The Griffin Inn
a super-convivial oasis of stylish city centre snuggery, effortlessly mellow to the max
This smart little inn on the Monmouth Street/Princes Street axis – one of the oldest hostelries in Bath (established circa 1730, possibly even earlier than that) – is a gloriously affable, super-convivial oasis of stylish city centre snuggery complete with low beams, thick stone walls, plush leather armchairs in the bar area to the front and softly lit dining tables to the rear, all recently refurbished and very considerately overseen by the good folk also responsible for recent TLC operations at The Old Crown (Kelston), The Inn at Freshford and the Cross Guns in Avoncliff.
At the bar, cool brews, classic and cask ales, local ciders and lush, plush wines give tipplers much to consider, alongside a massive selection of over 300 spirits and liqueurs, including a massive selection of gins, tequilas and mescals (phew!). The food menu, meanwhile, makes the prospect of not staying for supper a ridiculous concept indeed: expect to peruse a small but perfectly formed roll call of fresh, imaginative dishes that update the concept of pub grub by flying the flag for foodie fabulosity alongside a smattering of upmarket classics on the steak/fish/vegetarian theme.
On our review foray, you could say that our table for two walked that imaginative/classic tightrope with dexterity. For starters, ‘daring’ Mr Pig opted for Cape Malay with spiced rice (a beautifully-balanced, unique-to-The-Griffin dish, inspired by one of the owner’s South African roots) while I opted for the super-fresh dressed crab on toast, served with a luscious lime mayonnaise. While I tucked into my creamy, earthy mushroom risotto main course, the more ‘daring’ side of the table dived into a bowl of Bobotie: another South African fave rave (some say it’s the national dish) consisting of baked minced meat seasoned with soft, mellow spices and topped with a rich, eggy crust. Sound weird? Honestly, it isn’t, not in the least; it’s creamy, fruity and supremely satisfying, comforting yet uplifting, and highly, massively recommended. And despite the portions here being generous to say the least, we managed to keep the boat pushed out for pudding, because the apple doughnuts with toffee sauce and mulled cider were just too tantalising to walk away from and to say no to a chocolate tart that’s as good as the one chef at The Griffin makes would be a criminal act.
Away from suppertime salaciousness, Sunday Roasts are rollickin’, breakfasts boisterous and the cocktails confidently classy.
Smart but cosy, ancient but modern and effortlessly mellow to the max, this little pub named after a legendary creature deserves legendary status in its own right today.
- Wheelchair access ,
- Free wifi available ,
- Dog friendly ,
- Gluten free options ,
- Baby changing facilities
Monday-Tuesday 11am-late; Wednesday-Saturday 8am-late; Sunday 8am-9pm
Breakfast Wednesday-Sunday 8am-12noon
Main Menu Wednesday-Saturday 12noon-9pm
On the Monmouth Street/Princes Street axis, conveniently placed for pre- and post-theatre refreshment opportunities for Ustinov and Theatre Royal Bath ticket holders.