June 6 2018

Review: Alfresco Sharing Menu at the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa

It’s easy to understand why afternoon tea, lunch or dinner at the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa – located at the epicentre of Bath’s most iconic address – is perceived to be a ‘special occasion only’ kind of experience; indeed, any kind of visit here is pretty much as special as special can possibly get. But as we’ve told you before (see here for our most recent review of the Dower House Restaurant) supreme elegance is nothing to be scared of… and luxury can be a very affordable treat for all.

Royal Crescent Executive Head Chef David Campbell recently created an array of sharing plates specifically designed to be enjoyed in the scented oasis of calm that is the hotel’s beautiful private garden from 5pm-8pm every weekday. Just as the weather in Bath started to get balmy, we diverted from the city centre thrum in favour of a table under the trees in this rather splendid urban/pastoral paradise, whereupon we indulged in an gracious repast consisting of boneless, super-crisp crispy duck leg served with an Asian-inspired peanut, pickled ginger and coriander melange; super-umami mushroom rolls served with equally savoury mushroom ketchup (if you’re in search of a much more interesting alternative to the most interesting sausage roll you’ve ever encountered but sans the sausage element, then this is most definitely it); sweet, succulent fish goujons accompanied by perfect chips and the kind of tartare sauce that makes you want to give up plain old mayonnaise forever; salaciously moist Cornish mussel scampi… and a neat little super-silky Dorset charcuterie selection scattered hither and thither with tangy pickles and parmesan. Feeling in the mood to linger long over our glamorous picnic experience, we eschewed the offer of a cocktail to accompany our selection in favour of a bottle of wine from the hotel’s rather remarkable wine list, but only because we had a cocktail date with friends in the hotel’s Montagu Bar pencilled in for the following evening and experience has taught us that one can occasionally have too much of a good thing. But even very, very good things don’t have to blow the budget…

The cost of an alfresco feast at the Royal Crescent hits the bottom line with far less of a thump than, say, a similar array at one of the many ‘small plates’ emporiums that are proliferating in Bath at the mo: dishes are priced at a rather remarkable £2-£6 each, while impeccably gracious service, an exquisitely dignified vibe and the uniquely beautiful surroundings come as standard. What’s not to love?

For details about David Campbell’s very special Tasting Menu event at the Royal Crescent Hotel on Thursday 21 June, click here.

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