Posted 22nd February 2010
Updated October 2013: Sadly, the River Cottage Canteen in Bath closed back in 2011. However the Bristol brand opened on Whiteladies Road earlier in 2013. You can read our review here. Komedia now runs an arts cafe in partnership with Artolo.
A Saturday with the girls… Massages at Champneys, coffee at Starbucks (not local I know but sometimes it has to be done), lunch at the River Cottage Canteen in Bath – the latest of Hugh Fearnley Whitingstall’s brood.
Situated in the heart of the city, River Cottage is out of its comfort zone and shares its space with Komedia – a comedy complex – a bizarre mix, but one that somehow just doesn’t matter.
As expected, the Canteen was packed, and having failed to make a booking we decided to sit at the bar and make our way through a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc while we waited for a table to come up.
The style is a combination of rustic and city slick, modern tables and chairs combined with wooden hearts hanging from the ceiling (it was Valentine’s weekend) and huge canvases of fruit and veg.
While waiting we were presented with a chopping board sporting some delicious rustic garlic and rosemary bread – so rustic that the skin was still on the cloves of garlic dotted through the bread.
The menu – written on a blackboard of course – consisted of hearty rustic lunches, from butter bean and chorizo soup to lamb stew. I went for the latter, while the other ladies tried a butternut squash barley risotto and a sausage casserole.
Once seated the food arrived, and as expected was good hearty grub – my lamb melted in the mouth, while the sausage casserole was too good to share (Megan has an aversion to sharing) and the risotto disappeared.
My only grumble was that my stew, which came with delicious gravy, did not come with any bread to mop it up (although fortunately Lizzie is not averse to sharing).
Verdict: The most expensive dish on the menu was £12, so River Cottage Canteen Bath definitely offers value for money. Worth a visit, but not the rustic, barn like feel you might be expecting – this is River Cottage and the City.
River Cottage Canteen @ Komedia
22-23 Westgate Street, Bath, BA1 1EP
Details for the Bristol branch:
River Cottage Canteen, St John’s Court, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2QY
0117 973 2458
Follow on twitter @bristolcanteen and on Facebook