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Jun 26, 2008 03:51 AM

Vellore in Bath

I'll be staying at the Bath Spa Hotel this weekend, and was wondering if anyone has eaten at their restaurant Vellore. The website says it has won "2 AA Rosettes" but I'm not familiar with the grading system.

If anyone has an opinion, please share! Or perhaps suggestions for alternate dining? We do not have a car, so it will need to be within walking (or cab) distance.

Thank you!

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  1. I live in Bath and have not tried it, I haven't really heard of it, but could simply be my circle of friends. The ones I tend to eat in on a regular basis are as follows:

    The White Hart - this is a good gastro-pub with simple fresh food. It is very popular so essential to book on any evening. It is quite casual and has a nice garden at the back. Tends to be more locals than visitors as it is at the back of the station, across the river, in "Widcombe" (corner of Widcombe Hill/Pultney Road) but only a 200 meter walk. We generally spend £30/40 a head including wine, mains are £12ish.

    The Wheatsheaf - this is a very stylish gastro pub with aspirations for a Michelin star (it is a one star rising at the moment). The food is good, but presentation is definitely Michelin by numbers. Two great meals, and one indifferent over the last few months. The wine list is very good. It is on a slight hill so has a wonderful garden with views of the countryside, it has been recently been refurbished so it has quite a modern feel inside. It is a taxi ride to a small village of "Combe Hay" which is on the outskirts of bath. Meals here are in the £40 a head plus range, mains £20ish. Taxi is £15 each way.

    Casanis - is a French bistro in the city (4 Saville Road). Nice simple food from Provence, it is quite a pretty restaurant and the food is good. We tend to go if we don't want pub food

    The Pinch - again in the city, up towards The Royal Crescent. Another French bistro, tried it once and have yet to return, but think I should. My partner liked it.

    The King William - this was the benchmark gastropub along London Road. I ate thee about 12 months ago and it was superb with really fresh summer vegetables and herbs. It was so good I couldn't wait to go back, which took time because it was so fully booked. However, the return visit was a major disappointment, so we probably won't return.

    Bath has lots and lots of other restaurants, lots catering for visitors, lots for hen nights (it is the Spa that attracts), so there is a great range, but not great quality.

    A few others that have strong reputations (but I have not tried) are The Olive Tree, The Dower House (in the Royal Crescent Hotel), and The Bath Priory (Chris Horridges Michelin starred "healthy food" - expensive and mixed reviews).

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD


      Thanks for the info. We have a reservation tomorrow at White Hart. It sounds good & casual, and hopefully we'll find it! Will give the others a look and try to make a reservation at one of them for Saturday night.


    2. I hope it's ok to resurrect this thread. I'll be in Bath for a day-long cookery class in April and would like to find a reasonable, non-hotel place to dine the night before.

      Do all of the recommendations above still apply? Has anywhere new and exciting opened? We eat most things but would prefer to stick to European as a general rule as we'll be cooking and eating South Indian food the next day.

      Any thoughts greatly appreciated :)

      8 Replies
      1. re: DollyDagger

        Most are the same.

        I have gone off The Wheatsheaf, I think it has lost its way a bit, and it lost its "one star rising" Michelin rating a nice but very expensive dinner there before Christmas. Quite an average meal at the Pinch in the autumn and so wouldn't rush back. Jamie Oliver opened one of his Italian restaurant here last year, it has now settled down. IMO it is OK but very expensive for what it is.

        I had an excellent meal at the White Hart just before Christmas - above average, ambitious pub food, which is all cooked on the premises. This is my regular haunt.

        "One fish, two fish" is a well thought of fish restaurant, looks nice but have yet to go. The big news in Bath is a change of chefs at the Priory. Chris Horridge has cone to Clivden and Michael Caines is taking over as exec and hopefully we will see his influence before April (however probably not what you are looking for)

        1. re: DollyDagger

          Which course are you doing? Is it the one taught by Atul Kochhar or is it The Indian Mother in law? It will be interesting to hear your thoughts after you do the course. There seem to be lots of interesting choices.

          1. re: PhilD

            The White Hart was at the top of my list, having looked at past threads, so I think we'll give it a go if we can get booked in. Is the menu quite meat-heavy? (Would someone who generally opts for fish or vegetarian options find something to eat?)

            We're doing the South Indian thali class at the Vegetarian Cookery School. It's a gift so I don't know too much about it but will definitely report back. We're booked into a class in London a month before so it will be interesting to compare the two.

            Thanks for your reccs :)

            1. re: DollyDagger

              I didn't realise we had another school in Bath, I had assumed it was "The Bertinet Kitchen" .
              The White Hart always has fish and I believe a vegetarian option - I will check tonight.

              1. re: PhilD

                Ah I haven't heard of that one. (Although the lady doing the Indian classes is also running the one I'm going to in London)

                Is The White Hart relatively easy to find? I've just Google-mapped it and realised we're staying quite far away, near Bathwick St.

                1. re: DollyDagger

                  Bath isn't very large and is easy (and safe) to walk around, I think the only danger is being accosted by one of the large hen parties that patrol Milsom and George Streets (is it only Bath that seems to only get hen parties and no stag nights, I assume it is because of the Therma Spa?). The White Hart is in the "village" just behind the station, and there is a foot bridge that crosses the river at the back (go through the tunnel where the taxis park), how long the walk is depends on which end of Bathwick Street you are - I would estimate 15 mins.

                  If that is to far you could try the "King William" on London Road (turn left at the top of Bathwick Street and it is a few hundred meters down the road). As I have said I have been twice - once good the second time less so. A couple of good pubs close by: The Pultney Arms in Daniel Street, mix of posh rugby types and students (odd but it works), but don't bother with the food; The Star, also on London Road (but turn right towards town), it doesn't do food but it is very historical and serves Bass from a jug.

                  I did check out the menu in The White Hart last night for veggy/fish choices. To start: sweet potato, coconut and chilli soup; smoked haddock risotto; tuna and crab linguini; and a roast winter vegetable salad (IIRC). For mains: roast cod with Provençal vegetables; Bream (can't remember how it was served); and a puff pastry tart with aubergine caviar. Generally starters are around £6 and mains £12. Also lots of meaty options. We have eaten there quite a lot, it is usually very good, only one poor meal, but that seemed to be an aberration seem to have recovered based on our excellent meal just before Christmas.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Thanks so much for your help, and for checking out the menu for us. It doesn't sound like too far to walk so I think we'll go for it. Do we need to book nearer the time?

                    Really looking forward to visiting Bath now :)

                    1. re: PhilD

                      Just a quick thanks for your recommendations. After a long drive, the King William really hit the spot. Totally packed on a Friday night - we were lucky they could squeeze us in on the cosy candlelit ground floor. Two portions of hake and chips (with homemade tartare sauce), one decent bottle of wine and a chocolate pot with honey ice-cream - bliss!

                      The cookery course and B&B were spot on too :)