Saturday, 6 February 2010

A Visit to the Circus.....

I have had the pleasure of eating at one of our favourite local places twice in the last few days - firstly with RR last weekend and then lunch with girlfriends later in the week....this lovely little restaurant is not actually, as it's name suggests, in Bath's Circus but just off's a little way off the 'tourist trail' and I just love it. When we first moved from Sydney we were desperately missing our favourite places but have had the (time consuming!) joy of discovering new ones! This is a little Cafe/Restaurant which serves lunch & dinner but also has a 'day menu' consisting of 'Elevenses' (10 am to 12 midday) and 'Tea' (3pm - 5pm). We were inundated with horror stories of what we would find when we arrived in the UK (basically, nothing except fish & chips!) but have been constantly surprised and delighted to find that's totally untrue....

In warm weather they have tables outside on the pavement and there is always a beautiful display just inside the door of whatever is in season (a profusion of daffodils this week)...

Yes, we have seen our fair share of 'over-chintzed, under-whelming' pubs serving the ubiquitous F & C, pie & chips, ham, egg & chips etc. but there are also lots of gorgeous little places like this one, flying the flag for the fabulous produce available here.

This is their Valentine's Day menu (hopefully you can read it!) I can vouch for the roasted duck from Bittescombe Farm in Somerset. It's boned, wrapped in a leaf parcel with spring onions and served with a plum, sesame and hoisin's absolutely to die for! RR had chosen the kedgeree which was also scrummy...(If you're not familiar with it, it's a curried smoked fish dish, a sort of risotto, which hails from the days of the British Raj).

The menu changes every month and is always showcasing whatever is best and in season. On the lunch menu, they currently have a gorgeous crab bisque using crab from South Devon (I can vouch for that too! Oh dear, it looks as if I'm working my way through the entire menu.....!) They always have seasonal fish which is line-caught by boats sailing out of Beesands in Devon and St. Ives in Cornwall and delivered overnight. They also always have a 'cheese of the month'. This month it's Stichelton, an unpasteurised blue cow's milk cheese which comes from the Welbeck estate in Nottinghamshire. What I really like is that everything possible is locally sourced including the bread which comes from the Hobbs House Bakery based near Highgrove (where Charles & Camilla live - wonder if it gets delivered there?..) in Gloucestershire. Can't wait until next time!..........s


  1. Susie this looks ten time better then where we ate tonight...a pub that serves Thai food on Saturday nights. I love Thai but somehow a pub atmosphere and Thai food just don't go together! I really felt like fish and chips. Your restaurant sounds lovely and yummy. It would be a toss up between the Sea Bass and and Rib Eye steak for me and most definitely the Passionfruit creme intriguing! We will definitely put it on our list when we visit Bath.
    Jeanne xo

  2. Oh Susie that is just so amazing... it is our favourite place too in Bath! It hadn't been open all that long the first time we went there and as you say is just off the tourist trail... I LOVE it! Thank you for posting photos and the menu - so nice to see it again and plan what I will have next time! Great weekend to you too..

  3. It looks divine. And I agree with you about food in England - not nearly as bad as people make out, and some great little places, you just have to look carefully. xoxo

  4. Oh dear,
    I'm going to have to stick up for my country here !!
    I do get really fed up when the U.K. gets such a bad press when it comes to eating out. We have fabulous restaurants and, you don't have to go to London for them either, as you are finding out, Susie. Granted, there are some rotten ones but I have eaten all over the world and have found good and bad in most countries.
    .... and, because pubs don't sell as much alcohol now because of the drink/drive laws (and quite right they are, too) pubs have now uped their game and are serving some wonderful food. My local pub serves some of the best food I've tasted. I used to work in Mayfair and have eaten at many of the top restaurants in London so, I do know a bit about food, and there are many restaurants and pubs in many towns and villages, all serving some really good plates of food..... AND...I don't always want to eat Michelin star food . Sometimes, a beautifully cooked Sunday roast is just what the doctor ordered !!
    Right, my rant is over and I will now get off of my soapbox !!!!
    The Circus looks exactly like one of the lovely restaurants that we have in the U.K. The menu is wonderful and I could eat any one of the dishes that they serve. When I'm next in Bath, I shall definitely eat there Susie. XXXX

  5. I have to agree with Jacqueline here. The food across the UK has vastly impoved over the last 5-10 years and The Circus just shows this. Having moved from London last summer I thought I might have difficulty finding good food here, but everywhere I go I find wonderful places to eat, pubs, restaurants and cafes, and certainly they can match up to big City cooking. I do visit Bath from time to time so I will be sure to check out The Circus. Have a super Sunday. x

  6. Jackie - that was exactly the point I wanted to make - we have been so excited by all the wonderful places we have found & lunch in one of the local pubs has now taken over from breakfast at a local cafe as our Sunday 'thing' LAB is in seventh heaven and wild horses wouldn't drag him away (not until we've sampled quite a bit more, anyway!)Hope you are having a great weekend x

  7. HI Susie
    Well It looks good!! hahaha Actually I love the look of this place, especially the 'shopfront'. I don't eat out much anymore.. I went through a stage where I had to watch everything I ate due to allergies and well that just put a damper on it.. [pardon the pun!!]

    I'll have to get back to going to restaurants.. although I find most ppl these days are saving their pennies.. Glad you found a new favourite.. xx Julie