The annual Great Bath Feast invites us to celebrate the best of the south west’s food and drink
Each month in The Bath Magazine we celebrate our local food heroes, highlighting the producers, makers and chefs who bring so much delicious diversity to our plates. We’ve focussed on the brilliant work done by the volunteers at Bath’s FoodCycle free supper club, on the Corston farmer Emily Addicott Sauvao whose quinoa brand Bath Farm Girls is growing by the week, and on Matthew and Louise Macdonald whose happy, free range hens produce a subtle rainbow of coloured eggs.
And so this month we’re pleased to be highlighting these food heroes and many more, who are all taking part in the Great Bath Feast, which runs from Saturday 23 September to Sunday 8 October.
The feast is now an annual event, a chance for Bath and the surrounding countryside to show off its homegrown talent and for us, the hungry masses, to grab a bargain, eat at a place we’ve not tried before, or push the boat out by attending a special gourmet event.
Vegetarian Supper Club with Rupert Taylor, head chef of Allium, who invites diners to join him for a convivial meat-free dinner party in the Igloo beneath the Abbey Hotel on Tuesday 26 September. Enjoy a welcome drink, three course supper and half a bottle of wine for £35 per person.
Tuck in to a Bennet Banquet courtesy of Cafe L’ard’s Jane Austen Supper Club, on Friday 29 September, for a six course feast with a Jane Austen theme, served up in the relaxed and sociable atmosphere of St Swithin’s Church, the place where Jane’s parents married and her father is buried. This is a bring your own drink party, tickets are £35 a head.
Join the expert vegetarian chefs from Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, Demuths Cookery School and Green Rocket Café as they come together to show their passion for producing the very best vegetarian food, on Monday 25 September. Enjoy a fresh and seasonally inspired six course tasting menu with wine, at £60 per person.
What the entertaining and charming Vito Scaduto doesn’t know about Sicilian wine really isn’t worth knowing. This highly experienced sommelier will be guest host at The Bath Priory on Wednesday 27 September, for a talk and four course Michelin starred dinner paired with wines from Tasca d’Almerita, a fine wine producing estate in Sicily founded in 1830. Places for this evening are £95 per person.
There’ll be more fine wine from Sicily at the Allium on Wednesday 27 September as winemaker Alessio Planeta as he guides diners through his family’s multi award-winning wines and the Sicilian regions where they are made, all accompanied by a sumptuous four-course menu created by Allium head chef, Rupert Taylor. This evening is £75 per person.
If you’re looking for a reason to enjoy chef Dan Moon’s superb menu at the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel, join Great Bath Feast Ambassadors The Pig Guide for a six course feast in the glamorous, sophisticated, yet relaxed surroundings of the restaurant on Wednesday 27 September. Book a place at what promises to be a convivial evening in good company for £59 per person.
Wine and cheese experts Fiona Beckett and Ben Lambourne present an evening of wine and cheese matches at Bath Rugby’s club on Thursday 28 September. Fiona is a wine writer for The Guardian and Decanter Magazine, and Ben owns Pong Cheese. The tasting session is £25 per ticket, with £5 from every ticket bought going to the Bath Rugby Foundation charity.
GET STUCK IN
The Great Bath Feast offers plenty of immersive food and drink based activities. You might think you know the local food scene really well but Savouring Bath’s original and fascinating walking (and sampling) tours visit places you might have overlooked and offer the inside story behind each artisan brand.
Foraging is something many of us enjoyed as children, picking blackberries or hazelnuts. But we don’t always know what’s safe to eat and what might be harmful. Join expert Chris Westgate of Heavenly Hedgerows for a walk at Newton Farm entitled Foraging without Fear, on Saturday 7 October. Also at Newton Farm local artist Natasha Clutterbuck will be leading an art workshop called Drawing the Harvest, with nature’s bounty as inspiration. That’s on Thursday 28 September from 10am.
