Demuths Vegetarian Restaurant and Sally Lunn’s Kitchen, Bath

Truffled broccoli  with cauliflower pannacotta, pickled kohlrabi and tarragon dressing

I recently went to Bath for a little out of London refreshment and had the pleasure of eating at a very well recommended vegetarian restaurant: Demuths. It very much deserved its recommendation and I would return in a shot. Demuths is a vegetarian restaurant opened in 1987 by Rachel Demuth  with food that is mainly locally sourced, organic and fairtrade. It was hard to choose what to go for as everything was so tempting but we knew that whatever we opted for would be delicious. It was and I especially liked the little surprises such as pickled yellow mustard seeds! Who knew that the little seeds could be so moorish and wonderful?! Rhubarb ketchup with the polenta chips was beautifully smooth and sweet and and such a popping pink. See the photos for all the dishes.

Local leeks with hickory smoked potato, hazelnuts, apple and pickled yellow mustard

Polenta chips with rhubarb ketchup

Mike’s beetroots, cooked several ways, with smoked cheese croquettas and a citrus peel puree

Soft ricotta gnudi with cavolo nero in sage butter, thyme pesto and pickled onion squash

Orange posset with lightly stewed rhubarb

Mulled chocolate pot with orange and clove compote and candied pistachios

Next door to Demuths is one of the oldest houses in Bath with a very well preserved Georgian kitchen in the basement. This kitchen was the workplace of Sally Lunn, a French Huguenot who escaped France over 300 years ago and ended up in Bath where she gained employment with a baker and began baking a type of bread like a brioche which had a light and fluffy texture unknown to the Georgians. It was a hit and her buns became the talk of Georgian society. In the house you can visit Sally’s restored kitchen in the basement which had been covered for years and was discovered in the 30s. There is a cosy restaurant in the house which serves food “trencher style” which refers to the style of serving food on a bun or piece of bread when plates weren’t commonplace. So, we ate “trencher style” but on a plate – nouveau trencher style or trencher style with the convenience and luxury of a plate?! The piece of Sally Lunn bun which our food was served on was delicious and soaked up the juices wonderfully. The house itself has a history longer than Sally’s and in the basement you can see excavations showing the Roman and medieval foundations. Some excavations even revealed a hypocaust (the Roman under floor central heating system).

An interesting fact about the Georgians: they raised the street level in Bath so ground level floors in buildings all became basements.

Sally Lunn's kitchen

 

Sally Lunn’s kitchen

Sally Lunn's kitchen, Bath

Stalagmites and stalactites seen from Sally Lunn’s kitchen

Steaming Roman baths

Steaming water at the Roman Baths

Paradise House, Bath

Paradise House where we stayed. Beautiful rooms and great views.

View from Paradise House over Bath

Circus – a circular Georgian terrace with enormous very old trees in the centre. When we went to the Fashion Museum we saw a reproduction of a print showing Circus originally with a paved central area so this lawn and trees were planted later.

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