Having gained and lost them over the years, Bath now has a Michelin-starred restaurant once again courtesy of chef Chris Cleghorn, whose imaginative and exciting cooking is delivered via five- or seven-course tasting menus.
Things might kick off with crunchy, chicken skin profiteroles, ahead of scallops with seaweed tea and mushroom ketchup, an unctuous ball of truffle tagliatelle with slices of local black truffle, and tiny slabs of monkfish with mussel cream. The quality of duck served with a salty hazelnut crunch, an almost violet venison and a simple parfait (presented on a small podium like a track-and-field star) spoke for themselves, while an unforgettable dish of oozing dark chocolate fondant balanced with salty slices of briny green olives was a witty nod to the restaurant’s name and the colour scheme of the small, wood-floored dining room.
Vegetarian and vegan tasting menus are a welcome idea alongside the meat and fish versions, and all dishes can be ordered à la carte if you’re not so hungry. Wine pairings are worth the extra cost if you fancy trying something new, with the ‘journey’ presented by a waitress so knowledgeable we at first assumed she was the sommelier, including a glass from Lanzarote that tasted of the “summer holidays” she promised and went brilliantly with a plate of trout.
There was a quiet atmosphere when we visited mid-week, despite restaurant and hotel being fully-booked. If you can stay, do, as the suites are stunning and with a top-of-town-location, you can perfectly explore the city by wandering down through the famous Circus.
Cleghorn, who is currently juggling his first newborn with his first Michelin star, trained under Michael Caines and at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, and you can tell. Eating here is a delight, if you can get a table.