River Cottage Canteen

While we were in Bath I was very keen to eat at the River Cottage canteen. I quite enjoy watching the River Cottage programmes on TV, even though Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall seems to be getting more and more upper class by the series! We went for dinner (or perhaps supper if you’re as posh as Hugh!) on Saturday night, after booking earlier on in the day. The Canteen advises you to book in advance, but I’m not sure it’s necessary, or even usual given the reaction by the staff. Us: “We’d like to book a table for later, please” Them (in a slightly shocked voice): “Book a table?” “yes” “for later?” “yes” “for the two of you?” “yes”. Cue confused looks, scrabbling for paper, repeating the questions again. It was all very polite, but left us feeling as if we’d committed some enormous faux pas! The slightly strange booking experience didn’t matter though, because when it came down to it the food was fantastic! I had Devilled Crab on toast, followed by Roast Mackerel Fillets with Salsa Verde Mayonnaise and Dressed Leaves and finally, after much deliberation, a Chocolate and Beetroot Brownie with Clotted Cream ice cream. The devilled crab was lovely, not much toast, but loads of lightly devilled crab. It was a great starter, not too much of it and full of flavour, so it left me really excited about my main course. Mr M’s starter of blue cheese, walnut and beetroot salad was also incredibly tasty and a brilliant combination of sweet and earthy. The mackerel was amazing, and it also came with some of the leek and white bean salad which was another option on the menu and a little tomato salad which was amazingly tasty. The staff brought us out some beautiful sauteed potatoes too. Mr M went for Sydling Brook Meguez Sausages with dressed Puy Lentils, Tomato Salad and River Cottage Yoghurt which were a pretty spicy option and he said he was glad of the yoghurt to balance things out. I had enjoyed my main course so much that I wasn’t entirely convinced about having a pudding, in case it spoiled things! But in the end I decided that I didn’t want to miss out on the brownie and I’m glad that I didn’t. It was sweet and rich, but also light with a few really gooey chocolatey bit thrown in for good measure. Putting a little bit on your plate from the other dishes was obviously a theme, because there was some crumble topping sprinkled over the ice cream which added a lovely crunch to the plate. All in all the food was exactly what you would hope for: fresh, simple, top quality ingredients put together in a way that complimented their natural flavours and made me all smiley inside. Loved it!

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