Great Bath Feast - 1st to 31st October

The Great Bath Feast opened at the start of this month and runs until 31 October. If you have never been to the beautiful city of Bath then you have missed a treat but you can make up for it this month and enjoy a second treat - a food feast. It's my birthday this month, so I'll be taking the M5 south west to celebrate in food heaven!

Bath is better known for its Roman baths and soaring Georgian architecture, but in the past decade it has also been quietly carving out a reputation for itself as the food capital of the West Country. The sleepy streets are packed with restaurants and cafés serving fantastic, often locally-sourced, food, while that rumoured-to-be-dying institution, the Great British pub, is flourishing in the form of the city's many vibrant watering holes. This month sees the Great Bath Feast take place, which offers a packed schedule of food events from markets to masterclasses. Here's a pick of the best places to eat and drink in the city, from restaurants to pubs:-


Yak Yeti Yak
It would be all too easy to walk by this Nepalese restaurant, which has a rather insalubrious basement location, unenticing signage and (let's face it) a terrible name. Descend down the rickety stairs, however, and you’ll find a surprisingly airy restaurant, with traditional seating on the floor and wholesome, aromatic food for bargain prices. It's extremely popular with locals, so make sure to book if you can.
(12 Pierrepont St,

The Chequers
This cosy venue delivers everything you want from a gastropub – great beer, relaxed atmosphere and mouth-watering British dishes. Chef Leigh Evans has won awards for his food, and the Sunday roasts are the stuff of legend. The Chequers' sister pub The Marlborough Tavern is also worth visiting.
(50 Rivers St,
This elegant restaurant just behind the Assembly Rooms, where Jane Austen whirled and twirled the night away, serves classic French fare in a pretty Georgian setting. Even better, they use plenty of local produce, so you’ll get a taste of the West Country too. Ideal for a romantic weekend away.

(4 Saville Row,


The Raven
Much less "gastropub” than The Chequers, this is a relaxed watering hole that is rightfully famous for its great beers and homemade pies. There's nine different pie flavours to choose from, all with wonderfully quirky names, such as The Deerstalker – venison, bacon, lentils, thyme and port – and the The Heidi, featuring goat’s cheese and sweet potato with roasted garlic. One visit may not be enough.
(7 Queen St,

The Hop Pole
It's a bit of a stroll from the main tourist attractions, but this spacious pub has a more relaxed feel than many in the bustling city centre, and a beautiful garden in summer. The pub is owned by Bath Ales, an independent brewery established in 1995, so you can confidently expect an excellent range of local beer. The food's worth trying, too.
(77 Queen St Albion Buildings, Upper Bristol Road,


Colonna and Small's
Don’t bother going to Colonna and Small's if you’re not a serious coffee fan – they only serve one type of tea, and anyone asking for a vanilla latte is likely to be booted out the door. What they do offer is amazingly high-quality, specialist coffee, with the menu changed weekly. Owner Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has been named the UK's best barista twice, and it's apparently not uncommon for caffeine addicts to drive miles just to sample a brew.
(6 Chapel Row,

Society Café
Not quite as highbrow as Colonna and Small's, but this is still a café that takes its drinks seriously. Inspired by Australia and New Zealand's artisan coffee shops, it also serves delicious cakes (try the macarons) and has a handy activity area for children downstairs. Excellent for crashing out with a newspaper and watching the world go by for a few hours.
(Kingsmead Square,


Door 34
For my money the best bar in Bath, Door 34 – or the "liquid alchemist's lounge” as it sometimes styles itself – could give any trendy London drinking den a run for its money. There's an eclectic cocktail menu taking inspiration from everything from Prohibition staples to Victorian concoctions, but the bar staff are extremely knowledgable and will make you anything you fancy. Drinkers are often found propping up the bar, chatting away as their drinks are shaken and stirred – the sure sign of a good local.
(34 Monmouth Street,

Sub 13
Bath’s most famous cocktail lounge offers well-made cocktails in a moodily atmospheric, candlelit basement setting. Try and pop down for the excellent happy hour, which lasts from 5pm to 8pm every day, and has (unlike many places) a decent list of drinks to choose from.
(4 Edgar Buildings,


The Fine Cheese Co
This gloriously old-fashioned shop was set up over two decades ago by Ann-Marie Dyas, an ex-advertising guru with a passion for the yellow stuff. It stocks everything from delicate goat's cheeses to pungent French specialities, and the helpful staff will lend you a hand if you're unsure of what to buy. There’s a great variety of preserves and crackers on sale, and the café next door is worth a visit too.
(29 & 31 Walcot Street,

Get to Bath this month, I'll see you there!


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