If you’re one of those people who can’t resist photographing your food, either in restaurants or at home, you might benefit from an Instagram workshop teaching the secrets of successful food photography. The four hour workshop, at the Hare & Hounds, Lansdown, begins at 10am on Wednesday 27 September and is followed by lunch, giving participants the chance to hone their newly learned skills. Places on the workshop are £60, to include lunch.
People who have taken part in one of Iranian teacher Simi’s Kitchen workshops will testify that her welcome makes you feel as though you’re at a friend’s home for dinner. Simi is hosting three informal Persian Feast cookery sessions at her cookery school in Great Pulteney Street. Sample the celebrated cuisine and hospitality of Persia and Azerbaijan, using seasonal ingredients grown on Simi’s organic allotment and foraged around the city to create traditional dishes such as jewelled rice, aubergine dip and saffron chicken. Places on the Great Persian Feast are £75 per person.
Some of the city’s favourite food heroes can be found at Green Park Station, where this month the Bath Farmers’ Market celebrates its 20th anniversary. The market was founded in 1997 as a platform for local food producers to sell their wares direct to shoppers. The monthly market proved so popular by 2002 it became weekly and now forms a set Saturday morning routine for many Bathonians, who enjoy picking up freshly grown vegetables from grower Chris Rich, talking to the producers who make the pies, cheese, chutney and cakes and stopping for a bite to eat from JC’s Kitchen, whose pulled pork wraps have earned him a cult following.
On Saturday 23 September, during the day time, Green Park Station hosts Feast with a Farmer, in which local chefs will be cooking up all sorts of treats before our very eyes. Also at Green Park Station, from 5pm to 9pm, there’s an invitation to travel around the world in 80 bites as stalls are set out selling dishes from different cultures, a party atmosphere is anticipated and city workers are encouraged to stay in town and take part in this early evening celebration of the 25th anniversary of Green Park Brasserie.
Image: Bath Edible Adventures
Lots of establishments have joined the Great Bath Feast love-in by offering customers deals, all for £10. Please remember to mention the Tenner Treat when ordering at any of these venues.
The Abbey Hotel’s stylish ArtBar is offering a glass of house wine or beer served with two tasty bar snacks, such as salt cod croquettes, salt and pepper squid and scotched quail’s eggs, for a tenner.
Enjoy a roast dinner and a drink in the atmospheric Cloisters Restaurant at Bailbrook House Hotel for £10 per person, or order a Somerset cream tea in the elegant surroundings of the hotel for £10 for two people. Booking is essential for these offers. Tuck into a whole, freshly made pizza accompanied by a pint of beer, a glass of Prosecco, or a soft drink, for £10 at the Bath Pizza Company in Green Park Station, Bath.
Meanwhile, down on Green Street, for the duration of the Great Bath Feast choose any Belushi’s burger and a drink to accompany it for £10.
The Bath Pub Tour wends its way through Bath’s drinking history. This mixture of walking tour and light-hearted pub quiz has been getting rave reviews online. Join Olly your guide during Great Bath Feast for a £10 for two participants. The tour begins from outside the Crystal Palace pub at 7pm on designated evenings. For full details of dates visit: kiltertheatre.org.
Head on over to The Boater in Argyle Street (a great rugby pub with a beer garden which overlooks the River Avon) and order the pie of the day and a pint of London Pride for £10 from noon to 9pm every day throughout the Great Bath Feast. Veggie option/alternative soft drink available as part of same deal.
As you browse the shelves of Bookbarn International at High Littleton, stop for a break at the Full Stop Café and try the new Ploughman’s on the menu. During the Great Bath Feast lunches are £10 for two. It’s a wholesome affair with local bread and cheese, homemade chutneys, pickles and relishes, and apple juice. No booking necessary, served all day.
Back in town, at Argentine steakhouse CAU in Milsom Place there’s a cheeky brunch and cocktail deal. Visit between 9am and noon during the GBF and pick a brunch dish of your choice and a Mimosa cocktail to accompany it for £10.
Or perhaps you’d like a taste of authentic French cuisine. At Chez Dominique in Argyle Street, slurp your way through a bowl of Cornish mussels in a cider, leek and Alsace bacon broth, paired with an 175ml glass of Jean de Laroche Sauvignon Blanc for £10. This offer is available Monday to Friday lunchtimes and Monday to Thursdays, 5.30pm–7pm.
