Friday, 3 November 2017

Review: The Bath Arms, Longleat



Hey Owlets,

Today I'm doing something a little different - I'm not quite sure how this happened but I seem to have fallen into reviewing a lot of restaurants recently - not that I'm complaining! Today's, however, is particularly special because I got to visit the beautiful Bath Arms in Longleat.

This is probably one of the more idyllic places I've been - we pulled up to the kind of building that personifies "cosy country pub". We then spent 10 minutes trying to find somewhere to park as despite it being a hotel and restaurant, there were only about ten parking spaces to satisfy both parts of the business. Considering it's in the middle of nowhere so you have no choice but to take the car, the parking situation was a bit of a pain. We managed to park nearby alongside a grass verge, and after Dad helped me out the car over what felt like a mountain, we headed inside.



When we arrived, I was surprised to find the pub was incredibly quiet as when we originally booked we were given quite a late table as we'd been told it was very busy. We actually arrived almost an hour early as Longleat Safari Park where we'd spent the day closed nearly two hours before our booking. When we arrived with the intention of going for a drink, we were told our table was ready and shown to our seats.

The menu is small but features some incredible dishes using some amazing, locally sourced, ingredients. Dietary requirements are catered for well - there are a few vegan dishes on the menu and although I didn't see any gluten free dishes on the menu, another party that arrived while we were there had someone gluten free in their party, and the staff just adapted the dishes for them. 

The one thing, however, that I did find concerning was the way they handled allergies. There was no squid on the menu so I was fine, but Dad is allergic to muscles and was simply told "Don't have the sea bass" but there didn't seem to be any conscious effort made to avoid cross-contamination.

*Since our visit, The Bath Arms have clarified that allergens and intolerances are taken very seriously and that they follow all legal measures (& more) to avoid any kind of cross-contamination.


The starters arrived after a short wait - Dad had patȇ which wasn't personally to my taste, but he spent ten minutes saying how much he was enjoying it! For my starter I had scallops with chorizo and beetroot which I really enjoyed - all of the flavours worked very well together, although I did find the beetroot to be a bit overpowering, so I left some of this to the side. I'm not sure what the yellow vegetable was, but all of the pieces were so hard that I physically struggled to cut into them, and when I did it wasn't pleasant to eat, so that was also left to one side.


For main course Dad had a steak and I had guineafowl along with a side of mixed vegetables and a tomato and cucumber salad. Dad said that his steak was tender but wasn't a fan of the butter sauce. I really enjoyed trying something different - the guineafowl was juicy and the vegetables it was served with were a very nice take on the traditional. For me, the polenta cake was a bit too heavy and didn't really add a lot to the plate, so I left most of this. The one thing that was evident to me throughout the meal was that they had pushed for presentation & the use of more luxurious ingredients in their dishes, but seemed to lack the finishing touches like not cooking the vegetables enough, as well as Dad finding the top of the tomato that's usually discarded in the middle of his salad - it probably wasn't our favourite touch to the meal.


Things looked to be on the up for desert - I opted for the chocolate and caramel tarte while Dad had a lemon meringue pie. Both were incredibly tasty, and the black coconut ice cream that my dessert was served with was a very unique touch.



Speaking more generally, all of the staff were incredibly friendly and we ended up chatting to our waitress for quite a while as it turned out we'd attended the same university, and the decor inside the pub was stunning. While we did enjoy our meal, I couldn't help thinking that the lack of attention to detail very much let the meal down. Our total bill came to just over £90, and in all honesty I would've been disappointed handing over almost £100 for what we received. If you're more about the local ingredients and fresh produce, The Bath Arms is the place to go, as long as you don't mind paying for details that don't appear to be there.

Let me know what you think - will you be visiting too?

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 

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