Planning a greedy weekend in the South West’s staycation capital? Ensure your escape is delicious from breakfast to bedtime by staying at one of these foodie hotels in Bath
The Bath Priory
When Jane Austen’s contemporaries visited Bath to take the waters, you can imagine they might have stayed at The Bath Priory. With its honey-coloured stone and gothic features, it has all the splendour of a grand country house hotel – spacious rooms, verdant gardens and a sumptuous spa – yet is only a stroll from the city centre.
After an afternoon relaxing in The Garden Spa by L’Occitane (the French luxury skincare specialist’s only UK spa), indulge in glass of something sparkling in The Pantry & Terrace which overlooks the hotel’s four acres of luscious gardens. Follow with an informal supper or, if you’re feeling decadent, head to the three AA rosette restaurant for a more gilded dining experience. Head chef Jauca Catalin’s French-influenced menus showcase the freshest local produce and are complemented by an exemplary wine cellar.
Feast on a trio of à la carte courses such as Orkney scallops with squid-ink vinaigrette and jerusalem artichoke to start, Himalayan salt chamber dry-aged fillet of beef with smoked brisket, salsify, lovage and red wine reduction for main, and apricot soufflé with milk oolong-tea ice cream and almond sauce to finish.
Stepping into The Bird, a Victorian villa just behind Bath Rugby ground, feels like falling down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of curios and technicolour. The boutique hotel is a fun, one-of-a-kind destination where you can relax and soak up the surroundings after a busy day perusing the sights of Bath.
Canadian chef Rhys Jackson oversees the kitchen at Plate (the hotel’s main restaurant), and excels in creating delicious delights that fit the playful setting. Creative dishes include the likes off Quantock duck breast with pickled shimeji, butternut and roasted plum, and plump fillets of monkfish with autumn veg and pancetta fricassee. The lunchtime menu is extremely good value at £15 for two courses.
For a more exclusive dining experience, why not book your own glass dome? Bedecked with baubles and blankets, they offer a cosy indoor/outdoor vibe where groups of between four and eight can enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner in their own private bubble.
The South West’s discerning diners will be familiar with Olive Tree Restaurant, Bath’s only Michelin-starred venue. Executive chef Chris Cleghorn honed his skills alongside Michael Caines and James Sommerin and his exceptional talents are showcased in six- and nine-course tasting menus. Each dish is crafted around a seasonal hero ingredient, and exquisite attention to detail is paid to flavour balance and plating.
Of course, if you’re going to splash out on a Michelin feast it’s worth parting with a few more pounds and booking a room at sister establishment Queensberry Hotel . Located above the basement restaurant on a quiet residential street, the Georgian townhouse has 29 gloriously luxe rooms. Just a moment’s walk from Bath city centre, it’s a convenient and luxurious haven where you can kick back after an evening of fine-dining indulgence.
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent has featured in many a period drama thanks to its eye-catching arc of grand Georgian houses. Although built in the late 18th century, the building that’s now The Royal Crescent didn’t become a hotel until the 1970s when two residences were merged to create one grand abode. Today, it’s one of the most sought-after places to stay in the city.
Its food, courtesy of head chef Martin Blake, is also a draw. Guests can begin proceedings with a glass of chilled Taittinger or a cocktail in the Montagu Bar before slinking across to the Dower House Restaurant for a six-course tasting menu. Expect to sample dishes such as Newlyn mackerel tartare with radish, Porthilly oyster and kombu, and Whaddon Grove Farm lamb with courgette, salt baked leek, sea aster and lamb jus. For something less formal, stick around at Montagu Bar and feast on classics like 8oz beef rib-eye and lemon sole meunière.
If you’re looking for bolthole from which to explore the historic sights of Bath you can’t get much closer to the action than Eight, a boutique hotel just yards from Bath Abbey and a few cobbled streets from the Roman Baths. With 18 rooms spread over two townhouses, it’s a cosy, comfortable and contemporary place to relax between restaurant bookings.
Although easy to get swept away by the temptations of Bath’s eclectic dining scene, savvy guests will reserve a table at the hotel’s restaurant. Located in the 500-year-old cellar (originally the refectory for monks who worshipped at the Abbey), it serves eight small plates each evening. Sample a selection of perfectly executed dishes such as caesar salad chicken croquettes and spiced deep-fried tofu with soy dipping sauce.
Like 5 of the best foodie hotels in Bath? Check out our roundup of Bath brunch spots.
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