If you haven’t checked out the fabulous views from the terrace at The Clifton Sausage on the Paragon, may we suggest you put that right during the GBF while you indulge in a trio of gourmet sausages (Bath Blue cheese & leek, Clifton and Old Spot Pork) served with creamy mash and homemade gravy and accompanied by a 125ml glass of house red, white, rosé wine or a soft drink for £10.
Another place you’ll want to visit, partly because it has uplifting views over the countryside, is Combe Grove on Brassknocker Hill. Treat yourself to two courses of fresh, seasonal and locally sourced dishes for lunch or dinner for £10.
In the heart of Bath, right across from the Lantern of the West, as Bath Abbey is affectionately known is Garfunkel’s. Its picked classic menu favourites such as wraps, rotisserie chicken and burgers, alongside some tasty desserts, to offer a special menu for the Great Bath Feast. Customers can enjoy two courses for £10, available all day, every day, for the duration of the Feast.
And next to another Bath landmark, the Theatre Royal, is The Garrick’s Head where you’re invited to grab a hot salt beef roll and a pint of Garrick’s Head ale for £10 during all food service times during the Great Bath Feast.
The Feast deals are not just for grown-ups. Coffee2Go on Wellsway has a family meal deal. Two large coffees for mum and dad, two large Schmoos with toppings, and four snacks (crisps or flapjacks) for £10.
There are more good deals to be had near Brunel’s Bath Spa station, where Giraffe World Kitchen invites you to share a bottle of house wine, two Giraffe cocktails or four Coronas for £10, from Sunday through to Friday from 5pm to 11pm, while at Graze Bath order a handcrafted pie made with Bath Ales’ Forest Hare ale accompanied by a Bath Ales pint for £10.
The Hilton Bath City Hotel in Walcot Street is serving a luxurious afternoon tea for a tenner in its Atelier Restaurant offering views over Pulteney Bridge. Booking advised.
Enjoy a pizza and a 125ml glass of house red wine for £10 at Jamie’s Italian, Milsom Street, Bath.
The Mint Room on Lower Bristol Road, has a light lunch menu for the Feast of a traditional chatt to begin, followed by either a light tikka massala or a superfood wrap, with either a glass of wine or a refreshing Nimbu Panni Indian long drink. Vegetarian options are available.
In a Pickle will be at Newton Farm Shop at Newton St Loe throughout the GBF offering samples of chutneys, pickles and preserves and offering three jars of your choice for £10.
A trip to Bath wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Georgian splendour of The Pump Room. Start your day in style with an elegant Bucks Fizz Breakfast: choose Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine accompanied by a glass of Bucks Fizz for £10 from 9.30am to 11.45am during the foodie fest.
Home cooks will be pleased to hear that Robert Welch, cutlery specialists in Broad Street offers a Signature Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil for £10 (representing a saving of £6).
Facing the Pump Rooms is The Roman Baths Kitchen which prides itself in serving locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in all its dishes. Enjoy two courses for £10 from noon every day of the GBF.
Bath Ales characterful pub The Salamander, tucked away in John Street, behind Milsom Street, is enticing us with a lunch offer every day excluding Sundays of two classic pub sandwiches freshly prepared in-house for £10.
For those with a sweet tooth the San Francisco Fudge Factory off Abbey Green, has laid on a double delight for the Great Bath Feast. Take a table outside overlooking Bath Abbey and gorge on two generous pieces of legendary handmade fudge, accompanied by a glass of Prosecco, from Monday to Friday.
CURRY FAVOUR . . .
Bath Comedy Festival welcomes comedian, broadcaster and chef Hardeep Singh Kohli to Widcombe Social Club, on Thursday 5 October. As he relates anecdotes about his passion for food and the development of curry culture in the UK Hardeep will cook with volunteers. Any excess food will be given to homeless charity Julian House. Tickets: £17.50 per ticket and includes show, dinner, a cocktail and a beer.