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Bath on a plate

From a quiet pint in the city’s oldest pub to late-night Greek snacks on the way home, chef Rupert Taylor of Allium picks his favourite places to eat and drink in Bath

 

Best breakfast

Previously The Jazz Cafe, I have enjoyed bountiful breakfasts at the small and welcoming Kingsmead Kitchen for more than 15 years. It still serves the best all-day breakfast in Bath, alongside a great selection of your normal breakfast and lunch fare; freshly made smoothies, salads, toasted sandwiches, pastries and cakes. I thoroughly recommend the Kingsmead Big Breakfast.

 

Best coffee

An open-plan and modern, loft-style coffee shop surrounded by quirky furniture and stylish homeware boutiques, Cafe Lucca is a short walk from Bath’s busier thoroughfares. I often pop in during the afternoon to quickly meet with family or friends. Cafe Lucca serves great coffee, thanks to Bristol’s Clifton Coffee Roasters, who are known for creating a full-bodied, richer flavour. The cake selection is fantastic, too.  

 

Best brunch

Just off Queen Square, Wild Cafe is undoubtedly one of my best finds. It’s an offbeat place with upcycled interiors, locally sourced ingredients and a low carbon footprint. I’m a big fan of their bubble and squeak, with a sideways nod to their top-notch Bloody Mary. Their pancake stacks are also a firm family favourite. They don’t take reservations, so arrive early – the wait is worth it.

 

Best lunch

Just 10 minutes’ walk from central Bath, the Ring O’Bells is a great place for lunch, a hidden haven away from the hubbub of the city. Far from being a busman’s holiday, I love to eat out and taste as much food as possible and this pub’s seasonal tasting plates – English tapas if you will – really hit the spot.

 

Best place for food shopping

Bath is a hub for independent shops and start-ups, all stamping their style on the bustling food industry, but if you want an experience that is rooted in the history of Bath, then you need look no further than Bath Farmers’ Market at Green Park Station. Open every Saturday morning, it gathers together local artisan producers in an old Victorian train station, complete with impressive vaulted glass roof and authentic charm. Expect the very best of local bread, vegetables, oil, cider, meat, chocolate and cheese. It really is a foodies’ paradise.

 

Best place for a pint

Bath is full of great places to whet your whistle, but for a quiet pint in historic surrounds it has to be the Coeur de Lion. Tucked away in pedestrianised Northumberland Place, the Coeur de Lion is Bath’s oldest and smallest pub, dating back to 1749 and also happens to be owned by Bath’s oldest brewery, Abbey Ales. Although not cutting-edge in approach or design, it has character and is always full of locals – a sign of its enduring popularity.

 

Best place with the family

To be found at the top of Lansdown, the Hare & Hounds has hearty food and stunning views over the Bath countryside. Their child and baby friendly approach applies across the board, with a little adventure playground for the little ones, high chairs galore and a healthy kids’ menu, making the whole experience easy.

 

Best for Sunday lunch

If you’re looking for good honest cooking at a high standard without breaking the bank, then the White Hart’s Sunday lunch sits atop the pile. This casual spot is a little walk out of the heart of the city, but it’s definitely worth a visit. You’ll need to book in advance, another testament to its reputation.

 

Pre-dinner cocktails

If I’m eating out in Bath at night, I always start the evening with a pre-dinner tipple at the Canary Gin Bar, owned by The Bath Gin Company. Housing over 230 gins, including their own Bath gin, they offer a gin-based cocktail menu known as the Gin Austen, but you can go classic with an as-you-like-it G&T or pick your poison from a more classic cocktail selection. It’s a small bar, but rich in atmosphere, with dark décor and plenty of intrigue.  

 

Best place for dinner

Bath has a buzzing food scene with plenty of choice, but if I really had to reduce it down to one favourite, it would be Pintxo on Barton Street. This cosy little restaurant serves authentically Basque-style tapas, and it’s exceptional. Expect expertly prepared platefuls of smile-inducing, sunshine-filled food. You can’t book in advance, so arrive early and wait – you won’t regret it.

 

Where to go for a late-night snack

A Greek deli in the day, Taka Taka is a small, bustling restaurant and takeaway which transforms into the most amazing pitta house in the evening. Serving traditional gyros, souvlaki and pitta wraps, using quality and traditional ingredients, this is the perfect late-night snack en route home. I’ve spent a lot of time in Greece, both working and travelling for pleasure, so Taka Taka was the authentic trip down memory lane I had been looking for.

 

If I could do only one thing in Bath, it would have to be…

Take a dip in the rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa, the only spot in Britain where you can bathe in natural and warm mineral waters. Dry off and head to the world-famous Sally Lunn’s historic eating house, which is unique to Bath. I always opt for the Queen Victoria’s Tea, a toasted Bath bun with homemade lemon curd and decadent clotted cream, but the choice is bountiful and the tea is first class.

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