It goes without saying that Bath is brimming with history, but you may not know that Bath’s food and drink scene also has a rich heritage. Check out our pick of the most interesting restaurants for indulging your appetite in all things historical…
1) The Pump Room
Make like Jane Austen by visiting and eating at the Pump Room. If the spa water isn’t quite your cup of tea then choose from the extensive menus (ranging from breakfast and afternoon tea to dinner), and emulate Georgian gentility – it was the go-to place to mingle and was at the heart of high society.
Someone who would have definitely frequented the Pump Room on a regular basis was Beau Nash – the city’s flamboyant Master of Ceremonies. Today the Italian restaurant Amarone is located in Nash’s old house, next to the Theatre Royal. Dine here for a taste of authentic Italian cuisine – if Nash were alive today we’re sure he would’ve approved!
3) Gascoyne Place
Also located close to the Theatre Royal, just opposite, Gascoyne Place is a lively and modern gastropub which is still in touch with its past. The downstairs lounge features an exposed medieval brick wall which would have run through the city back in the third century. You’ll be able to sip your pint with a literal backdrop of history as some of the medieval graffiti is still visible.
4) Sally Lunn’s
Famed for the eponymous Bun, this popular tea house occupies one of the oldest houses in the city. Step back in time and visit the kitchen museum, where the first Bun was believed to be created, and after, indulge in one topped with cinnamon butter and a pot of tea for a true taste of historic Bath life.
5) Yak Yeti Yak
If you’re hungry for something with more of an Eastern twist, head to Yak Yeti Yak, which, when opened in 2004, was the first Nepalese restaurant in the UK. Wanting to introduce a different culture into the Bath food scene, the owners’ risk paid off, with the restaurant now being one of the most popular places to feast on authentic Asian dishes.
6) Green Park Brasserie
This is a restaurant with a very tangible history, being as it is located in the city’s old 19th century Green Park Station. With a lively ambience and a focus on serving local produce, this year the restaurant celebrates its 25th anniversary under the station’s historic arches.
This recently opened Bar and Kitchen, offering fresh and seasonal food, occupies part of the old Empire Hotel. Towering impressively over Pulteney Bridge and the Weir, the Grade II listed building has a rich history – its three roofs depict the three classes of people in society: a castle, house and cottage for the upper, middle and lower classes.
8) The Chequers
Still serving the people of Bath 241 years on, The Chequers’ history dates from 1776, back when sedan chair-carriers would’ve stopped by after dropping their wealthy aristocrats off at nearby lodgings. Now a stylish gastropub, it nevertheless retains its warm pub atmosphere – the perfect place to enjoy a local ale and a Sunday roast.
9) Jolly’s Tearoom
Jolly’s House of Fraser department store is arguably a well-known institution on Milsom Street – opened in 1831 by James Jolly, you can literally step back in time by entering through the original gilded doorway. Enjoy tea and cake in the café as Queen Mary might have done: she was a regular visitor to the store and even had her own dressing room!
10) Jamie’s Italian
Look out from an upstairs window of Jolly’s and opposite you’ll spot another restaurant with an interesting history. What is now Jamie’s Italian used to be a ‘Circulating Library and Reading Room’, as seen from a ghost sign on the outside. You’ll be able to enjoy your pasta or pizza along with a slice of history too – the sign dates from 1823.