Archive for the ‘Bath’ Tag

Seafoods, Bath, Chippy Challenge #86   2 comments

Seafood's Bath cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Seafoods seems happy to rest on a reputation it no longer deserves.  If this is one of the five best F&C houses in the South or Southwest then the industry is due failure long before the stocks of North Sea cod are depleted.  The fish was metallic as if it had gone off and the batter both flavourless and cloyingly oily: a film lingered on the inside of my cheeks and on the roof of my mouth even after brushing my teeth.  Yuck.
Days since last: 0 (Fish and Chips Takeaway, Bath)
Map link.

Seafood's Bath

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Fish and Chips Takeaway, Bath, Somerset, Chippy Challenge #85   1 comment

Fish and Chips Takeaway Bath cod

 

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: none, save for sweat and rainwater
Evaluation: Surprisingly delicious.  The shop is spare and hidden down a side street not yet accessed by Google Street View and not turning up on search engines for ‘fish and chips’ despite the fairly unambiguous name.  I mean, I wonder what they sell in there.
Days since last: 2 (PCR Cafe, Physiology Department, University of Oxford)
Map link.

Fish and Chips Takeaway Bath

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The Raven, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

Raven Bath sign

 

I had never seen the Raven although I have passed it dozens of times on visits to town.  From the outside, it looks like a very posh shop perhaps dealing in corsets or lavender scented bath items, but inside it is a regular boozer with wood floors and a grand landlord with a spectacular West-country accent.

Raven Bath Raven Gold

 

I was in town to ‘do’ a G-Had trail over and in addition to the North Wilts Hash House Harriers scheduled trail purportedly starting as soon as their train arrived.  It was to finish at the Raven so I made concentric and criss-crossing paths seeking the prelay before time and the live trail after the appointed start, yet to no avail.  Giving one last try from the far side of the river at opening time (12:30) I gave up when the Raven once more appeared before me.

Raven Bath Raven Gold pump

I sat near a British family in for a lunch of pies (the house speciality).  It was a mum and dad roughly my age and a son roughly 25-30 years old.  The fourth member of the party was the son’s girlfriend who was the only one that seemed comfortable in her own skin.  I could have sat and watched the unease with which the stilted conversation progressed for hours, but I wanted some lunch myself before the train back home and pies were not going to do it for me.

Raven Bath

 

The King of Wessex, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

King of Wessex Bath

Although not a big fan of the modern, shopping mall-style Wetherspoons pubs, I was in Bath early on a Sunday and they were the only place open before noon.  They are cheap, have a great selection (including today’s Daily Tipple) and there’s free wifi.  Any port in a storm (in this case the storm was the remnants of Hurricane Bertha, by the way).

Posted 2014/08/10 by Drunken Bunny in hashing, pubs

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DT #222, 10 August 2014 (Corncrake Ale)   1 comment

Corncrake Ale King of Wessex Bath

 

An hour to London.
Pleasant, but what about the
Depressing ride back?

Name: Corncrake Ale
Type: bitter
Venue: King of Wessex, Bath, Somerset

Review/notes: I went to Bath Spa today for a G-Had HHH trail versus the North Wilts Hash. However, today’s Haiku relates to another short trip.

Last night, an acquaintance from the depths of time made overtures that Jax and I might meet up with her and her’s during their upcoming trip to London. On the train to Bath, I became convinced that I made the right decision to beg off this invitation: except for a few shared experiences three decades ago we really have nothing in common (even though, since raising my head above the parapet, I have found her little blog entertaining enough as well as comforting that sometimes very little in this world changes).

The bad thing about reunions, though, are the expectations that inevitably are dashed during the meet-up (which almost always is finished long before it ends). It may seem selfish that I am sparing myself an uncomfortable hour-long train ride; bear in mind, I am sparing her the same misery on a twelve-hour journey back to L.A.

You’re welcome.

