Exceptional service, historic surroundings and mouth-watering menus – if you adore authentic and honest cuisine, it’s time to bite into all things British with a meal at The Elder Restaurant, Bath
Sometimes, all you want to do is nip into Sainbury’s for a quick meal deal, grab a sandwich and gobble it up faster than you can say “working lunch.” And sometimes, it’s time for something rather special – and when such an occasion strikes, The Elder restaurant in Bath makes the ideal prolonged dining destination.
Created by restaurateur Mike Robinson (you might recognise his name from The Harwood Arms in Fulham, London’s only Michelin-starred pub) and Executive Head Chef Gavin Edney, The Elder and its 42 covers showcase just how fantastic – and sustainable – contemporary British cooking can be. Far from being a traditional haughty establishment, this petite restaurant makes fine dining feel friendly – located in South Parade within a beautiful Georgian Building decked out with high ceilings, sumptuous furnishings and sage green walls.
Putting sustainability at the forefront of everything, The Elder is certainly wise when it comes to doing things with care, implementing important measures to ensure all meat, fish and veg is grown or harvested humanely. They also control their own wild deer herds on private estates and process the venison in a FSA regulated larder to deliver the best – limiting their eco-footprint along the way too. The proof is in the pudding, of course – of which there are plenty to be devoured within these painted walls.
The Food & Drink
Hungry after a day exploring Bath’s honey-hued streets, we arrive at the entrance to be greeted like old friends, shown to our table with a warm smile and the offer of equally-warm fresh bread (there’s even creamy vegan butter to smear across the crumbs).
Our server chats away to me and my guest whilst we order a bottle of vanilla-tinged Sauv Blanc to help settle in – and to my delight, for once the vegan-friendly option isn’t just a falafel salad tucked away somewhere in the list of dishes or a plate of triple-cooked chips – there’s actually an entire vegan and vegetarian menu dedicated to the plant-based diners. I open the dark green pages with glee (and gluttony).
Never able to resist the salty-sweet richness of anything miso, I order the Miso glazed courgette toasted pearl barley for mains. At £24.00 per serving, it’s certainly costlier than most vegan restaurant dishes – but the gorgeously-presented plate of saltily smokey courgette, served atop of bed of toasted pearl barley and forest green jus with scattered salad leaves is so delicious I can understand the steep price point. The small room is full to the brim now, each glossy wooden table filled with chatting diners as we swill our glasses and scrape the plates clean.
Fuelled by wine and the giddy thrill of a city adventure, for once I throw calorie caution to the wind and order dessert – my appetite swayed by the lure of a Manjari 64% chocolate brownie (£10.00). The long slice of mahogany brownie feels more like a lava cake, melting like butter with every spoonful as I swipe my spoon again and again. Served with chunky caramelised banana coins and a dainty scoop of creamy banana ice cream to juxtapose the warm brownie, the flavours blend beautifully until the dessert has abruptly vanished into thin air.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Exceptional service, historic surroundings and mouth-watering menus – if you adore authentic and honest cuisine, it’s time to bite into all things British with a meal at The Elder in Bath.
Make it happen
Where: 2-8 S Parade, Bath BA2 4AB
How: Find out more and make a booking via visiting theelder.co.uk or phoning +44 (0) 1225 530 616.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor