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Restaurant Review: The Elder, Bath, Somerset

The Elder restaurant in Bath is named after the highly acclaimed 18th-century architect, John Wood the Elder. His vision of restoring his beloved city has given Bath its alluring honey-hued elegance courtesy of terraced Georgian architecture made with Bath stone.

The Elder restaurant is housed in one of these buildings in South Parade, as part of the sprawling The Indigo Hotel that stretches over 14 Georgian terraced houses.

The ambience of The Elder Restaurant

The Elder has a cosy, clubby feel with decor that surmises the spirit of the gamey menu. At the reception area is a shimmering brass and wood bar promising any tipple you desire. Beyond that are a couple of intimate spaces, with dark wood floors, dark green panelled walls hung with hunting prints and the odd stag head and stuffed pheasant. A subdued lighting throws a golden hue over tan leather banquettes or round dark wood tables. 

Food & Drink at The Elder Restaurant

You don’t have to be a carnivore to dine at the The Elder but it helps. The restaurant is led by chef Mike Robinson and Chef Liam Goldstone who have curated an interesting menu based on game dishes. Game is sourced from wild deer herds on private estates and prepared in the restaurant’s butchery. The hearty gourmet dishes are the kind you want to savour. There’s always a fish dish such as halibut or brill from the British coast. There is a vegan option too such as Aubergine parmigiana with tomatoes, basil, burrata and basil oil.

Our gourmet journey started with  ‘Game Tea’ –  a muffin-style mound of homemade granary sharing loaf accompanied by a whipped-up Chew Valley Jersey butter. The idea is to dip the bread into a consommé of venison and beef stock. it’s delicious and frankly would have served well as the starter.

Nevertheless, I chose the Forest of Dean wild boar paté en crout served with house piccalilli for my first course. This was a generous portion full of flavours, sweetness from the figs and a background of flavour from the cloves. My partner opted for a wedge of warming onion and Montgomery cheddar tart Waldorf salad.

This worked perfectly to whet our appetite for the gamey venison – Pavé of Bathurst estate fallow venison. This was served on a bed of rosti and topped with a ball of cabbage with salami and a green peppercorn sauce. On the side was bone marrow to scoop out the marrow. We also ordered a bowl of Dirty Mash as a side dish, a creamy mash drenched in rich venison jus.

My partner wasn’t as much into game and went for the tranche of Halibut (a generous wedge) on the bone with a tarragon fishbone stock (made from its juice) with a splash of Pernod. It came with a bowl of bubbly-looking herby white beans.

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