Supplier Focus

Bath Artisans Old & New: New Kids On The Block
Bath Artisans Old & New: New Kids On The Block 1024 1024 mike@savouringbath.com

Our city has a consistently changing landscape of businesses retailing and producing handcrafted food & drink.  Contrary to the trend in closures due to the pandemic, there are new culinary businesses in Bath about to open.

For our Supplier Focus series, I’ve produced 3 blogs looking at businesses who’ve said goodbye, some well-established friends, and few new faces.  We’ll start with some of the most recent and upcoming additions to the city’s food & drink scene…

Click the tabs to discover more about each new culinary business!

Loqum: Bathzaar

Friendly couple Ahmet & Dijan, originally from Turkey, came to Bath via London. They bravely established their boutique in The Corridor in early November, retailing their selection of byzantine gifts and treats. The Corridor is an attraction in itself as it was Bath’s first shopping arcade in 1825.

Bathzaar serve a lovely Turkish tea and have also tapped into the rising interest in Turkish coffee. This is the most ancient way to serve coffee! You can hear the legend of the first cup of coffee on our Culinary Comforts tour.

Along with a friendly welcome, Bathzaar have a huge selection of beautifully photographable lokum/Turkish Delight, baklava, and near-Eastern inspired chocolates and gifts.

Click here to read more about Loqum: BathZaar

Nata & Co

This new outlet is set to open in the coming weeks and comes to Bath on their success in Cardiff. When I think of Portuguese, food one of the first things which comes to mind is Pastel (or pastéis) de Nata. These are custard/egg tarts, normally dusted with a little cinnamon.

Apparently, these sweet pastry bites arose from the 18th century Portuguese practice of starching nuns’ religious attire by using egg whites. This meant there were plenty of yolks leftover to make sweet pastries, which proliferated the baking trade. Can’t object to that!

Looking forward to seeing these and the rest of the range from Nata & Co when they open opposite the Victoria Art Gallery soon!

Thanks to @nataandco for the 📷

Click here to read more about Nata & Co

Edgars Foods

This is a new outlet coming to George Street. This is an area seeing considerably reduced occupancy at the moment so it’s great to see someone taking one of the nicest commercial units available.

Edgars Foods have a range of seafood products and high quality fishy treats plus a seemingly Italian-influenced range of luxury edible gifts. This is an exciting addition to the Bath culinary scene and especially welcome in this part of the city centre!

Click here to read more about Edgars Foods

Mjölk

If there’s anything I ever get really excited about, it’s often Swedish stuff! Mjölk (‘milk’) are in the process of moving into a former souvenir shop opposite the entrance to the Roman Baths. There’s no question these guys are going to be busy with tourists. But if the pics of their Skandinavian cakes are anything to go by, they’ll be popular with locals too!

I have a few vague, former connections to all things Swedish (boring story). I desperately miss Swedish culture and culinary customs so I reckon I might be here a lot. One of my favs which they’ve promised, are schokladbollar which we make at home fairly regularly. They’re made with chocolate, tons of butter, coffee, oats, rolled into balls and rolled in coconut… smaskigt! (‘yummy’).

Of all the new outlets set to open soon, I’m more excited about Mjölk than any other 😁

Thanks to @mjolk.cafe for the 📷

Click here to read more about Mjölk
Bath has an wonderfully diverse community of culinary artisans…

We seem to generally have quite adventurous palettes here, though of course our visitor economy is particularly helpful!  Having new businesses regularly joining the melée is a wonderful way to keep us all on our toes.  It ensures there’s never a time when there’s nothing of interest.  Even during tough times like lockdown.

Everyone seems to be trying out new ideas, innovating and developing.  Having new outlets to add to this pot is one of the many aspects which I think makes our city so special.

Great places in Bath for great wine
Great places in Bath for great wine 1024 396 mike@savouringbath.com

As a city which was a major social destination in the 18th century, it’s hardly surprising that the trading of wine and its consumption has consistently been part of our culture for some time… in fact, the Romans first settled this area 2000 years ago and brought the idea of winemaking with them.  Our green & pleasant land today boasts far more wineries than it did then and Bath has continued to fulfil the needs of visitors & locals alike by ensuring there are some great venues offering interesting wines.  Here are just 4 of our favs!

Corkage

Known for his harsh reviews, food critic called Jay Rayner, visited Corkage and apparently said “if I lived in Bath, I would come here a lot!”… which I always feel really sums this place up. Especially since, I do live here and I do like to come here a lot, but for Jay Rayner to say that was a big deal for these guys, and yet their standards have never dropped so Corkage remains a great place to enjoy great wine and great food. Marty Grant (former acrobat… yes!…acrobat!… hear the story on our tour!) and executive chef Richard Knighting originally started their business by taking over the lease of a friends failing bottle shop and it’s gone from success to success ever since. There is a wine list but the original concept was that staff ask you a few questions about your wine preferences, then provide advice based on their extensive selection, and they’ll even consider what pairs well with the food you’re ordering. There’s a regularly changing selection of small plates (3 per person works well for dinner, at around ~£7-13 per plate) all based on high quality, regionally sourced, seasonal produce.

