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Thread: Heading to Bath for a long weekend - suggested pubs and restaurants?

  1. #1

    Heading to Bath for a long weekend - suggested pubs and restaurants?

    Morning TZ,

    Heading to Bath in the near future, and knowing nothing of it other than having tasted the thermal baths' water (grim) when I was a nipper, does anyone have any suggestions for good pubs and restaurants? There appear to be no shortage of either, so now to apply a filter of decentness!

    Most fond of old school, traditional pubs with cask ales rather than bars, and fond of any and all foods.

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

    Hugh
    Last edited by hughtrimble; 9th June 2021 at 11:34.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    Morning TZ,

    Heading to Bath in the near future, and knowing nothing of it other than having tasted the thermal baths' water (grim) when I was a nipper, does anyone have any suggestions for good pubs and restaurants? There appear to be no shortage of either, so now to apply a filter of decentness!

    Most fond of old school, traditional pubs with cask ales rather than bars, and fond of any and all foods.

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

    Hugh
    I was in bath recently for a weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had dinner one evening in a place called the Marlborough Tavern which was very good I would certainly recommend it.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Heading to Bath for a long weekend - suggested pubs and restaurants?

    Coffee at Colonna and smalls.
    Pie and pint in the Raven
    Opium bar for cocktails
    Menu- Gordon Jones for food.

    There is a decent Moroccan by the cathedral/abbey. With a whiskey bar round the corner (the hideout).

    Real ale there are loads of venues, coer de Leon, the Raven, riflemans, Saracens head, salamander.
    Last edited by Middo; 9th June 2021 at 12:00.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by boring_sandwich View Post
    I was in bath recently for a weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had dinner one evening in a place called the Marlborough Tavern which was very good I would certainly recommend it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Middo View Post
    Coffee at Colonna and smalls.
    Pie and pint in the Raven
    Opium bar for cocktails
    Menu- Gordon Jones for food.
    Lovely, thank you both very much

  5. #5
    Master Red Steve's Avatar
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    Graze is a combined restaurant and micro brewery owned by Bath Ales..right by the train station...well worth a visit..
    https://grazebath.co.uk/

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Steve View Post
    Graze is a combined restaurant and micro brewery owned by Bath Ales..right by the train station...well worth a visit..
    https://grazebath.co.uk/

    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk
    That is a great combination, thank you

  7. #7
    Master village's Avatar
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    Good pubs:

    The Raven (also does a superb pie and scores bonus points for the landlord chucking Starmer out on his ear)
    The Crystal Palace (nice beer garden as well)
    The Bath Brew House
    The Salamander (Bath Ales pub,,,lovely beer)
    Coeur De Lion (tiny little pub)
    The Huntsman

    To eat:
    As mentioned above The Raven does great pies
    Sotto Soto is a lovely underground Italian restaurant
    Firehouse Rotisserie (which is next door to the Slamander and a few steps from The Raven)
    The Wife of Bath
    One thing Iíve found about Bath is that you can pretty much walk into an Indian restaurant and have a good meal.
    Thai food - Thaikhun
    Caffe Luca for a drink or light lunch
    And,of course,Sally Lunnís to get a proper Bath Bunn

  8. #8
    I was there again a couple of weeks ago. Made the mistake of trying the top Italian restaurant on trip advisor (now been bumped down), uninspiring food, disinterested service, could do better. Iíll pm the name so you can avoid as you wish. Still havenít found a show stopper there, must try Sotto Sotto next though.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Salamander is great for the beers, love Bath as spent my teenage years there. Family still in the area but tend to go out to out of city places these days.

    Wander about & keep looking up, as a lot of the lovely architecture is up higher than street level.

    And yes spa water is awful.


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  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    Highly recommend Sotto Sotto for a romantic evening meal. The Crystal Palace for a pre match libation on a Saturday afternoon. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but 35 years ago as a student, it was the way to go. Nearly all of the pubs off of Milsom Street are fine.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Yak Yeti Yak for Tibetan food. Very very good.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Salamander for beer, great pub. Circus restaurant for food - I try and go there every time I visit Bath. The Ivy for Breakfast is good aswell.

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  13. #13
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    Scallop Shell for grub. Very nice!
    Hare and Hounds to have brunch and take in the views on a summers day

  14. #14
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    Olive Tree is very good. You may be lucky and get a table if booking far enough in advance. Enjoy!

  15. #15
    The Bell is a bit grungy, but used to do great beer.

    Easton Eye is great for curry.

    Boston Tea Party does a great breakfast. The one near the Royal Crescent is nicest.

    Swartz Burgers are superb.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    The Bell is a bit grungy, but used to do great beer.

    Easton Eye is great for curry.

