream strawberries and little squirts of basil gel, while a sharp, refreshing sorbet sat to the side. Nick commented that the combination of strawberries and cream were the perfect pairing on a sunny day and he said the colourful dessert was fantastically constructed.
A selection of petit fours were up next and finished the meal nicely. Squidgy marshmallows, smooth rose water Turkish Delights, a buttermilk parfait with cassis jelly and crispy, sweet almond and sesame tuilles offered an array of bite size delights to set us on our way.
*as of July 2016
In a nutshell
The combination of friendly, attentive staff, well prepared food, delicious wines and a bright, comfortable dining area make a dining experience at The Bath Priory a very enjoyable one.
Address: Weston Rd, Bath BA1 2XT / 01225 331922