Please note this restaurant was actually reviewed just before the November lockdown started.

Bathwick’s newest restaurant opened to great acclaim at the end of October and unfortunately due to the further lockdown was required to close again shortly afterwards. Such a shame but luckily we were able to find a table on their last night before lockdown and we were very pleased we did. The restaurant is situated within the hotel, The Bird, downstairs in the basement and this space is brought alive by the crazy and colourful decor. At the centre of the ceiling a rowing boat hangs upside down, full of plants and flowers interspersed with lights, the walls are studded with artwork and vibrant swirly glass plates, the furniture is mixed and casual and best of all great chill music was playing to soothe us after a hard day’s work.

We settled down to look through the menu, a mix of tapas with all ingredients locally sourced, and wholesome dishes; I decided to begin with chicken liver parfait served with pear chutney and brioche (my decision was helped by being told that the parfait was prepared to a recipe that was once served to the Queen and what’s good enough for her is definitely good enough for me!), my husband chose devilled Brixham whitebait with lemon mayonnaise, and then for main courses ‘The Bird’ chicken pie with hispi cabbage, mash and chicken sauce for him and for me squash gnocchi, chard, pecorino, toasted pumpkin seeds and truffle.

We ordered a bottle of Bath water (ha ha, forgive the pun) plus a glass of Chablis and a glass of Rioja, both served beautifully in a small carafe, then poured into an elegant glass to match the wine. This makes such a difference and we were impressed. Our starters were delicious, the whitebait fizzing with spice and my parfait the smoothest of the smooth and definitely fit for a queen; the brioche was excellent too.

The service was perfect, informative and friendly and it was so nice to witness the mood of optimism after all the gloom of the past few months. We progressed onto the main courses; in my opinion it is very difficult to make a vegetarian dish with a zing but this was great, the toasted pumpkin seeds adding a nice bit of crunch against the creamy gnocchi. The chicken pie was flavourful, bursting with chicken with fine pastry and accompanied by velvety mash.

I thought our desserts should be served to the Queen as well so good were they – whipped hibiscus panna cotta, with tuille, plums and vanilla ice cream, and Valrhona chocolate mousse with cherries. We finished off with an espresso martini with vanilla vodka which was a great ending to a perfect dinner. Chef Leon Smith and all the staff should be very proud of their new venture which we hope will be part of the Bath dining scene for many years to come.

Jacquie Vowles


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