Normally we plan in where to go and who to write about (we've got a pretty impressive blog calendar if the truth be told ;)), but recently we’ve had a little flurry of just popping to places on the off chance... without really thinking about the blog, or about taking photos or writing it up! ;) I know!!! As we’ve been out and about quite a bit though, I thought I'd share three of the best with you really quickly – so there’s not necessarily the usual glut of original pics, but this is us being spontaneous ;).
Let’s kick off with The Ivy Brasserie in Bath. This was actually one I did mean to plan in for a full feature, but in the end I was in Bath one Monday, interviewing for our radio show, and it was 5pm and me and G were starving so we thought, “let’s just go”!
Quickly booking a table is a breeze through the Open Table app and although we were late (totally forgot how long it takes to get from one side of the city to the other at that time) the guys at The Ivy couldn't have been lovelier.
Inside, the interiors are full of colour from cool blues to bright and beautiful oranges. Bold artwork, packed with striking shapes, casts sparkling reflections in multiple mirrors, and the feel is deliciously decadent. My woolly hat might not've been quite the right choice of dining attire ;) but with that said, the overall vibe is still relaxed. We cosied up on a tucked-away table with our fish and chips and mushroom risotto, happy as people in... well, The Ivy in Bath really!
Here's a shout out for the velvety pumpkin soup too, poured with a flourish that made us go “oooh”!
The Ivy’s own craft lager put a smile on Graeme’s face too (YES! to the frozen glass), so it must’ve hit the spot ;) .
What we also loved was the choice – lots for Vegans, Veggies, Pescies and meat eaters alike, plus there's a special lunch and early evening menu for early birds.
We’ve been to the London Ivy a few times, back in the day when it was the one and only, and to be honest, the Bath one beats our memories of it! We could happily see this as a lovely spot for a casual tea or catch up with friends, as well as a place for a special dinner.
Go for: A treat, a dinner with friends, a cosy date night, just go really!
Quick review in five words: An icon that won’t disappoint
Next up is our little shout out for what’s set to become a big favourite I reckon... the brand spanking new Stony Street House in Frome.
Ahh - we love this building with a passion that’s probably not quite normal, so we jumped for joy when we heard it was reopening. It's a high-ceilinged, buzzing, independent wine bar, restaurant, café and wine shop... it’s got it all going on now, but the vibe definitely remains cool and relaxed. We popped in for pizzas after our last radio show (there might’ve been Prosecco involved too) and we loved the feel of the place.
Bag yourself a window table and it's the perfect spot for watching the word go by - but to be honest, we might've been more interested in the gorgeous dogs that had taken their owners out for lunch ;) Shout out to little Pixel - a tiny terrier who stole our hearts!
Anyway, we didn’t have Petal and Flower that day, but would definitely love to go back with them... just to check it's as fab as we think and a cool place for bigger dogs to hang out with their humans too.
Go for: Huge pizzas, the beautiful building, the buzzing atmosphere, the dog-friendliness... what’s not to love? ;)
Quick review in three words: Frome’s perfect pizzas (that just about fitted on to our table :))
And finally, for this impromptu little round-up, we hopped over the border for a visit to The Culm Valley Inn in Culmstock.
If you’re looking for a clearly-and-dearly loved local with a funky, unconventional feel, you’ll feel right at home here! We fancied trying somewhere different and close to Taunton after the Fifty Bees exhibition launch a couple of Saturday's ago, and at twenty mins away it was the perfect excuse to head on over.
As non-meat eaters, we're always on the look out for a veggie burger that knocks it out the park and the Beetroot and Feta Burger here is one of those - flipping glorious! And can we just take a moment to say... MASSIVE ONION RINGS? Celebrate! ;)
We should shout about the melt-in-the-mouth chocolate brownie too... but then you'd all want one and there wouldn't be any left for us! ;)
Anyway, this was one time where we REALLY didn't take many photos (too busy having a fab dinner, talking excitedly and slurping rosé) but what we will say is that going to The Culm made us long for the days when menus were only on the blackboards and for interior touches to always be unique...
On a busy, full-to-bursting Saturday, we were lucky enough to find a lovely candlelit table in one of the big bay windows, which was just perfect for a relaxed and romantic evening down the boozer!
Go for: burgers (meat or no meat), friendliness, funky interior touches and the feel of a fab local.
Review in three words: Deliciousness in Devon!
So there you have it. An 'on the off chance' bit of eating out. All Somerset cool, all plates cleared!
More proper foodie features very soon, as normal planning has resumed ;). We've actually got six of the very best places to eat out in Somerset coming up over the next six months - one a month and all very different. That all starts with Duende. Can't wait.
Photo credits: collage 1, photos 2, 3 & 4 & photo 5 - The Ivy Bath Brasserie, Photo 7 & collage 2 pictures 2 & 3 Stony Street House, Photo 8 and collage 3 photos 1, 2 & 3 The Culm Valley Inn.