Corncrake Ale King of Wessex Bath pump

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Pig and Fiddle, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

pig and fiddle bath

Great selection of ales, here, but Jackie wanted wine and it just makes more sense to buy a bottle to split.  We just came in to escape the rain and grab a bite to eat, anyway.  Settling in was easy enough with fairly tolerable music piped into the room.

Looking around, you soon realize that the place is a kids’ bar.  No problem with that but the effort to be cool is too obvious.  And, they could stand to clean their glassware from time-to-time.

In the event the management or a fan of the bar reads this and takes offence, relax…the wine and food triggered a migraine in me and made the wife sick to her stomach.  Let’s call it ‘even.’

pig and fiddle bath lounge

Posted 2014/05/09 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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DT #128, 8 May 2014 (Footsteps Shiraz)   2 comments

footsteps shiraz pig and fiddle bath

Rainy day in Bath
In a hipster doofus bar
With dirty glasses.

Name: Footsteps Shiraz
Type: red wine
Venue: Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Review/notes: Good flavours in this wine…cigar, blackberries, soil.  I can’t be sure if the immediate headache was from an excess of enol or from some pathogen left on the filthy glassware.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Pig and fiddle, Bath, Chippy Challenge #53   3 comments

pig and fiddle bath fish and chips

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: greasy potatoes and mushy peas
Evaluation: The fish was very good.  The condiments were self-serve (in packets) as were the dirty utensils, none of which resembled a fork…after asking for a fork and waiting ten minutes I polished a spoon on my shirt and used that.  Likewise, I cleaned the rims of the wine glasses with an unused portion of shirt.  The potatoes were the sort of thing a stoned cousin might push in front of you before throwing up in his own lap: greasy and not at all palatable.  But, needs must and I was hungry:

pig and fiddle bath end of meal

Very hungry.
Days since last: 1 (Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford)
Map link.

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The Grapes, Bath, Somerset   Leave a comment

grapes bath

Jackie had an appointment for work in Bath and when it was done we went to the Grapes for a drink and to give her a chance to change clothes.  The bartender picked up the accents and assumed the worst (tourists) and condescended, “are we puzzled by the ales?”

“No, I’d like a cider,” I said, pointing at the Old Rosie.

“We have four ciders,” he chimed in.  “This one is cloudy and quite strong,” he warned, ominously.

“I’m familiar with it…” I started.

“Oh, then pint or half?” he interrupted.

“Slow down, chief.  You have four, so what are the others?”  Turns out he only had Blackthorn, Strongbow, and Thatchers otherwise.

“Which Thatchers?” I asked, catching him off-guard.  I didn’t want it…I just wanted to set things right.

Nice pub, otherwise.

 

grapes bath bar

Posted 2014/05/08 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Ram, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

ram bath spa sign

The Ram in Bath Spa is nice enough, close to station (on the opposite side of river), and seems friendly and relatively tourist free (and the Art Deco sign fixtures aren’t too shabby, either).  I was absolutely nackered after the run, though, and merely took the opportunity to change to a dry shirt as I rushed through a Fosters ahead of the next train back to Swindon.  With a dark front bar, affable barmaid (possibly the manager), and a kitchen that was between set-ups on this visit the Ram deserves a closer look next time (I’ll update this post then).

ram bath spa

 

 

Posted 2013/08/22 by Drunken Bunny in pubs, running

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Rose and Crown, Larkhall, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

rose and crown larkhall sign

A sunny day, running through the Cotswold stone streets of Larkhall after a senseless attack on a harmless HHHtrail.  I felt so peaceful and at one with my universe that I might have thought the Skatalites blaring in my ears were coming from within my own head but I, fortunately, followed the sounds into the Rose and Crown where I sipped a cider for half an hour to the sounds of a rock steady mix tape.  Marvelous.

The bar and...

The bar and…

 

...the heated rail are very cool.

…the heated rail are very cool.

 

The house has great fixtures, and the caretaker manager is a Guardian reader (he gave me his newspaper to while away the time).  A new owner is coming in September (according to the web site) and they would do well to get copies of this guy’s entertainment notes.

rose and crown larkhall

Posted 2013/08/22 by Drunken Bunny in pubs, running

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17 Mile Route From Chippenham to Bath   7 comments

ghad 14 shockerwick sign closeup

Two in the dust, One in the rust” was what I thought I saw on the sign pointing to a convalescent home in Shockerwick, so I decelerated on this long, steep downhill section of the run and doubled back.  The mind plays funny tricks on you, occasionally.

ghad 14 shockerwick sign

I was taking one of the remaining vacation days running out to investigate the Kennet and Avon Hash‘s trail to determine if there were any G-Had relevant pre-lay (markings other than those set after the start time of the Hash) on their trail in Batheaston later that night.  In the interim, I would be treated to stops in the village of Box (the Queen’s Head and the Northey Inn, both on the slopes adjacent to Brunel’s Box Tunnel), and later in Batheaston for a beer and a kebab before my scouting adventure.  While at the George and Dragon, I got to read an article about someone’s Big Mo’s, I think it was, in the Sun.

ghad 14 sun page 3

Indeed, there were already quite a number of suspicious markers on the grounds leading to and around Solsbury Hill including some obvious ‘checks’ on the sides of National Trust markers.  Tsk.  I’m not sure if this was likewise related to the trail-to-be:

ghad 14 beer near

The investigation finished, I found time for a stop in Larkhall and another near the Bath Spa rail station before heading home…17 miles in 2:35 (once you delete the beer and food breaks).

2013-08-21 17 mile run

The Metropolitan, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

 

 

metropolitan bath sign

“That’s you, that is,” Jackie intoned at the sign for the Metropolitan, and I DO still seem like the hick coming to the big city; but this sign is even more familiar (see the sign for Jude the Obscure).  Regardless, we were easily the most cosmopolitan couple in the crowd of hayseeds squeezing through the stalls at the Bath Xmas Market.  Squeezed out of the shops like the last portion of toothpaste, we needed food and drink and we needed it now.

2012-12-01 bath christmas market santa claustrophobia

The front rooms of the Met were packed but we placed a food order and headed back to the rudimentary function room which was open to take in overflow customers since the England v All Blacks rugby match was soon to start.  The room wasn’t a great atmosphere but, then, the main bar and lounge were a little scruffy.  However the food was tasty and it and the drinks were cheap (unusual for Bath).

metropolitan bath function room

“How are you finding Bath?” the bartender asked.  “A bit crowded,” I answered.  “I know,” he offered, “full of bloody tourists.”  “That’s you, that is,” I told Jackie.

metropolitan bath

Posted 2012/12/04 by Drunken Bunny in food, pubs

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Coeur de Lion, Bath   Leave a comment

Jackie and I went to this small backstreet boozer, third of its sort for me this day, the Coeur de Lion.  The bartender couldn’t possibly be old enough to run the place; in fact, you had to wonder why he wasn’t in school now that half-term was done, but there were others (the owner amongst them) to check in from time-to-time.  The music included Patsy Cline and Hank Williams senior which had a strange effect on the atmosphere.

There were four ales on, beautiful windows, and a cast iron stove to provide warmth.  I had a Sharps Cask Pilsner and she had a large wine.  We talked a bit about her meeting and what to do next and whiled away the better part of half an hour.  Delightful.

Posted 2012/04/23 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Volunteer Rifleman’s Arms, Bath   1 comment

The backstreet boozer, The Volunteer Rifleman’s Arms, was packed to the gills and they seem to dislike tourists.  Standing in the one open spot, somewhat near the narrow staircases up and down, I asked if there was any other seating.  “There’s two seats down there.  The toilets.”

“Cool, is there anything to read?” The barman smirked a bit and some shifting went on, something of a natural movement, nothing caused by our exchange. He pointed at a table of 8 people crammed just at the end of the bar (this place is tiny); “they’re going soon,” he said.  “To the toilet? Not really my business, nor yours if you don’t mind me saying.”  He spotted some cushion space near the window and directed me there.

I had just gotten settled when his head pops around the corner of the bar and startled me with, “alright, sir?” in the midst of a sip of my pint.  “Not too bad,” I told him, “dry and warm and sitting with a pint…what’s not to like?”

Jackie called to say her appointment was finished about halfway through the pint and I picked up my things to go.  “Leaving so soon, sir?”

“Yes, the woman calls so I must.”

“Pussywhipped, then?”

“Yessir,” I answered quickly then drained the rest in one.  This place is worth a visit.

Posted 2012/04/23 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Old Green Tree, Bath   Leave a comment

Just up the narrow street from Belushi’s sits the tiny, oak panelled Old Green Tree.  To get to the seating in the back would have required squeezing through the freak show standing around in the front of the bar so I just stayed put and listened to them.

This is a great, if tiny boozer.  I had a pint of RCH Pitchfork while my floor show consumed a variety of things…leaving many dishwasher loads in their wake.  Oh, there are four other ales on at any one time, mostly local.

Posted 2012/04/23 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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Belushi’s, Bath   2 comments

In Tucson, I used to have lunch at least once a week at Belushi’s, a crappy student oriented bar with pretty good burgers and cheap beer.  In Bath for the day, I spotted Belushi’s with an almost identical sign and went in to find a student oriented bar with cheap beer.  Dead in the middle of the day just like the one out in Arizona I don’t get the feeling I would fit in during the evenings (just like the one in Arizona).  Yummy, cold lager, though.  Just down the street, an ill placed fountain might tempt the less lubricatable.

Posted 2012/04/22 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Griffin Inn, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

I spent many days in Griffin, Georgia in my youth (like most residents with any gumption I escaped as soon as possible…coincidentally spending a bit of time in Tombstone, Arizona as did more famous former Griffinite, Doc Holliday).  You might note that I didn’t say that I spent any pleasant time there.  Of all the things that I might be tempted to attribute the subsequent years of substance abuse and other inappropriate behaviour I shouldn’t be faulted if I ranked the oppressive boredom (or even just the oppression) of this town.

I spent a long, boring wait in the Griffin in Bath waiting for a salad and listening to the very self-satisfied screech of the upper-middle class twits (or is that twats?) that seemed to flow in like so much Bath spring water, freely effluent and steaming with its own self-importance.  The long wait was most likely due to the cook insisting that “pan seared tuna,” which most diners would expect to arrive, for instance, “pan seared” and pink (or even still red!) in the center should, alternatively, be cooked until dry and grey.  Surprisingly tasty in spite of this ridiculously overcooked fish, the salad might have been perfect had the sliced cucumbers on it been sliced all the way through and not just somewhat butterflied to the rind.  Amateurs, eh?

Five ales on tap, and they made the Good Beer Guide this year for their interesting selection of ales.  I can’t recommend the food or atmosphere, but at least it’s not Griffin.

Posted 2011/09/23 by Drunken Bunny in food, pubs

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Ye Olde Farmhouse, Bath, Somerset   1 comment

Ye Olde Shakedown might be a better name for Ye Olde Farmhouse.  Yeow! £9.20 for a pint of Wadworth and a vodka tonic.  We needed the rest after a day of sightseeing following Jackie’s job interview at Bath Spa University and my run through mud and pastures out on the Avon and around some small villages, and the pub appeared just above our planned turn-off toward the Royal Crescent.  But, Jesus, the prices.

We took the opportunity to drink in a bit of the atmosphere.  The pub was rebuilt from a much older house in the late 19th century and the lead framed art glass all around the bar and entrance and some of the bits of the lounge leading out to the garden date to that refurbishment.  Everyone seemed nice (as you would to tourists whose marked-up tipple was subsidizing your own), and the overall atmosphere was very copacetic.  It should definitely have ranked higher than the Griffin in the CAMRA Beer Guide.

Posted 2011/09/23 by Drunken Bunny in pubs, tourism

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