After an evening of deliciously authentic Italian delights, I enjoyed a traditional English breakfast at the hotel in Bath. There’s nothing quite like the full works to get the day started and the service was equally as impressive as at the restaurant the night before, although no one burst into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” – shame.
There was only one thing to work off these breckie calories: shopping! After a few hours of bargain hunting we weren’t hungry enough to eat lunch, so we decided on a compromise. As an avid rugby fan, my other half knew that there was a cafe in town owned by two professional players, so we tracked it down to take a look. Jika Jika is an inviting and friendly place, crammed with funny and interesting artifacts. With such a relaxed atmosphere it makes the perfect venue for a Sunday snack. Both being big kids, we ordered a chocolate milkshake each, in my case accompanied by a wedge of Guinness and chocolate brownie. An overindulgence, perhaps, but my excuse was that I was making the most of my birthday weekend…
Speaking of which, we also dined out on our second night’s stay. This time the venue was the Firehouse Rotisserie, a light, modern place with a Mediterranean feel. The kitchen has an open counter, affording customers sitting towards the back a good view of the chefs in action. But this was not our view, as we were seated in the window at the front, which with my people watching skills would have made the perfect curtain-twitching situation, had it not been for one of the most obnoxious trio of individuals I’ve ever come across being placed on the table next to us. Honestly, I don’t know how we do it. We seem to attract them. Throughout our excellent meal, we had to endure the self-absorbed whitterings of a ‘grown-up’ son (I use the term very loosely) to his Mother and presumably Grandmother, about how wonderful he is and how his ex-girlfriend would regret breaking his heart as she’d clearly never find someone like him again. I should hope not – the expressions ‘hoity-toity’and ‘up one’s own backside’ spring to mind. My boyfriend spent the majority of the time gripping his fork as if it were a weapon. We exchanged rolling exasperated eyes with the other diners in ear shot, which at the decibels this Tim Nice But Dim was talking was practically the remainder of the restaurant.
But despite the unwelcome background noise, the Rotisserie was very enjoyable. The service was good and although the prices were not quite as palatable as the previous evening, they weren’t unreasonable. The Firehouse is a place of well-cooked classics, offering a real mixture of cuisines. From Italian bruschetta or pizza, to roast chicken with Texas spice, you’d be hard pushed not to find something you loved here. My dish of desire was Caesar salad, but this wasn’t your bog-standard version, no. Add to this already delicious dish: rotisserie chicken, bacon and herb croutons, drizzled with a generous glug of California style dressing and you have an extra special lip-smacking salad.
My other half, like many men I guess, has a weakness for a good burger. If there is a burger on the menu, there has to be something else quite special which catches his eye to persuade him in a different direction. Tonight was a burger night. And like my choice, when placed on the table it was obvious that his was a notch above your average burger – but then it was a ‘prime 8oz chuck steak burger’. I can personally vouch for the crisp skins and fluffy centre of the sweet potato fries, too.
So well fed but with bleeding ears, we escaped for a post-dinner drink to the pub next door – a little gem we’d noticed on our way in. The Salamander is one of those comfy and cool places that attracts interesting and slightly eccentric people – the exact opposite of the fool we’d just endured through dinner. With an abundance of Bath Ales on tap, we perched ourselves at the bar and enjoyed a local ale whilst soaking up the atmosphere created by the mixture of regulars and out-of-towners. A great way to end an indulgent and deliciously enjoyable birthday weekend.