Click here to read more about Corkage

Novel Wines

Ben Franks and Gyorgy Zsiga began Novel Wines around the same time Savouring Bath came into being so we’ve remained relatively close as our respective businesses have grown. Novel Wines originally were an online business, but they now have a shop not far from the city centre, though they still offer privately booked tastings at centrally located venues, occasionally in conjunction with other culinary outlets who will pair their products with the wines. Novel even offer wine tastings at your own venue within the region e.g. for parties at your home, or for groups at your accommodation. Their concept is based on wines from unusual locations, or from grapes you might not be familiar with, once again, encouraging us to step out of our comfort zones. The knowledge of the team is vast, as they regularly connect with the growers in order to get the lowdown on what’s going on in the wine production world. Ben & Gyorgy have travelled the world to source their wines, and Gyorgy has especially focussed on east European wines. Ben can often be found in the media either talking about wine on TV or radio, or writing about exciting developments in the wine industry in the press and online. There are regular tasting events at their shop and if you’re in that area it’s definitely worth dropping by to say hi and see what’s going on!

Click here to read more about Novel Wines
wines tasting

Le Vignoble

These guys have adopted a really curious way of serving their wines which you won’t find elsewhere in Bath. 32 wines are served by the glass in machines which dispense to your glass in measures from 25ml upwards so you can sample lots of different wines for relatively little. Each machine is themed (colour, region, variety etc.) and is activated by a card which you can pick up from a member of staff. Started in Plymouth by French/English couple Yannick and Ele, Le Vignoble is part of a co-operative of wine merchants who are able to buy in bulk from small farmers to ensure sustainability and get access to wines which are not so run-of-the-mill. They also have a simple menu of small plates, mostly dominated by some lovely cheeses and cured meats. What we love about Le Vignoble is that is situated in a fairly hidden and particularly quiet area of Bath where you can regularly find a chilled out space to relax and enjoy some lovely vino and great service!

Click here to read more about Le Vignoble

Beckford Bottle Shop

This is one of the newest additions to Bath’s vinoteca offering but has been with us now since 2018 having taken over 2 units beside Bath’s Assembly Rooms, which were previously a vintage tea-room and antique shop. There’s some great food & drink knowledge here with a regularly changing menu of small plates and a huge selection of wine, but one of the reasons we love this place is because it’s the best place for Bath Chaps which have developed something of a local following! Join one of our tours to find out more or get in touch to be sure you book the tour which includes Chaps… they’re a piece of the city’s culinary heritage which is largely lost but being kept alive with simple but innovative changes made by the BBS team, to satisfy our modern palettes and make them a real treat! They’re downstairs space is normally only open on busy days but it’s a beautifully appointed space with original architectural features and a lovely relaxing atmosphere. All in all, BBS is definitely in our top 4 favs!

Click here to read more about Beckford Bottle Shop

Wherever you choose to head for wine in Bath, remember that we normally include a visit to one of our wine bar suppliers on all of our tours (except “Local Flavours”) with food included in your tour ticket, and the choice to purchase wine if you wish.  Each venue has their own special story to tell, great advice for pairing their lovely selection of wines, a unique range of small plates from which we’ll provide a sample, and wonderful spaces to chill out and reflect on your tour with us.  Join us soon for a culinary experience of Bath!

Supplier Focus – Phat Yaks
Supplier Focus – Phat Yaks 1024 683 mike@savouringbath.com

In our latest Supplier Focus vlog, we talk Nepalese food in Bath with Sarah Gurung from Phat Yaks (New Street, Kingsmead Square) & Yak Yeti Yak (Pierrepont Street).  Sarah and her family have owned and operated culinary outlets in Bath for 16 years, specialising in Nepalese cuisine and sourcing some of their product directly from Nepal to ensure the highest quality.  During lockdown they’ve also set up a home delivery service of ready meals, make-at-home meal kits, and their popular range of spices!

Join us on a tour soon to sample some of their tasty street food, curated alongside tons of other yummy samples!… and in the meantime check out their website for their great range of food to order for home delivery in Bath: https://www.yakyetiyak.co.uk

More fun Bath-based culinary curiosities coming soon so keep watching!!

Mike

Supplier Focus – Novel Wines
Supplier Focus – Novel Wines 1024 517 mike@savouringbath.com

As often as we can, we’re going to connect with our food & drink friends in Bath to showcase who they are and what they do best, and also to find out what they’re up to at the time.  We originally aimed to upload one of these videos every Friday but so many of our independent culinary artisan suppliers have already so kindly agreed to chat with us, that it’ll likely be more often!… at least for now.  And I’m so grateful to Ben Franks at Novel Wines for agreeing to be our first Supplier Focus – Ben was one of the first businesses I engaged as a new supplier when I first started working for Savouring Bath in 2017 so it’s seem pretty apt that he’s the first to do this for us.  There’s also some blog posts in the pipeline on great places to get some of the best artisan food & drink in Bath, and some more of Bath’s anecdotal culinary history… so keep watching … and do make comments below the posts – I’d love to hear what you think and any suggestions of what you’d like to see/hear!

Thanks always!

Mike