Best for a birthday surprise
Menu Gordon Jones
If you’re someone who likes surprises, then this fine dining restaurant in Bath will be right up your street — you won’t know what’s on the menu until you’re sitting at your table. However, don’t worry, with award-winning chef Gordon Jones at the helm, who attributes his cooking success to his mum and Scottish upbringing, diners can be certain they’re in for an unforgettable experience. Those in the know say dishes have British, Indian and Asian influences.
Address: 2 Wellsway, Bath BA2 3AQ
For sample menu and reservations: menugordonjones.co.uk/
Best for pub classics
The West Gate
A welcoming Greene King pub, this 17th-century coaching inn is located in Bath’s city centre and is a charming retreat serving traditional pub grub such as sausages and mash and scampi and chips. You’ll always find great deals on the menu, and seasonal offers make the lively watering hole a favourite with both locals and visitors — and the resident ghost! Sunday roasts are particularly good value.
Address: 38 Westgate Street, Bath BA1 1EL
For menus and reservations: www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/somerset/west-gate
Best for valiant vegans
Plants are surely the stars of this innovative vegan restaurant, conveniently located just a two-minute walk from the Roman Baths via the Abbey Churchyard. Amusingly, Same Old Donkey Carrots is one of the starters, with One Whole Cauliflower a popular main. Whatever you’re tempted to choose, meals are carefully crafted and exquisitely presented in the plush Georgian dining room. A three-course set menu is priced just under £40.
Address: 2 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX
For menus and reservations: www.acornrestaurant.co.uk/
Best for a fish supper
The Scallop Shell
You may be visiting the city, but you’ll be transported to the seaside when you enter this traditional fish and chip restaurant, a former winner in the National Fish and Chips awards. Whether you harbour some tasty haddock or hake, or yearn for a plate of shellfish, the catch of the day will be displayed in a quirky Victorian cast-iron bath. On a balmy evening, ask for a table in the atmospheric upstairs terrace.
Address: 22 Monmouth Place, Bath BA1 2AY
For menus and reservations: www.thescallopshell.co.uk/
Best for Jane Austen fans
Avid readers of romantic novels should not miss the chance to visit the Jane Austen Centre, a quaint museum dedicated to the life and works of the famous author who lived in Bath in the early 19th century. Nearby, Café Rouge is an equally fascinating French bistro, where you can enjoy lunch, dinner or afternoon tea in a former dance hall. With magnificent stained-glass windows, the venue was apparently frequented by Princess Margaret.
Address: 15 Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DE
For menus and reservations: www.caferouge.com/bistro-brasserie/bath/milsom-street
Best for flavoursome food
Yak Yeti Yak
Authentic Nepalese food, both traditional family favourites and inspiring contemporary cuisine, can be enjoyed at Yak Yeti Yak, a characterful restaurant in central Bath. And while chefs like to cook with fresh local ingredients, they also travel to Nepal to source herbs and spices that give their dishes their fragrance and unique flavour. The two-course set menu at just under £11, available at lunchtime and early evening, represents excellent value for money.
Address: 12 Pierrepont Street, Bath BA1 1LA
For menus and reservations: www.yakyetiyak.co.uk
Best for a city date
The Circus Restaurant
Located between two of Bath’s great architectural and iconic landmarks — the Royal Crescent and the Circus — The Circus Restaurant is also a destination well worth visiting. Open for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, you’ll find a refined yet relaxing environment. Indeed, as night falls and candles light up the room, the British restaurant becomes somewhat romantic, so perfect for a date. Note that a minimum of five per cent of profits go to local charities.
Address: 34 Brock Street, Bath BA1 2LN
For menus and reservations: www.thecircusrestaurant.co.uk/
Best for pizza choice
When you dine at a pizza restaurant, normally you only need to choose your favourite topping. But at Dough, a value-for-money eatery near the Roman Baths and Victoria Art Gallery, there are 12 different base choices too. Sourdough, hemp, gluten-free turmeric, multi-grain, seaweed — you’ll have plenty of excuses for a return visit, or even two. Watch out for some impressive acrobatic pizza-throwing in the kitchen.
Address: 14-16 The Corridor, Bath BA1 5AP
For menus and reservations: doughpizzarestaurant.co.uk/
Best for all-day dining
Same Same But Different
It doesn’t matter what time of the day you pay a visit to this endearing family-run café/restaurant, you won’t be disappointed with the food, or service. Delicious filling breakfasts, and a selection of sandwiches, are served until 3.30pm on weekdays, 4pm at weekends, and an evening tapas menu will tempt you to linger longer. Look out for regular offers. Bath’s wonderful Fashion Museum is only a two-minute walk away.
Address: 7A Princes Buildings, Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2ED
For menus and reservations: same-same.co.uk/
Best for dog walkers
The pretty village of Bathampton sits on the edge of Bath and is surrounded by meadows and wetlands — a picturesque spot for a waterside walk. If you’ve a four-legged friend in tow, pop into the dog-friendly, Grade II-listed George Inn, and either watch canal boats from the pub’s beer garden, or a roaring real fire from one of the nooks and crannies indoors. Being part of the Chef & Brewer chain, you’ll always find good-value meals on the menu.
Address: Mill Lane, Bath BA2 6TR
For menus and reservations: www.chefandbrewer.com/pubs/somerset/george-inn