Foodie’s day out, Bath-style

Whenever I visit Bath, and I do visit at least three or four times every year, Saturday morning is invariably given over to a jaunt down to Green Park Station for the weekly Farmer’s Market. Of course, it seems that every town in the land can now boast a Farmer’s Market, and a jolly good thing that is. But there are markets and there are markets. I do start to feel a little sceptical when I see more iced cupcake and turkish wrap vendors than I do fruit and veg stalls. It’s understandable: you need a particular combination of good local producers and well-heeled foodies who spurn supermarkets to make a really splendid Farmer’s Market viable. Bath most definitely has that combination.

I can’t really explain why this is my favourite Farmer’s Market, but at least in part it’s the sense that almost everyone selling here has come from no more than ten or fifteen miles away, and everything is superb. It should definitely be the cornerstone of any foodie weekend break in Bath. You will come away with enough stuff to keep you pigged out all weekend, even without all the eating-out options in this handsome little city.

My purchases this time included a couple of great cheeses I’ve never tried before, a bag of Jerusalem artichokes and other fresh organic veg, a bottle of single varietal apple juice (Foxwhelp, actually a cider apple and you can really taste it), some dramatic black salt, lamb chops, a box of perfect little mushrooms, very colourful beetroot bread, my favourite smoked mackerel pate, and fresh ravioli filled with garlicky lamb and woodsy mushrooms.

We devoured the pasta for lunch, it was delicious. I may well place an online order soon, Jazz Hands Artisan Pasta, at least once you get your online order form up!

So, let me think. You’ve come for a foodie weekend in Bath and have dutifully followed me to Green Park Station on a Saturday morning. What else are you going to do? How about a very quick run-down of some of the places I like eating in Bath (all of which I’ve visited within the last six months)…

Start with breakfast at Jika-Jika, where they take their coffee seriously, their artwork whimsically (and slightly rudely), and their food jolly tastily.

Elevensies would be good at The Fine Cheese Co. which could equally call itself the Fine Cake Co. along with great coffee and a lovely deli. Afterwards you will buy lots of cheese, of course.

Lunch! Try the idiocyncratic Cavendish Cooks, although you’ll have to be lucky with a table. It’s a lovely open kitchen where they cook trad meals to take-away but also have 3 or 4 tables where you can sit and eat whatever they’re cooking today while you watch them cook it.

Tea-time for me would be Metropolitan Cafe, inside the nifty Bloomsbury shop. Their cakes have “naughty” written all over them; icing is thick, filling ooze out, the cakes are slightly misshappen, mmm.

Pre-prandial cocktails? Try Sub 13, under an eatery on George Street. Blinding julep, some good inventions, and a terribly tempting 2-for-1 happy hour(s).

For dinner you could do worse than enjoy some old-school brasserie cooking at Woods. Very traditional, very unchallenging, very un-foodie. A useful antidote to all the raging modernity, and I always feel very relaxed on my occasional visits there.

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