Brunch at Flute Seafood Café and Bar

Isabelle Blakeney pays a visit to Flute, the new all-day seafood spot in town…

I’ll be honest, ‘seafood breakfast bar’ is a concept that’s new to me. Other than smoked salmon, I’m not particularly well-versed on fishy breakfast items, so as a modern all-day seafood breakfast, fine-dining and cocktail spot, Flute Seafood Café and Bar promised to be full of surprises.

The eatery opened in October this year and since then has taken Bath by storm. It sells itself as the ‘ultimate seafood hangout in the heart of Bath’, and serves food from 10am – 11pm everyday – even staying open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays – focusing on fresh fish, sharing plates, wine and cocktails.

Flute guarantees versatility: whether you’re looking for a relaxed breakfast or a night out with great food and exciting cocktails, they’ve got you covered. Take a step inside and you’ll find airy interiors filled with natural light and white-washed wooden panels adorning the walls, carefully paired with wicker chairs and wooden tables that give the impression of a beach-side café. The interior avoids the usual trite ‘nautical tat’ present at seafood spots; instead think tasteful wall art and playful murals. On one wall I even noticed a shrimp painting peeping out from behind a tiny Christmas tree. Step through to the back of the dining area and you’ll find the Octopus Bar, an elegant lounge area for small plates and cocktails that transforms the venue into the go-to evening destination

At the front, where the brunch service takes place, the vibes are serene. The ability to transform a city café and bar into a tranquil breakfast spot is an impressive feat, and Flute certainly captures the essence of a seaside retreat. Calypso-esque soul plays through the speakers, adding to that beachy feeling. At Flute, you quickly discover that everything is about fun. There’s an element of play in every décor choice and menu item, and nothing takes itself too seriously.

Now for the food. A menu to match Flute’s playful spirit needs creativity, and Executive Chef Kasae Fraser has done just that. Though there is a separate brunch menu, most items are available throughout the day. Fancy a pint of prawns at 10am? Go for it. Mussels for breakfast? At Flute, anything goes.

The brunch menu is just as exciting. It offers the classics – eggs on toast, bacon rolls, pastries – but the stars of the show are the Lobster Benedict, the King Prawn Breakfast Taco, and the Smoked Salmon Waffle. How to decide?
Peter, the waiter, brought me a coffee as I deliberated over the menu and talked me through the cocktail list. Wine and cocktails are served all day and the staff at Flute have a clear passion for the craft. I asked Peter to make me his favourite cocktail and he delivered the perfect non-alcoholic Bloody Mary, filled with fragrant basil and fiery Tabasco and adorned with a playful skewer of tricoloured tomatoes and gherkins. We decided that it would pair perfectly with the Lobster Benedict, making the choice a whole lot easier.

Brunch arrived as two fluffy, lightly toasted muffins piled with chunks of lobster meat, all sitting under two perfectly poached eggs and swimming in hollandaise sauce. Dispel any fears of too-much-fish-too-early-in-the-morning here; Flute gets their fish delivered daily from Wing of St Mawes suppliers in Cornwall, so everything is super fresh and prepared to perfection.

The quality of the lobster convinced me to give the Smoked Salmon Waffle a try. Ribbons of delicate smoked salmon sat atop a crisp toasted waffle and a dollop of dilly crème fraiche in a Norwegian ode to our classic breakfast smoked salmon bagel. I also tasted the Kedgeree Arancini; it was too tempting not to. Think smoky kedgeree formed into crisp, bite-sized balls, topped with confit egg yolks, chives and black tobiko. What’s not to love?

Flute’s focus on quality ingredients makes for a menu that is creative and exciting without overcomplicating the recipes, instead enhancing each flavour and allowing the seafood to shine.

At this point I reluctantly announced defeat, still eyeing up the menu and vowing to come back soon to try the King Prawn Breakfast Taco. Flute is evidently a spot for ultimate indulgence; somewhere that you could visit any time, from the early hours into the evening. But as a brunch spot, think serene surroundings with ever-flowing drinks if you so desire, and a menu to keep you coming back; Flute is definitely the perfect catch.

This meal, including the cocktail, cost £54. Flute Seafood Café and Bar is open from 10am–11pm Monday – Thursday, 10am–2am Friday and Saturday, and 10am–10.30pm on Sunday.