Lunch at the Bath Priory Restaurant
When TLM and I got married, we stayed the night at The Bath Priory and while we enjoyed the spa and gardens, we didn’t have the opportunity to sample the restaurant. Now, outside of the honeymoon bubble a fancy dinner is a bit beyond justification, so when we spotted a great deal at the restaurant we jumped at it.
Until 14th April they’re doing a great lunch offer, with three courses for £25.50 or two for £19.25. We specifically took the day off work, had a lovely stroll round the Botanical Gardens in Bath and then wandered over for lunch. A pint of cider in front of the blazing log fire in the lounge warmed our fingers while we perused the menu and ate some little canapés.
We were sat in the bright restaurant, overlooking the garden. It was lovely, but my only complaint was that I couldn’t quite get comfortable (but as a shorty with little legs I find this an eternal problem). Soon after we had sat down, we were offered brown bread with honey and poppy seeds, pain de compagne and wholemeal bread with black olives and sun dried tomatoes. Here, the Priory Restaurant earned super bread brownie points for offering full rolls and slices (rather than piddly little slices). AND they left the basket for us. Each loaf (!) was warm, crisp and delicious.
We polished off most of it very happily. Thankfully the waistress came with her little crumb scraper (I love those!) and cleaned up the mess we’d managed to make after falling on the bread and devouring it à la the Cookie Monster.
Next up was a ‘compliments of the chef’ jobbie in the shape of celeriac velouté. I have no shame in admitting I dunked my bread in and it was OH SO GOOD. I do love a celeriac volouté (seems a popular chefs’ compliment) and this one was not only packed with cream, but it had a little truffle oil and diddy chunks of celeriac inside.
TLM had Fillet of Loch Duart salmon with honey and soy vinaigrette and wasabi yoghurt to start. The salmon was uncooked, but that didn’t bother us at all as it was such good quality. I had a taste of this dish and while I usually find wasabi… *shudder* not to my taste, this was actually very balanced. The sweet honey and soy was gorgeous.
I started with pressed terrine of Somerset guinea fowl, truffle mayonnaise and hazelnut salad. It was meaty and lovely. I’m nervous about ordering terrine as I’m a bit funny about the jelly and have had a couple of gristly experiences (ho, ho). However, it was delicious and while I did leave some of the jelly to the side that is just my little thing. The truffle mayonnaise was gorgeous and I took my delight in having saved a teeny bit of bread to mop up the last dollop. Oh, scrum scrum.
We both opted for the same main (and, it seemed, everyone else in the restaurant without exception!). Slow roasted fillet of pork with crisp confit shoulder, butternut squash and Calvados sauce. It tasted a thousand times better than this little picture shows. The pork was tender, the confit delicious (though I do snigger to myself that I’m having deep fried nuggets with a confit) and the crackling crisp. The perfectly square ‘smear’ was spiced with cumin, the little dollops were apple and the cubes (query: carrot and celeriac?) all worked wonderfully. The Calvados sauce was scrumptious. I ate this with a glass of Orchard Pig cider and it was just spot-on for a fairly nippy early Spring lunch.
TLM had passionfruit and milk chocolate crèmeux with a dark chocolate sorbet. While this went down well with him, I couldn’t have eaten more than the teeny spoonful I tried. So rich, and the combination of passionfruit, lime and chocolate just left me cold.
I had petit fours and coffee instead. We ended up sharing and from left to right we had chocolate truffles, jellied passion fruit, vanilla pannacotta with berry topping, almond and sesame brittles (probably has a fancy name). The pannacotta was my favourite and the almond brittle was delicious.
We arrived at midday and it was gone 3pm by the time we left, at which point we were stuffed and very satisfied. The atmosphere was lovely and it seemed there were lots of people taking up the offer. Tap water was offered freely and people were splitting desserts, so it didn’t feel like there were extras being tacked on to make up for the deal price. It was a lovely leisurely lunch and I would thoroughly recommend it!