The Bath Priory Hotel [Bath, Somerset]
The restaurant at the Priory has recently be taken over by Michael Caines who is exec chef and the head chef at the hotels sister restaurant Gidleigh Park. The restaurant held a Michelin star under the previous chef Chris Horridige, who was (in)famous for his rather evangelical healthy menu with lots of nuts and seeds. We had been put off visiting as a result, for us, expensive meals need lots of decadent unhealthy ingredients to be really satisfying.
Lunch on Saturday was £30 (+ £4.80 for coffee and petit fours) for three courses of immaculate food. This is true one star cooking with great ingredients, lots of good techniques and very elegant plating. The FOH service is also really good, professional and friendly.
Sunday lunch is more expensive, and the ALC is £65 for three courses, or £90 for a tasting menu. The dining room was full so best to book. The Priory is a wonderful old Bath stone house on he edge of the city with nice gardens, and a really good country house hotel feel, lots of paintings, panelling, flag stone floors and overstuffed seats.
The pictures show the Scallop, chicken and sweet-corn starter, and Asparagus and poached egg starter, a Grey Mullet main, and a Lemon Soufflé dessert.
After reading this, I think the Priory might just be one of my next dining destinations. I stayed at the Priory way back in 1989 or so, which I think was my first ever trip to the UK. What I remember most is that the rooms all had the name of a flower ( we were in the lilac room), and the food was nothing I wrote back home about. I've always admired Caines when he appears on TV, and his presence (real or in spirit) is a good motivation.
It's a small world at times. Years ago, I knew the owners of Gidleigh Park (they were real mavens when it came to good dining in Italy, too), but sadly I never got to stay there. Now I'm sure it would break my bank! It's a beautiful spot.
"I've always admired Caines when he appears on TV, and his presence (real or in spirit) is a good motivation."
Caines was at Manchester's Abode when we ate there.
So, as you do, I let on to him, thinking "That's Michael Caines" . And he let on to me, thinking "That's some fat middle punter that I better let on to."