    Boston Tea Party does a great breakfast. The one near the Royal Crescent is nicest.

    Swartz Burgers are superb.
    Another yes for the burger, chatting to the in-laws who have lived in the area years, he used to eat there as a young lad, so it has been about 50+ years it seems. Garlic blue cheese burger was my childhood favourite.

    Eastern Eye has been rebranded to Grand Eastern from memory. Lovely old bank building, but my view is that itís quite a long way past itís best, by some many years.

    Not rebranded, but was liquidated & a name change.


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  17. #17
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    We had a really lovely meal in the Herd Steakhouse a couple of weeks back. Good value too. Highly ranked on TA.

  18. #18
    We were in Bath last weekend and really enjoyed a meal at the morrocan restaurant mentioned earlier https://www.taginezhor.co.uk/

  19. #19
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    Another vote for The Scallop Shell, superb high end quality fish and chips. Heading there myself for about the 10th time this weekend!


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  20. #20
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    Iíve lived in Bath for the last 30 years. I donít see Bath as a Mecca for pubs & restaurants Iím afraid. Iím generally more disappointed than not. Mrs T-7 ate at the Ivy last week & was underwhelmed. The day before yesterday we ate in Salathai & it was quite good. Iíve never had a decent pint in BathÖbut then I was weaned on a good pint of Yorkshire Ale, complete with head. The beer down hereís flat.

  21. #21
    Wow - so many recommendations and suggestions! Thank you all very much indeed.

    This is a lovely list to go through, and I must admit that there's a very tempting area now marked on the map with a lot of recommended pubs within a few staggered paces of one another. And rather fortunately no booking needed if just boozing, so that's great.

    I also had Sotto Sotto recommended to me last night by two people, and tried to book in a dinner...all three evenings they're fully booked when we're there! Speaks volumes. Looks like there's another couple of Italians suggested here too, so one of those will be visited.

    Thank you all again for your recommendations. So much better to hear from people than rely on Google reviews and Tip Advisor!

  22. #22
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Load up with a steak slice and Yum Yums from Greggs, pop into Bargain Booze and grab a six pack of Special Brew then sprawl out on the grass in front of the Crescent, plenty of bushes there to relive yourself too..

  23. #23
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by trident-7 View Post
    Iíve lived in Bath for the last 30 years. I donít see Bath as a Mecca for pubs & restaurants Iím afraid. Iím generally more disappointed than not. Mrs T-7 ate at the Ivy last week & was underwhelmed. The day before yesterday we ate in Salathai & it was quite good. Iíve never had a decent pint in BathÖbut then I was weaned on a good pint of Yorkshire Ale, complete with head. The beer down hereís flat.
    The meal at The Ivy wouldíve basically been a ready meal. No wonder it wasnít great.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chinese_Alan View Post
    The meal at The Ivy wouldíve basically been a ready meal. No wonder it wasnít great.
    Why, I appreciate the menu is pretty standard across restaurants and not that exciting but I thought everything was freshly cooked

  25. #25
    Master village's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trident-7 View Post
    Iíve lived in Bath for the last 30 years. I donít see Bath as a Mecca for pubs & restaurants Iím afraid. Iím generally more disappointed than not. Mrs T-7 ate at the Ivy last week & was underwhelmed. The day before yesterday we ate in Salathai & it was quite good. Iíve never had a decent pint in BathÖbut then I was weaned on a good pint of Yorkshire Ale, complete with head. The beer down hereís flat.
    The last 30 years must have been really miserable. 😉

  26. #26
    Now returned, and Bath's pubs have definitely left their mark, in the form of my increased heft. I really appreciate all the suggestions, and some we tried to book but couldn't (like Sotto Sotto), others were full at walk in and then we ran out of meals and pint space!

    Of the ones we did get to, these were the most memorable:

    The Raven - central, proper pub with great beer, proper 'fill to line' regulation pint glasses to store said well-kept beer in, and some of the best pies I've ever had. No pretentiousness and all very reasonably priced to boot. I'd go out of my way to return.

    The Royal Oak - a ways outside of the centre but another old school boozer with one of the most varied and expansive beer and cider selections I've come across since lock down. Bring your own food too, if you want to drink their great wares with some munch. I'd go out of my way to return.

    Coeur de Lion - very small boozer, but a proper one at that. A few beers to choose from and welcome respite from wandering around the town. Blunt landlady, who reminded me of the boozers of my youth and I really appreciated it!

    The Salamander - central and rather more done-up than the three above and with a smaller ale selection, but very accommodating and friendly staff. Their sandwiches looked great, but it was only a beery visit.

    Electric Bear Brewing - a ways out as it's a modern brewery in an industrial area. They brew a lot of interesting stuff, and I'd go out of my way to return.

