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Chef Chris Staines has an impressive CV, having worked at Marco Pierre White's three-Michelin-starred Oak Room before moving to Foliage at London's Mandarin Oriental, where he held his own star for
seven years. He is now at the helm of the all-day Allium Brasserie on the ground floor of Ian and Christa Taylor's refurbished hotel, just a stone's throw from Bath's historic abbey and Roman
baths. Staines looks beyond the well-worn modern British path and isn’t afraid to deploy global influences in precise, full-flavoured dishes such as a salad of miso-cured salmon with fried oyster
fritters, grapefruit and wasabi dressing, slow-cooked belly of pork with aubergine sambal, fried garlic and cured shrimp omelette or roast partridge with polenta, poached quince and sage. Desserts
are in the same vein, and fixed-price menus are especially good value.
If this hotel is as elegant and cheerfully helpful as its wine list it should be on the itinerary of any visitor to Bath. Wines are split into easily comprehensible style categories and the tasting notes that accompany every wine are helpful, enthusiastic and personal. Moreover, there’s evidence throughout of careful buying, backed up by keen pricing. ‘There’s evidence here of real consideration,’ praised consultant Christopher Cooper, who was one of the judges.
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