November 25 2013

The Weston Inn – do it, Piggies!

The Weston Inn hasn’t been on the Pig’s radar for the past couple of years. Situated on the busy Newbridge Road thoroughfare, it falls between the stools of being an ‘in town’ dining destination and one of the many foodie country pubs that ring Bath – and in the past, it hasn’t been the first place that springs to mind when you think of good pub food. But it turns out the Weston has been doing pretty great things these past few years.

Having been closed following various, ahem, ‘problems’, the Weston reopened five years ago under new management. Karen and Dave Thomson’s kitchen (with Dave at the helm) flaunts the whole upper-crust pub grub gamut, from fish and chips (and their triple – or was it quadruple? – cooked chips are among the finest the Pig has tasted in Bath) to a popular Sunday lunch carvery. They also specialise in themed food and music nights, some featuring established local acts such as Gavin Lazarus and others bringing spectacular tribute acts to Bath – The Pig was crestfallen to learn that we’d just missed “Dolly Parton” accompanied by a chicken and chips supper. They’ve also been running successful Beaujolais Nouveau nights, and it was the latest staging of this that brought the Pig way out Weston.

Piggies of a certain vintage may remember the Beaujolais Nouveau extravaganza. Back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, teams of beret-wearing, onion-festooned, slightly eccentric Brits would race by sports car, bi-plane and bicycle to get the first bottles of that year’s vintage across the channel and into the wane bahs of London. As wine-drinking became a more egalitarian affair and wines from Australia and elsewhere took the spotlight away from France, rather less of a fuss was made about Beaujolais Nouveau. But not at the Weston, which has honoured the tradition with oomph and ooh-la-la for the past few years. And 2013 was no exception, with Dave serving up a menu of richly authentic, brilliantly executed French classics that left the Pig wondering how he’d escaped our attention for so long. Our splendid feast (including a warming amuse bouche of silky beer soup; an elegantly deconstructed goats’ cheese and beetroot tart; very fresh seafood en papillote; a superb entrecôte steak served with “those” chips, and perfect pork cooked three perfect ways) was, needless to say, washed down with this year’s hot-off-the-grape-press offering from master Beaujolais maker Georges Duboeuf that was, in the classic style, soft, fruity and as easy-drinking as your afternoon cup of tea (and served, as it should be, slightly chilled). Music came courtesy of local franglais crooners French Connection, and service was as friendly and efficient as good service gets. Go Weston, piggies, and rediscover this properly lovely pub for yourselves.

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