The Blathwayt Arms - Bath Food Review
Posted on: 2016-11-16
Simple food done sensationally well....The Blathwayt Arms is a first-rate pub restaurant immersed in the splendor of the Lansdown countryside that's well worth going out of your way for.
Every now and again you'll stumble across a hitherto unknown pub restaurant that enchants, delights and fills your groaning, grumbling tummy with lashings of fine ale and belt-loosening portions of wholesome, hearty tucker - and The Blathwayt Arms in Lansdown, Bath is precisely just a place. Read on for our review:
Literally a two-minute drive from Bath Racecourse, from the outside The Blathwayt Arms is certainly an impressive and imposing building, brimming with character and charm. After parking the motor in the pub's massive car park, we were greeted by chirpy, friendly staff and felt quite comfortable and at home and relaxed in its cosy environment.
With a large bar and two separated areas for eating and drinking - one with flagstone flooring, the other on a slightly raised level and carpeted - it's a vast, light and air space furnished with chunky wooden tables and chairs, wooden beams, some exposed brickwork and a roaring fire that will warm your cockles during the winter months. There's also a gargantuan garden where you can literally see the horses from Bath Racecourse gallop past, and which must be a cracking, premium spot during the summer months to chill out with friends and sup a libation or three.
There's a good selection of ciders, wines, spirits and real ales (my two pints of Otter were impeccably kept and eminently quaffable), while the menu takes in a good range of mains, light bites, sandwiches and puddings with children's menus and smaller portions of certain dishes available for the little 'uns. After the spectacular whizz-pops, bangs and collective 'ooohs' and 'aaaahs' of the enthralled and wide-eyed crowd at the racecourse bonfire night event, we made a hasty beeline to The Blathwayt Arms to slowly defrost after being out in the bitter cold for several hours and to chomp down on what we hoped would be generous portions of good food to satiate our craving for sustenance. We weren't disappointed.
After a quick scan of the mains and the burger and grill options, I went for the fish and chips (£12), lime and soda battered Atlantic cod fillet, chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. The extreme, almost gratuitous size of the cod alone would have been enough to justify the price, and the golden, epically crispy batter cracked open to reveal large, flaky chunks of creamy, pearly-white cod. Accompanied by perfect, hand-cut chunky chips, impressive mushy peas (and I say that as a general loather of the mashed-up green stuff), and a generous pot of admirably piquant, chunky tartare sauce, this was a major-league mouthwatering masterclass that ticked all the gastronomic boxes. Simple food done sensationally well.
My dining partner's homemade steak and ale pie (£12) was another winter classic executed to absolute perfection, the nicely buttery, flaky shortcrust pastry breaking away to reveal an unctuous combo of thick, melt-in-the-mouth chunks of steak, and accompanied by a fluffy pillow of silky smooth creamy mash, a bountiful bowl of fresh, seasonal vegetables and a boat of faultless, rich gravy.
Alas, our relatively late, post-firework arrival meant that, by the time we'd engorged and worked ourselves through the monumental portions and consummate taste sensations of our mains, the kitchen had closed. But I've still got my beady little eye (and salivating, expectant tastebuds) on the triple chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream, which means I'll have to go back. And it won't be a chore. And I can't wait. We might have come across it by happy accident, but The Blathwayt Arms is a first-rate pub restaurant immersed in the bucolic splendor of the Lansdown countryside that's well worth going out of your way for.
Jamie is a writer, blogger, journalist, critic, film fan, soundtrack nerd and all-round Bristolian good egg. He loves the music of Philip Glass, the art of Salvador Dali, the writings of Charles Bukowksi and Hunter S Thompson, the irreverence of Harry Hill, and the timeless, straw-chomping exuberance of The Wurzels. You can sometimes find him railing against a surging tide of passing cyclists, or gorging himself senseless on the Oriental delights of a Cosmos all-you-can-eat buffet.