Koffmann and Mr White’s
once you've settled down here, you simply won't want to leave
Offering a chic, contemporary eat, drink and be merry experience set against an appropriately chic, contemporary backdrop, The Abbey Hotel is a long-established, sparkling jewel in the Bath merrymaking scene crown. But in October 2018, a rather special (and, it has to be said, rather glamorous) partnership/collaboration put a whole new spin on an already heady mix of mega-charms.
Pierre Koffmann is an undisputed, legendary Hob God, credited with setting the standard for the representation of classic French cuisine in the UK. Marco Pierre White is (variously) known as the first celebrity chef, former enfant terrible of the UK restaurant scene and the godfather of modern cooking. Put them together and what have you got? You – or rather, Bath – has got the very first Koffmann and Mr White’s, right here in The Abbey Hotel.
Strictly adhering to menus that represent the very best of classic British/modern French classics served in a contempo-brasserie environment (low lights, banquette seating, trés seductive atmosphere – it’s all going on), K&MrW’s is the kind of place that, once you’ve settled down in, you simply won’t want to leave…. well, not for a good few hours, at least. Why would you, when your evening starts with a cocktail from the hotel’s ArtBar (of which more later) and the menu you’re perusing is littered with persuasive suggestions involving brandade, rillettes, croustade and brandade, with further descriptors flagging up à la bourguignonne, à la Provençale and à l’ancienne, and name-check credits include Maxim’s, Wheeler’s and The Connaught further tantalising your tastebuds? Meanwhile, the staff make you feel as though they’ve been waiting to meet, greet and serve you – and only you – since they started their shift – so far, so very good indeed. And when your order arrives…
…the food on the plate fully lives up to the promises on the menu: if you crave a deeply umami yet reassuringly comforting medley involving eggs, mushroom duxelle and hollandaise, Croustade of Eggs Maxim’s has your name written all over it; if you dream of sumptuously soft salmon offset by a subtly sharp accompaniment, the Brandade of Scottish Salmon with Fennel and White Wine Jelly is your right here, right now dish. And they’re just the starters…
Braised ox cheek in a rich, silky red wine sauce (Braised Ox Cheeks à L’ancienne, to give the dish its full and proper credit) served with rich, silky pomme purée is a rich, silky, carnivorous delight. The grilled butcher’s steak with fat beef fat chips, lashings of béarnaise and extremely juicy roasted vine tomatoes is the the best steak frites I’ve encountered since my last French feast in a tiny little bistro in the Marais. Desserts? There’s pain perdu and bitter chocolate mousse and Champagne-poached pears amongst the highlights to choose from, alongside cheese supplied by Alex James (a nice balance to a menu that starts with a suggestion of Bertinet bread.) But hey, if you can say no to a proper Brandy Alexander, I raise my cocktail glass to you. And so, we raise our glass to an evening at K&MrW’s. But The Abbey Hotel fun neither starts nor finishes here.
The hotel’s aforementioned ArtBar is highly regarded around these yer parts for its superlative cocktail menu and upper-crust bar snacks served in characterfully quirky-but-glam surroundings. There’s an exclusive event space (The Escape), two intimate private dining options and, for the Christmas season, the Après-Ski Bar – a cosy, stand-alone cabin-with-bar to the front of the hotel – specialises in fabulous festive frolics.
Koffmann and Mr White’s + The Abbey Hotel = a great big tick from us.
- Wheelchair access ,
- Free wifi available ,
- Gluten free options ,
- Baby changing facilities