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It’s only a mile from the city centre, but the redoubtable Bath Priory is the epitome of cosseting country-house comfort – all velvet lawns, well-stuffed sofas and gilt-framed portraits. With a kitchen brigade headed up by Michael Nizzero (The Waterside Inn, The Ritz Restaurant et al), diners can also look forward to high-end cuisine and a repertoire of classically inclined seasonal dishes. Sourcing and timing are admirable – witness starters of confit sea trout with sorrel and heritage tomatoes or a pheasant egg accompanied by English asparagus and St George’s mushrooms. Meat and game loom large among the mains (think lamb loin with courgettes, fregola, lemon confit and basil or show-cooked breast of pigeon partnered by pink fir potatoes, cabbage and lime), while desserts such as salted caramel fondant with butterscotch and banana sorbet are also beautifully executed. Service is suitably “smart”, and a “great sommelier” is on hand to guide oenophiles through the exhaustive wine list. Lighter bites, drinks and afternoon tea are also available in the all-day Pantry.
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