Location: Bath, Somerset
If you read last Friday’s article, you’ll know that I recently visited the picturesque city of Bath. I expected to learn all about the Roman baths, I expected to see some stunning Georgian architecture… what I did not expect to do was eat one of the most amazing meals of my life. Most of my readers will know I have a really awkward diet. For over a year now, I strictly gave up meat, gluten and dairy. Going out to eat isn’t always easy, but I’ve now gotten used to it. I would normally have to call the restaurant in advance, or pick somewhere that can cater to my requirements or if it’s a large group, there are times when I just won’t join. Whilst in London, I generally know where to go out to eat, it’s always a bit of a challenge whenever I am travelling. When I was in Bath, we found the perfect place to cater to my awkwardness and the food was just so impeccable that I felt like it warranted its own post all to itself!
Nestled in a small alley off an unassuming square moments from the Roman Baths and the Cathedral, I almost missed Acorn. For ease of finding it, Acorn Restaurant is located just by Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum. Signage for the restaurant was discreet, and it wasn’t until I glanced at the menu that I realised I was in luck – an entirely plant-based restaurant with a tasting menu!
I thought I’d feature this place because it’s often that plant-based restaurants struggle to deliver on taste and fail to justify the price tag. Acorn managed to produce a high quality, tasty and delicate meal at a relatively reasonable price tag. It is not high-street cheap, but not Michelin star expensive either. I was so impressed that I actually bought the book – Plants Taste Better – written by Acorn’s award-winning chef Richard Buckley. I’ve left a link here but you can also buy it at the restaurant itself if you plan on visiting.
The restaurant itself was small, not necessarily cozy, but intimate and characterful. We opted for a tasting menu, tasting eight individual dishes -four dishes each, priced at GBP38 per person. We naturally added on some wine plus a dessert to share.
This is more than enough for two people for a leisurely lunch, so three or four dishes including dessert is the sweet spot for a date night dinner.
You can find their current menu by clicking here. The menu doesn’t include pictures, but I’ve got you covered. Below are all the dishes that we ate with the title of the dish in the caption.
The dishes themselves were seasonal, based on available vegetables, and the menu had only just changed from the last of the summer vegetables to the first of the autumn crops – beetroot, squash, Jerusalem artichoke, lentils, earthy mushrooms. The dishes are simple in terms of the ingredients, limited to three or four main elements, but a number of preparations and textures in the dishes really serve to elevate the simple flavours and improve the experience.
The kitchen produces most of its items in-house – in particular, it makes its own nut milks and products to add to the dishes – including a tangy nut butter to supplement your bread instead of actual butter.
We left with our bellies full, but without that comfortable feeling of having eaten far too much. The food overall was light, flavourful and to me just really clever and unique. It takes true talent to be able to create such exquisite plates of food, whilst using the most humble of ingredients.
Have you visited Acorn Restaurant whilst in Bath? What were your thoughts?