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Jan 16, 2008 04:32 PM

Bath trip

But a woefully short one. Just a couple of or two dinners. All Bath threads are pitifully out of date. Would love a British, Bathish experience...not Thai or sushi - can get that here in California! Money not an object but sometimes the best things in life are dives. Any ideas?

Thanks, international hounds!


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  1. Bath has about 70,000 residents and lots and lots of restaurants - however, most of these cater for tourists and are fairly mixed quality – so care is needed.

    After living here for 6 months the three restaurants we like and tend to go back to are:

    White Hart - a good eating pub, seems to be the best in Bath at the moment, always full with good British food, they will often turn the tables a couple of times in the evening so booking is essential a few days in advance especially at weekends. Recently they had great pheasant on the menu - retrieved by the pubs own spaniel. It is a short walk from the railway station on Widcombe Hill.

    The King William - this was the previous hot eating pub and still very good, again good to book especially at weekends. It is slightly out of the centre of town on London Road, not a long walk and you can pass “The Star Inn” which is a wonderful unreconstructed pub with beer poured out of jugs rather than hand pumps (also good to try the “Green Tree” in Green Street – another good but tiny pub).

    Casanis - a nice little bistro, good French provencale cuisine, small but good standards, and a nice change from a pub. It is in Saville Row so quite central.

    None of these are expensive all with £10 to 12 mains. There are some "proper" restaurants like “The Priory Hotel” and “Lucknam Park” both of which have one Michelin star each, and there are the “Olive Tree” and “No.5” which are quite up market bistros. I am afraid I haven't really tried them. They are quite expensive and have a fairly mixed reputation amongst our friends and neighbors.

    8 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Thanks Phil - lovely analysis. Just the type of places we had in mind. Though it occured to me...we're going to be there on Monday and Tuesday - is Monday an off-night for restaurants and pubs? Would you know if they would be likely to be closed? How sad would that be.

      1. re: BIM

        I am pretty certain the White Hart is open Monday's, Casanis is closed on Monday but open Tuesday, but I am afraid the King William's restaurant is closed both Monday and Tuesday (although I think they serve a limited menu in the bar).

        1. re: PhilD

          If you have a car then there a couple of pubs worth a visit, maybe at lunchtime?
          1) The Jolliffe Arms in Kilmersdon.
          2) The Talbot Inn in Mells.
          Both about 10 miles south of Bath. The Talbot is quite a superior establishment and the Jolliffe Arms is in a lovely setting, serving plainer food. My son is imprisoned at a nearby school and I lunch at the Jolliffe on visiting days. Both have easy to find websites.

          1. re: Robin Joy

            Robin, not certain when you last ate in the Talbot. We have been there a few times, first time we quite liked it, but on the most recent visit felt it had gone off the boil. I felt the menu and dining room are a little old fashioned. However, it is a beutiful pub, and Mells is a very beutiful village so worth a visit if in the area.

            As Robin says the area around Bath has some great country pubs, many of which do have great food....and lethal cider (6 to 8% proof).

            1. re: PhilD

              We had a lovely lunch at the Talbot a few years ago, and I hope it has not gone downhill. It was not cutting-edge, but very tasty food and a cozy atmosphere, very convenient if you are visiting Longleat and Stourhead.

      2. re: PhilD

        Update on the King William. Ate there last night and it seemed to have slipped a bit. Service was good, but food was a little mixed. Some really good dishes but others that missed the mark. Cooking is ambitious and when it is good it is good.

        Bill for two, two courses each, a bottle of burgundy and a couple of glasses of white came to ₤82 which is quite expensive for the quality. The big irritation was the addition of a 10% service charge to the bill. We queried it and were told it was a recent management policy - evidenced by the "not" in "service not included" on the bill being crossed out. We asked for it to be deducted from the bill, and the waiter had to ask the manager for permission to do this. We won't return - a shame as it is a god pub, nice room, and the food has been great.

        1. re: PhilD


          May I ask your objection to the service charge? Was it that service was not up to it or more an "object in principle" to service charges? That said, unusual to see it levied in a pub, in my experience.


          1. re: Harters

            1. Don't like the principle - if it is good we tip - we like to be in control. Also don't like the new chip & pin machines where people stand over you watching as you press the red or green button for tip or not.

            2. Didn't like the "surprise" as it was not mentioned on the menu - they simply have a set price for 2 or 3 courses.

            3. Service was OK - nothing wrong at all - in fact very helpful.

            4. It is a pub, as you say, unusual.