The Griffin Inn, Bath
It may not be a phoenix but the 300-year-old pub in the centre of Bath, now under new management, has been beautifully reborn with fab food, cool decor and rooms
Slap bang in the centre of Bath on quiet Monmouth Street, two minutes away from the hubbub of the bottom end of Milsom Street, Bath’s main shopping drag.
Restored Georgian inn dating back to 1730 brought into the 21st century with gorgeous Farrow and Ball yellow and blues, exposed Bath stone, reclaimed oak floors, antiqued silvered glass walls and quirky objets and light fittings.
The bottle-lined bar’s at the front, go on through into two more rooms for dining, with eight bedrooms above.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Eclectic menu with their take on classics like steak, hake and Cornish mussels as well as dishes like cured tofu and ceviche salad, South African bobotie (a spiced mince meat dish served in hollowed out bread) and Cape Malay spiced rice, the latter two reflecting the new management’s heritage. The food is inventive and delicious – and portions are huge.
Our starters: glass noodles with spaghetti seaweed (tastes a bit like asparagus), broccoli, kale and garlic pesto.
Can’t see the glass noodles? Here you go…
Dressed crab on crunchy sourdough toast with fragrant lime mayonnaise.
Mains: Plump and plentiful Cornish mussels cooked in cider and leeks with sourdough and fries. If it hadn’t come with fries, I’d have nabbed the truffle fries.
Poached hake perched atop heirloom potatoes, sprouting broccoli and lemon butter sauce. I said the portions were huge.
Desserts: oh so light apple doughnuts with a toffee sauce to dip and mulled cider to pour. Very good indeed.
And the Bath cheeseboard, with local cheeses, chutney, quince jelly, walnuts, frozen grapes and the cutest crackers.
Compact and carefully chosen wine list, mostly from the New World, available by the glass or bottle with some intriguingly named cocktails – fancy a Don’t be Rude-barb? With over 300 liqueurs and spirits (including 100 gins), they can mix up pretty much anything you want. Draught and hand-pulled local and world beers/ciders and half price Prosecco all day, every Weds (just saying).
Didn’t stay in one of their eight rather lovely rooms but poked my nose into a couple: all simple, calm, tasteful, a bit New England – a peaceful retreat away from, but handily so close to, the city buzz.
Doubles, twins, singles; some are en suite, others have private bathrooms. Great base for a night or weekend in town.
OUT & ABOUT
Where to start? You’re in the middle of Bath, surrounded by the city’s shops, cafes, museums, art galleries, theatres, thermal Spa and more.
Good for: An excellent lunch on a day out shopping Weds to Sat. A trad Sunday roast for all the family (they’ve got highchairs). A night out with the girls or a drink after work every night of the week. A super convenient base for a weekend in Bath.
Not for: Dining on a Monday or Tues, when the kitchen’s closed, or al fresco – there’s no outside space.
The damage: Good value. Starters £6–£9; Mains £15– £22; desserts from £1.50 a scoop of sorbet, £7 and £12 for the Bath cheeseboard. Rooms from £65/night (you get a free full English Weds to Sun if you book directly through them).
Mon to Tues, 11am to late; Weds to Sat, 8am-late; Sun 8am – 9pm. Breakfast: Weds to Sun, 8am – 12pm. Main menu: Weds to Saturday, 12pm – 9pm; Sun, 12pm – 4pm.
The Griffin, Monmouth St, Bath, BA1 2AP. Tel 01225 420 919. thegriffinbath.co.uk