    The Grapes - central, well kept beer, good to drop in to when other places are busy, but surpassed by others above for my tastes. Has an Izakaya upstairs what we tried to visit as they specifically stated no need to book, but turned up at opening and they were fully booked...I'd go back to try that though, and book.

    Collona & Smalls - never been to a coffee shop like it. They take their brews very seriously and you can tell they care. Definitely recommend it if you're into your espresso and filter coffees.


    Next time we're there, bookings shall be made for the other suggestions to try things out. It's really very kind of you all to have taken the time to recommend places.

    Now I'm off to my salad dinner to try and shed the not immoderately sized beer barrel I appear to have acquired.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    Now returned, and Bath's pubs have definitely left their mark, in the form of my increased heft. I really appreciate all the suggestions, and some we tried to book but couldn't (like Sotto Sotto), others were full at walk in and then we ran out of meals and pint space!

    Of the ones we did get to, these were the most memorable:

    The Raven - central, proper pub with great beer, proper 'fill to line' regulation pint glasses to store said well-kept beer in, and some of the best pies I've ever had. No pretentiousness and all very reasonably priced to boot. I'd go out of my way to return.

    The Royal Oak - a ways outside of the centre but another old school boozer with one of the most varied and expansive beer and cider selections I've come across since lock down. Bring your own food too, if you want to drink their great wares with some munch. I'd go out of my way to return.

    Coeur de Lion - very small boozer, but a proper one at that. A few beers to choose from and welcome respite from wandering around the town. Blunt landlady, who reminded me of the boozers of my youth and I really appreciated it!

    The Salamander - central and rather more done-up than the three above and with a smaller ale selection, but very accommodating and friendly staff. Their sandwiches looked great, but it was only a beery visit.

    Electric Bear Brewing - a ways out as it's a modern brewery in an industrial area. They brew a lot of interesting stuff, and I'd go out of my way to return.

    The Grapes - central, well kept beer, good to drop in to when other places are busy, but surpassed by others above for my tastes. Has an Izakaya upstairs what we tried to visit as they specifically stated no need to book, but turned up at opening and they were fully booked...I'd go back to try that though, and book.

    Collona & Smalls - never been to a coffee shop like it. They take their brews very seriously and you can tell they care. Definitely recommend it if you're into your espresso and filter coffees.


    Next time we're there, bookings shall be made for the other suggestions to try things out. It's really very kind of you all to have taken the time to recommend places.

    Now I'm off to my salad dinner to try and shed the not immoderately sized beer barrel I appear to have acquired.
    30 years since I graduated from Bath Uni, and youíve brought back a few good memories in pub names I havenít heard for a very long time.

  28. #28
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    This is a great thread, our son is off to Bath Uni in September and we look forward to exploring the city and following up on a few of Hugh's recommendations. Seems like there is plenty of choice and lots to see,

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by mondie View Post
    This is a great thread, our son is off to Bath Uni in September and we look forward to exploring the city and following up on a few of Hugh's recommendations. Seems like there is plenty of choice and lots to see,
    I am very thankful that the kind folks here made the recommendations they did, as it provided a more select list than what e.g. Google can return as one thing Bath is not short of is pubs! Your son will be well served if he's into pubbing, that's for sure.

    Congratulations to him on getting in.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    30 years since I graduated from Bath Uni, and youíve brought back a few good memories in pub names I havenít heard for a very long time.
    I think a few of these may have changed very little since then, and I hope that they can remain so. Bath, like most cities, is not short of the generic ones, but I can honestly say a few of the old school ones there rank in my favourites of all time. Of course, multiple visits may reveal some warts, but I'd put real effort in to going back to The Raven and The Royal Oak, for example.

  31. #31
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    I am very thankful that the kind folks here made the recommendations they did, as it provided a more select list than what e.g. Google can return as one thing Bath is not short of is pubs! Your son will be well served if he's into pubbing, that's for sure.

    Congratulations to him on getting in.
    Thanks Hugh, we are excited for him. Compared to the dire industrial town I went to Uni in back in Oz, its a stunning city to visit let alone live for three years.

  32. #32
    Master nibby's Avatar
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    I have frequented a few of baths pubs and I was surprised the Star Inn did not get a mention a proper old school pub with Wood paneled snugs and draft ale in pitchers. The Chequers inn is a great gastropub - but has changed hands recently. so I cannot vouch how good the new owners are doing.
    Beware there are two Royal Oaks in Bath one near the Station/Leisure Centre and one on the A4 - from the sounds of it you went to the right one on the A4 which has a good selection of ales and quite a lot of music.

