I’m just back from a couple of days in the beautiful city of Bath! I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned on here but in September I’m moving from Oxford to Bath to do a masters at the university there. I’ve visited the city twice before but only for assessments and both times I’ve hardly had time to see the city. This trip was planned specifically for exploring the city, flat-hunting, and having a little Mummy/daughter time.
We had a really lovely time getting to know the city and I was so pleased to find a flat I love. What’s also made me even more excited to move was the great veg dining options we discovered! As before any trip to an unfamiliar place I’d had a browse on Happy Cow at home to find out what was on offer and was pleasantly surprised to find a few entirely vegetarian restaurants. As part of getting to know the city we of course had to do the rounds of all the veg eateries
We arrived at lunchtime and so after checking into our bed & breakfast walked into town to find the first place on my list!
Chapel Arts Café is an all-vegetarian café connected to an Arts Centre with all sorts of interesting sounding events. I’m afraid snapping a photo slipped my mind as we were pretty hungry. We shared 2 dishes and just about managed to finish them between us as they were so tasty- the portions were huge! Flatbreads make up most of the menu (in your choice of spelt or wheat) and there are a range of toppings. We went for the “Moroccan” which had a thick layer of hummus, tabboulleh, salsa + harissa, and the chef kindly subbed avocado for the tzatziki. We also had the “salad combo” plate which changes daily and had a lentil salad, a carrot + caper salad (my favourite), more tabboulleh and green leafies.
The afternoon we walked (in the pouring rain) around the city and had a flat-viewing. This was in fact my first and only flat-viewing as it was too perfect and I decided it was pointless to see any others! All the arrangements were made and after a little more exploring and a relax back at the hotel it was time for dinner.
I’d heard about Demuths before and how it was a must-visit but I didn’t realize it was going to be a vegetarian fine-dining experience. A quick glance at the menu and I was swooning. There weren’t too many vegan options but in this case it was a good thing as otherwise I’d never have been able to decide what to have! Here’s the menu so you can see what I mean:
I love eating out with my Mum as she’s always willing to share dishes with me, which means I can try more without getting too stuffed! So that we had room for 3 courses we shared a starter and a pudding and had our own main courses.
Charred Leeks with hickory smoked potato, hazelnuts, apple + pickled yellow mustard
This probably isn’t something I’d usually go for but it sounded intriguing and I thought the other vegan option, carrot cashew paté, was something more like what I might make myself. I was pleased I pushed myself to try something different as this was really tasty, especially the smoky potatoes.
Fennel + Apricot Tagine with roast courgette, chickpeas, citrus purée, pistachios and spiced panisses
Another very good dish. I was a little hesitant before this came as tagine is usually a homey, rustic sort of dish, but this was unlike any tagine I’d ever made, not simple, hearty food but far more special. Every flavour was allowed to shine individually as well as blending so well together. Panisses are fried chickpea flour cakes, and although I’ve used chickpea flour a lot in my kitchen, I’ve never made these. That will soon be changing though!
Chocolate Ganache with Port Cherries + Frozen Coconut Mousse
I think I’m incapable of leaving a restaurant with vegan dessert options without having one! I was pretty excited that there was more than just sorbet available for vegans. This was so so delicious. I’m glad we shared again though as it was very rich. The crunchy cacao nibs, toasted coconut and salt sprinkled on top really made the creamy ganache sing. Cherries are always fantastic with chocolate. I only wished the coconut mousse pieces were a little bigger as I thought their flavour got a little lost.
It was a great meal in a very cozy setting, and although Demuths is definitely not an everyday restaurant I’m sure I’ll be back for special occasions.
The next day it was raining again, and having already chosen a flat decided to go to Ikea in nearby Bristol to see if we could find anything useful and hope it brightened up for an afternoon back in Bath. The hotel put on a lovely breakfast- we had fruit compote, cereal and soy milk from the buffet and I had grilled tomatoes and mushrooms on toast as well! The hotel staff were very helpful and even offered non-dairy spread for toast.
After a successful Ikea trip we made it back to Bath in time for a late lunch. Next on my list was The Green Rocket. I gather this place is fairly new but it already seems to be doing well and had a steady flow of diners in while we were there. I wasn’t surprised when I tasted the food. Almost everything on the menu was vegan and all the cakes were too! We weren’t particularly hungry after a big breakfast and knew we’d be eating out again later so didn’t go crazy and shared 2 starters and 2 cakes.
Courgette “Spaghetti” Salad
If you saw my last post you’ll know I’m already a courgette spaghetti eater! With just a few ingredients this was one of the best courgette noodle dishes I’ve eaten, if not the best, and one I’ll definitely be recreating at home. It had olives, sundried tomatoes, dates, torn basil and just a touch of olive oil.
Fennel + Chard Pakoras
Light and flavourful and not greasy at all. The perfect size to leave a little space in our tummies for a piece of the lemon-lime polenta cake and a piece of coffee-walnut cake between us.
The sun came out for us in the afternoon which was ideal for a good walk. It’s nice to see how much green space the city has and we walked up through Royal Victoria park and the gorgeous Botanical Gardens (highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the city), and I had to see the iconic Royal crescent and “The Circus”. We rested our weary legs for a while back at the hotel again and got cleaned up for our final meal out.
We tried a Nepalese restaurant with a great name “Yak Yeti Yak”. I’ve had Nepalese once before and enjoyed it so I was keen to try it again. What made our evening even more fun for me was eating, sitting on the floor! We had little cushions and sat cross-legged at our low table. The guys running the place were Nepali and all the classic dishes were there. We had the vegetable momos to start, steamed vegetable dumplings served with a delicately-spiced hemp seed chutney.
For our main we again shared a selection of dishes: Cauli Keraw, cauliflower and green peas stir-fried with freshly ground spices, Chamsur Sag, stir-fried spinach and watercress, Bhuteko Bhat, fried rice Nepalese style with turmeric, mustard seeds and mixed vegetables, and finally Musurko Dal, split orange lentil sauce cooked with traditional spices and finished with garlic fried in vegan butter.
We got chatting to two girls my age at the table next to us who were planning a 3 month trip to India and Nepal. It turned out that one of them had been vegan for life and her Mum was Amanda Sweet, author of the classic vegan guide, The Vegan Health Plan! I’m always pleased to meet vegans when out and about as we are still few and far between in the “real world”.
We said our goodbyes to Bath the following morning and drove back to Oxford but I’m now really looking forward to starting my course in September having got such great vibes from the city.
Have you been to Bath before?
Do you live in a veg-friendly area?
N.B. This restaurant is now called the “Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen”. The owner has changed but the head chef is still the same and the food is as good as ever.