I’d never visited Bath before and did a lot of hunting around on the internet prior to coming (Isn’t it nice we can do that nowadays?) because I really wanted to experience some of the best places Bath had to offer in the short time we were there. The Marlborough Tavern was our first taste of the city on a busy Friday evening. Having battled with the scarce parking we arrived a little late but thankfully our table hadn’t been given away, which seemed lucky given how busy they were!
The front of the restaurant and around the bar was buzzing with chattering diners, our table around the corner was quieter- a good place to snap pictures without receiving glances!
We booked up the Marlborough Tavern following the good reviews of the internet, but hadn’t had a chance to peruse the menu, so I didn’t really know what to expect. The dishes are well described and suggested a lot of creative flair. Not feeling completely ravenous we delved right into main courses.
I hadn’t had fish in a very long time and this fillet of cod with peas and pancetta crisp sounded great on paper. In the flesh is looked equally as enticing. Sat atop a pile of pea and butter bean cassoulet in a rich and creamy sauce was a thickly cut poached fillet of cod, which was absolutely divine. Perfectly cooked, it flaked beautifully and was a real joy to eat. I loved all the different textures in this meal too; as well as fresh peas there was a concentrated pea purée dotted about, and the pancetta crisp was a nice contrast to the softer ingredients. The only let down was the roasted baby fennel which I didn’t eat as it was undercooked, but to be honest the dish really didn’t miss it.
I very nearly ordered this and feared the dreaded order envy would reer its head! Thankfully my dish was great so I was perfectly content, though this beautifully presented pork tenderloin would’ve gone down a treat. I did sneak a forkful and the pork was rich and salty. I love that there’s a layer of black pudding in the dauphinoise potatoes for that extra element of decadence!
Another fish dish: Cornish plaice with crushed jersey royal potatoes, lovely salty samphire and asparagus, finished rather uniquely with pickled grapes and vermouth cream! Despite having a lot of ingredients it arrived at the table looking very refined and sophisticated. This fish got as good a reception as mine did.
I couldn’t resist a dessert as there was a tasty little selection on offer. I decided on the rhubarb crumple pie.
Doesn’t it look like a work of art? Admittedly I was a little disappointed at just how contemporary this was and I felt pie was definitely the wrong description: pie makes me think of something hearty and full of stodge! Regardless, I had great fun exploring all the elements of this dessert and everything tasted fantastic: not too sweet, not too tart. There was candied rhubarb, rhubarb cream, crunchy & chewy crumble, a biscuit crisp and a rhubarb & ginger sorbet that was to-die-for! Everything was incredibly moreish, if only it were a little bigger!
The presentation of all the dishes I thought was really attractive. There were lots of fun and interesting details that went into the meals, making them top-tier gastro pub grub. The Marlborough Tavern definitely gave us our money’s worth and set the bar high for the rest of our meals in Bath!