The Bath Magazine rounds up six of the best pubs for a summer’s evening
The Bunch of Grapes
Chef proprietor Steve Carss spent several years cooking in south west France before he returned to the UK and brought back all the best bits of his French experience with him. The menu at The Grapes features the very best moules frites, entrecôte steaks grilled over wood in the Bertha oven and pissaladière flat breads, alongside exceptional value wines that are directly imported from small scale family producers.
Opened in November 2015, The Grapes has been hugely successful in attracting a number of awards including listings in both the Good Food Guide 2017 and Michelin Guide. The Grapes was also a winner of an Observer Food Award (Best Sunday lunch) and the BOA Business Awards Best Pub and Best Food Outlet.
King William pub and dining rooms is just 15 minutes walk from Bath Abbey and is a destination for lovers of great food. Independently owned for over 13 years, it’s a good idea to book as this cosy little Georgian eatery is a favourite for locals and visitors.
The huge picture windows are the perfect spot for people watching along the bustling street. The bar is well stocked with locally brewed cask ales, 30 craft beers, Somerset ciders and an extensive and excellent wine list. The King William’s eponymous house ale is exclusively brewed by Danish master brewer Stig Anker Andersen. Coffee is freshly ground and tea is served in warmed pots.
Cooking at the King William is about respect for the ingredients that are sourced from the wealth of artisan producers found in and around Bath and the south west. Modern British in style, menus are fresh, seasonal and local. Sunday roasts are the stuff of legend and child friendly with complimentary gifts to keep young minds occupied while the adults get to grips with a serious wine list and four real ales from local micro breweries.
Two first floor dining rooms offer a more intimate setting for private dining, special occasions or as one of Bath’s most romantic dining venues. The King William is also known for serving the Georgian delicacy Bath chaps (cured pig’s cheek served bread crumbed and deep fried with apple sauce) as a bar snack.
A country pub in a bustling town, The George at Woolley proudly holds one AA rosette. The pub’s chefs focus on classical cooking with a creative twist, with an emphasis on fish and game. The menu changes daily, and there is an open plan kitchen so if you dine in the pantry you can chat with the chefs while they cook.
The George is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner, plus there is afternoon tea served on Friday, Saturday and Sundays (booking is essential). Enjoy the sunshine on the south facing garden terrace and lawns, which are open all day on Friday and Saturdays. There are also private dining rooms available for meetings and functions.
Sign of the Angel is a 15th century coaching inn that encompasses the key elements of a traditional inn – providing great tasting food and drink in front of large open fires with warm, homely rooms for those staying overnight.
Located in the National Trust village of Lacock in Wiltshire, on the edge of the Cotswolds, this pub is a short distance from Bath. The kitchen uses fresh, seasonal ingredients in order to serve great tasting dishes from honest foods. Sign of the Angel sources produce from local suppliers in the west country to ensure that the food process is traceable and from sustainable farmers, growers and butchers.
In the summer, there is a beautiful garden to enjoy a cream tea next to the stream, along with a paddock, which will in time subsidise the produce for the kitchen. Sign of the Angel has been awarded with two AA rosettes and is a 4* AA accommodation.
Garrick’s Head pub and dining room was the former home to Beau Nash and is a grand building with stately proportions. Its location next to the Theatre Royal always makes for an interesting and colourful crowd. Open everyday from noon onwards, lunch and dinner are served in the bar, on the terrace or in the dining room.
Menus are full of fresh seasonal ingredients and the style is modern British. The bar menu features pub classics prepared with respect and using the best regional ingredients, while the pre-theatre and à la carte menus are more fine dining in style. Sunday roasts are served in the traditional style with all the trimmings and children are occupied with complimentary gifts to keep them busy at the table. Booking is always advisable, especially at the weekend.
Renowned for having the best fish and chips in Bath, Garrick’s Head is also known for serving Bath chaps. The Garrick’s Head’s house ale is brewed by Stig Anker Andersen and is available to take home as well as enjoy from the hand pumps. Its reputation for well kept ales and ciders doesn’t preclude that the Garrick also has a comprehensive wine and spirits list, with over 20 wines by the glass and 50 whiskies.
Outside the spectacular floral displays from the hanging baskets and window boxes of the terrace catch the early afternoon and late evening sun and this is the perfect location to sit back and watch the hustle and bustle of Bath go by while enjoying a bite to eat or a glass of something delicious from the bar.
Set in a beautiful village of Westwood, The New Inn is a great place for family dining or romantic evening meals. You can dine al fresco in the sun trap beer garden or sit inside and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and wooden beams of the pub’s cosy interior.
Pub classics such as ploughman’s, a classic prawn cocktail, half pounder beef burger with cheese, bacon, onion rings and chips, fish and chips and many more are served throughout the week and traditional roasts on Sundays. Dogs are welcome and Westwood Manor and Iford Manor are nearby, perfect for sightseeing.