Melissa Blease waves in the changing season with a new deli lunch menu at Green Park Brasserie which will kick the afternoon slump goodbye and add a spring to your step
It feels a little bit odd – albeit in the best possible way – reviewing the Green Park Brasserie; after all, this lively, multi-faceted restaurant, bar and live music venue opened its doors in an atmospheric former Victorian railway station (that’ll be Green Park Station) back in 1992 and has long since earned a place on the much-respected Bath institution list of reliably good places to eat, drink and generally be merry in. Surely we’ve all been there, done that… and keep going back?
If you haven’t visited the Braz to enjoy its highly-acclaimed live jazz (on Wednesday to Saturday evenings), you’ve surely chilled out here on a Saturday morning, when the Farmers’ Market brunch is in full swing to complement the glorious goings-on at the Farmers’ Market out back, from which many of the ingredients on the GPB menus are sourced. If you haven’t done dinner here – either as a cosy/romantic/table-for-two affair or as part of a party (the spacious dining room offers plenty of options for both options all under one roof but subtly discrete of each other) – you’ve surely experienced the something-for-everybody Sunday roast? Or maybe you’ve just popped in for a cocktail… Oh, it’s all going on here, all the time; the GBP may be turning 27-years-old this year, but a youthful outlook, constant contemporary adaptations and imaginative diversification all guarantee that time never stands still for the Braz brigade.
Talking of time… those of us who claim to never have the time to enjoy a proper lunch need to update their perspective at the Green Park Brasserie right here, right now. The recently introduced (see what I mean about moving with the times?) deli lunch is a simple, straightforward and utterly delightful addition to the existing lunch classics menu (soup, burgers, salads, omelettes, fish pie, etc). It waltzes us through a fresh, light, healthy array of mix’n’match options, all offering invigorating, lighthearted food for thought twixt breakfast and suppertime. This is how it rolls: you choose one main attraction from a regularly changing selection that may include options such as Wiltshire ham, sausage roll, cheesy tart, Newton Farm topside beef, honey glazed Wiltshire ham or falafel, and team your choice up with three salad sides – all for £10. You can, if you so wish, add additional salads to your bespoke deli platter, or opt for simply salads alone; they’re all priced individually at £2 each.
Our lunch party of two opted for a Somerset pork, apple, thyme and sage sausage roll (succulent, beautifully seasoned pork wrapped in a perfectly flaky, buttery overcoat) and a Worthy Farm Cheddar and sunblushed tomato tart: a heavenly combination thrumming with characteristically smooth, subtly nutty cheesiness and sweet/tart tomatoes, tightly packed into a shortcrust pastry case. Of the salad selection, the new potato, red onion and rocket medley was satisfyingly chunky; the butternut squash, sweet potato and artichoke combo proved to be a sophisticated, Ottolenghi-ish, thoroughly modern combination; the fine bean, pea and mint melange bought a taste of early British springtime to the table. Portions are substantial but in that nice, light lunch-appropriate way that leaves you feeling happily full but definitely not ready for a snooze. To the contrary, in fact, when my lunch date and I met up again at the end of the working day, we both agreed that our midday deli pitstop had fuelled us up nicely for a very productive afternoon.
It’s worth mentioning here that the semi-alfresco Bath Pizza Co outback – the GPB’s little sister venture, established around three years ago – offers a regularly changing menu of wood-fired pizzas also made with produce sourced from the traders at the market on their doorstep and also available at lunchtime, when regular deals proliferate. But now that spring has sprung and an urge to eat light, eat bright and get fresh is slowly but surely replacing the comfort food cravings that kept us going through the long, dark days of winter, the GPB’s new deli selection offers the perfect new season celebration, kicking the lunchtime slump to the kerb.