    If you are going to Menu Gordon Jones, it might be worth calling in next door to the Bear hotel for a quick beer beforehand, but the wine flight has got to be done with the 7-8 courses at Menu Gordon Jones an exceptional dining experience.

    The Salamander was one of my favourite city centre pubs but has changed hands recently and the amount of draught Bath Ales on offer has decreased - I hope this is temporary due to covid restrictions and it will be back to it old self.

    There have been many good recommendations from previous posts which are all on the ball.
    Last edited by nibby; 15th June 2021 at 23:30.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by nibby View Post
    I have frequented a few of baths pubs and I was surprised the Star Inn did not get a mention a proper old school pub with Wood paneled snugs and draft ale in pitchers. The Chequers inn is a great gastropub - but has changed hands recently. so I cannot vouch how good the new owners are doing.
    Beware there are two Royal Oaks in Bath one near the Station/Leisure Centre and one on the A4 - from the sounds of it you went to the right one on the A4 which has a good selection of ales and quite a lot of music.

    If you are going to Menu Gordon Jones, it might be worth calling in next door to the Bear hotel for a quick beer beforehand, but the wine flight has got to be done with the 7-8 courses at Menu Gordon Jones an exceptional dining experience.

    The Salamander was one of my favourite city centre pubs but has changed hands recently and the amount of draught Bath Ales on offer has decreased - I hope this is temporary due to covid restrictions and it will be back to it old self.

    There have been many good recommendations from previous posts which are all on the ball.
    Yes, quite right it's the A36 Royal Oak that we went to (didn't even see the other on the map until you highlighted it - that's yet another pub there!). And yes to the music too - there was a live acoustic double bass and guitarist playing inside, and not at all intrusively, which is a very nice change from the usual.

    We actually walked past the Star Inn on the way to the Bell the was recommended here too, but then got distracted from both by the antiques market down the road and didn't make it back to either of them. They did look really right up my street.

    Menu Gordon Jones was fully booked (unsurprisingly at such short notice), but that too looks pretty spectacular online.

    Yet more to visit upon a return!

  34. #34
    Master nibby's Avatar
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    I wasn't surprised you couldn't book Sotto Sotto it is one of the most popular restaurants in Bath and you need to book c3 months in advance, it is very good and worth the effort to book a table.
    A good excuse to revisit!

  35. #35
    Master Matt London's Avatar
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    Any recommendations for mid range Hotelís? My other half and I would fancy an overnight stay in July.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by nibby View Post
    I wasn't surprised you couldn't book Sotto Sotto it is one of the most popular restaurants in Bath and you need to book c3 months in advance, it is very good and worth the effort to book a table.
    A good excuse to revisit!
    Looking at the dominance of extremely positive reviews on e.g. Trip Advisor (it has many thousands more than the next Italian on the list), I'm not surprised. We were hoping for a late cancellation, but I imagine there's a waiting list for the cancellation slots too!

    Instead we found a Vietnamese and Cambodian restaurant called Soya's Kitchen, which had zero booking spaces for the weekend, but did make space regardless. Food was really very good, but of course a rather different style to Sotto Sotto!

  37. #37

    Heading to Bath for a long weekend - suggested pubs and restaurants?

    When I was a student in the late 80s it was The Ale House, The Huntsman or the Crystal Palace, before a boogy down Bog Island. The latter being a nightclub in converted subterranean public toilets.

    It was the days or rural violence - remember that?Mobs of country working folk from place like Corsham used to pile into Bath for a Friday or Saturday night rumble.

  38. #38
    Master village's Avatar
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    Bloody hell....Bog Island. What a @@@@ hole that was. You always had to cover your pint with your hand to stop condensation from the ceiling dripping in it.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    When I was a student in the late 80s it was The Ale House, The Huntsman or the Crystal Palace, before a boogy down Bog Island. The latter being a nightclub in converted subterranean public toilets.

    It was the days or rural violence - remember that?Mobs of country working folk from place like Corsham used to pile into Bath for a Friday or Saturday night rumble.
    It was the Chippenham lot you had to watch

    You remember Acacia Avenue and Bath Rock?

  40. #40
    For a nice overnight stay try 139 the guest house
    15 min walk into the centre
    Or Dorian house in a similar location
    Both often have late deals
    Both very clean and nice quality

  41. #41
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    When I was a student in the late 80s it was The Ale House, The Huntsman or the Crystal Palace, before a boogy down Bog Island. The latter being a nightclub in converted subterranean public toilets.
    I remember all of those (student from Ď82 to Ď86). Posh nightclub called Chemies ? in Kingsmead Square, then a kebab with extra strong chilli sauce round the corner.

    Used to frequent the Old Green Tree a lot too.

    Pete

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