Restaurant Review: Sunday Lunch at Green Park Brasserie
Sometimes the herculean effort of getting out of the house and going somewhere is amply compensated for in the form of satisfying gastronomic reward. Emma Clegg’s visit to Green Park Brasserie was one of those moments.
Green Park Station is a reassuring, heartwarming part of the Bath landscape. It has heritage and scale – once the booking hall of the old Green Park railway station, its history is ever-present in its generous proportions, high ceilings and idiosyncratic architectural features. While the brasserie’s 30-year history as a venue for relaxed casual dining and live jazz is a mere fifth of the building’s 16-decade life since it was built in the 1860s, it has taken on and earned a share of its formidable history in successfully repurposing a landmark of note and making it into a thriving business and entertainment space. What’s more, its presence since 2016 has been bolstered by its sister business The Bath Pizza Co – which reached an impressive second in last year’s National Pizza Awards – where the pizzas are served on heated terraces in the Old Green Park Station.
We had arrived for Sunday lunch, in truth a little jaded from the effort of bowling up on a frosty day, when the lure of not going out and maybe watching Die Hard or The Lord of The Rings (depending on who had taken the remote hostage) wrapped in a cosy blanket would have easily won the day. The brasserie, however, was bustling with Sunday lunchers tempted by sociable interaction, roast chicken and chuck steak burgers, including a good scattering of families with youngsters in tow. So, always up for a challenge (once in situ), we immediately raised our game, shored up in the early stages by a bottle of beer and a cappuccino.
The first course brought Roasted Parsnip Soup with truffle and sourdough – which in my food notebook is now officially billed as the most delicious depth-of-flavour soup that I have encountered this winter – and Sage and Rosemary Breaded Brie (from Bath Soft Cheese) with spiced tomato chutney, which was high on taste, texture and comfort.
The brasserie was bustling with Sunday lunchers tempted by social interaction, roast chicken and chuck steak burgers
The main course served up Roast Beef with topside (with meat always sourced locally from Terry & Son Butchers and Newton Farm) along with an impressive tower of roast potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, cauliflower cheese, red cabbage, parsnips and Yorkshire pudding. It was a super-generous serving, with the gravy even served on the plate in a mini saucepan. There was, however, little wastage, I noted from my “I’m never going to eat all that” companion. My more mediterranean choice, also a generous portion, from the Specials board, was Pan-fried Salmon with Celeriac Purée, tenderstem broccoli and Moroccan-style couscous, a self-righteous option, admittedly, but one where the consumption involved no Puritan sacrifice.
For dessert we shared a substantial Spiced Toffee Sponge with toffee sauce and organic vanilla ice cream, although Roast Beef Boy consumed way more.
Green Park Brasserie is managed by Alex Peters, the son of Andrew Peters who set up and built the business. Andrew’s approach to food was always heavily French influenced, which is where the brasserie concept was grounded, and the menu typically combines this keynote with modern British and European cuisines.
Did the rewards of our meal and the chance to spend quality time in each other’s company justify the cold-snap-defying and superhuman efforts of getting in the car and driving down the hill? Absolutely no question. It’s just a pity Bruce Willis or Alan Rickman weren’t there.
Our meal for two at Green Park Brasserie, without drinks, totalled £68.50. Sunday lunches at Green Park Brasserie are served from 12pm–4pm, families are welcome and a children’s menu is available. Larger group bookings are also available for special occasions. Make a reservation throughgreenparkbrasserie.com.