April 17 2012

Island life at last?

Superchef Chris Staines – formerly Head Chef at Foliage, Mandarin Oriental, London, where he held a Michelin star for 7 years – has taken up residency at the Abbey Hotel, where The Pig predicts that he’ll make a big splash as soon as the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed on this long-established hotel’s makeover plans. Is the Heritage City poised to see the quarter that revolves around the Bog Island cross (hardly the most illustrious reference point, I know) set to become home to the glossiest new kids on the Bath food scene block?

As sorry as we all were to see both La Flamenca and Onefishtwofish close their doors in recent years, both La Perla and Sotto Sotto have magpied into those empty North Parade nests exceedingly well – and to great acclaim – at around the same time as Circo/the Halcyon Hotel started revamping the image of South Parade. Meanwhile, old friends demuths (North Parade Passage) and Cafe Retro (York Street) both continue to go from strength to strength by refusing to rest on Bath institution laurels, while relative newbie Gourmet Scoffs (Terrace Walk) has built an illustrious reputation for excellent food-on-the-hoof faster than you can say Bath Pasty. But as we all flock off in search of the new, let’s not forget that both Mai Thai and Salathai – indisputably two of Bath’s best Thai restaurants, on Pierrepont Street and Pierrepont Place respectively – have worked hard to keep the good food flag flying in an area that’s been undeservedly overlooked in recent years; at last, their moment in the footfall spotlight might well have arrived.

1 thought on “Island life at last?

  1. Agreed! Everybody heads for the middle/top end of town, when this part is actually where it’s all at! Great news about Chris Staines too.

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