A weekend in Bath

Last week I decided to take a break from the city and spend the weekend in the countryside with my friends. We thought it was time to see something new that wasn’t in London (yes, there’s civilization also after Zone 3, Susan). So we decided to pick Bath like proper aristocratic bitches.

We took the bus and since one of my strengths is being always on time, I missed it and I had to wait two hours for the next one. Likely I found a kind driver that didn’t ask me to purchase a new ticket.

Once in Bath, we headed to our hotel to unpack. The Belmont is a small, practical and fine b&b located less than 10 minutes walking from the center of the town. After that, we went to visit the Ancient Roman Baths. The tour takes almost one hour and a half, if you take the audio guide like we did. It was really interesting but also really long and after that we were literally starving! So we started wandering around to see if we could find a cosy place to have lunch.

Dough is a proper Italian pizzeria-restaurant in the center of Bath, with many gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options, so nobody will be disappointed! You can even choose the type of dough you want for your pizza! They have white flour, whole wheat flour, corn flour… and the list goes on! During the weekend it can get pretty busy, but even without a booking, they can find you a table in 10 minutes.

As a starter I had the stuffed eggplant garnished with a tomato sauce that was simply delicious. It reminded me of the summers I spent with my brother at my grandma’s house, when after the beach, she would always cook a simple pasta al sugo for lunch, with her so simple yet so astonishing tomato sauce made from scratch.

At Dough the pizza, of course, is da queen, periodt, so if you are thinking to pay them a visit you must try it!

I had the pizza parcel filled with grilled zucchini, aubergines and vegan cheese. The pizza dough was stone baked with a crunchy crust at the ends and the melted cheese is to die for (I am wondering if they use Violife) Also, the prices are affordable and if you have a reusable bottle, they will refill it for you!

I would suggest The Belmont as a place to stay, to anyone would like to visit Bath for few days… the only downside was the breakfast! Archie the Owner and his daughter served a full English breakfast that has basically no vegan options apart from some fruit and burnt toast. Don’t worry tho, Bath offers few vegan places and lots of vegan options restaurants, you won’t be disappointed I swear! On our second day we decided we did enough of culture stuff and it was time to try the new thermae in town. The weather was awful AKA the typical Brit weather (such fun!), so there wasn’t much choice either. After a two hour queue we finally had access to the spa. I really liked the outdoor hot spring water yacuzzi, but to be honest £40 for just two hours it wasn’t really worth it in my opinion. We headed out from the spa around lunch time so once again we started walking in the streets of the town to find something to eat.

Thaikhun is a Thai street food restaurant. The place is very weird, if not funny! It’s full of questionable objects and odd things piled up on the walls, road signs hanging from the ceiling and vintage appliances. It really feels like an indoor market rather than a restaurant! The menu has many options for celiac, vegetarian and vegan customers.

As a starter I had some fried corn bites with a sweet-sour sauce, they were super spicy and so yummy once you start eating them, you will probably end up asking for more. I liked the detail of wrapping the bites in the “newspaper”. As a main dish I order the stir-fried rice with vegetables and crispy tofu and let me tell you it’s a must-try. Unfortunately, the dish was served on a very simple plate, the type everyone has at home that is microwave friendly. Not very Instagrammy to be honest. The tofu was deliciously crispy on the surface and the vegetables were lightly steamed to be crunchy as well. Also the Pad Thai my friend order was on point. Everything was really tasty, but I guess too spicy for us. We had to ask for two jars of water!

We came back to London in the late afternoon, relaxed and ready to start the week!

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The Gate Hammersmith – London W6

ENG

The Gate is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Hammersmith. The building has a particular entrance that gives the impression you are rather going to church. Even the smell in the hall doesn’t help, kind of Sunday-school like! The restaurant itself is on the first floor. The room is fairly quiet and doesn’t have many tables. The ceiling is very high with a large window that allows the whole restaurant to be lit without the need for artificial light. The furniture is very simple, kept to the bare minimum, something in between minimal, arte povera and wrought-iron; a style that lately seems to be a must in London, if you want your bar to be trendy (such an outdated world right?!) and make money at the same time. The décor has been completed with green leafy plants and industrial style naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The jazz music in the background makes the atmosphere enveloping and sophisticated, making you feel like a freelancer drinking black americano in Brooklyn. Well, this is actually one of my #lifegoals.

During the weekend, The Gate offers the Sunday Roast menu which includes two courses for around £20 and no roast, apparently. I had the artichoke terrine as a starter with a dried tomato paste and grilled bread. The whole thing left me somehow confused, it was too salty for my taste. Now, I love food but I’m not an expert (yet), especially about vegan food culture, so I was eating all the components of the dish separately and it was all kinda just cold, salty and plain, but maybe I was doing everything wrong! So I tried to eat everything together with the bread and the paste, it still it was not such a big thing to me. I have to say though, that the presentation of the dish was very pretty and the bread was freshly baked.  As a main dish, I had the beetroot burger with fries and greens on the side and I can clearly say that this dish is not their forte. The little salad had fresh taste with the tasty Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The burger itself instead, was pretty rubbery: basically a pink chemical agglomerate of glue that can easily be found at the supermarket. The matchstick chips were so thin like angel hairs, on the plate more as a decoration.

The staff was nice and polite however, the service was really slow, so slow we had to wait about two hours to have our main dishes, and the restaurant wasn’t even crowded. They completely forgot about us and thought we had finished our meal. After we reminded them we were still waiting for our food, they brought us some olives and a freshly baked baguette to compensate. My friend ordered a huge stuffed onion and lemme tell you it was so plain that the only thing you could taste was the fork in your mouth. 

It wasn’t a bad experience, but few things were just not right. I don’t know if it deserves another try. Let me know if you ever tried The Gate in Hammersmith and if so, which dish to you suggest to try or avoid?

ITA

The Gate è un ristorante vegetariano/vegano ad Hammersmith. L’edificio ha un ingresso molto particolare, dà come l’impressione che tu stia andando in chiesa. Anche l’odore, tipo catechismo, nella hall non aiuta! Il ristorante si trova al primo piano; la stanza è abbastanza silenziosa e non ha molti tavoli. Il soffitto è molto alto con una grande finestra che consente di illuminare l’intero ristorante senza la necessità di luce artificiale. L’arredamento è molto semplice, ridotto al minimo, qualcosa tra minimal, arte povera e ferro battuto; uno stile che ultimamente sembra essere un must a Londra, se vuoi che il tuo bar sia alla moda (un mondo così vecchio, vero ?!) e guadagnare allo stesso tempo. L’arredamento è completato da piante a foglia verde e lampadine industriali appese al soffitto. La musica jazz in sottofondo rende l’atmosfera avvolgente e sofisticata, facendoti sentire come un libero professionista che beve un americano a Brooklyn. Beh, questo è in realtà uno dei miei sogni nel cassetto. Durante il fine settimana, 

The Gate offre il menu Sunday Roast che comprende due portate er il “modico” prezzo di £20. Io ho voluto provare il pate di carciofi come antipasto con una crema di pomodoro essiccato e del pane tostato. Il tutto mi ha lasciato in qualche modo confusa, era troppo salato per i miei gusti. Ora, io adoro il cibo ma non sono (ancora) un’ esperta in materia, specialmente riguardo alla cultura del cibo vegano… Stavo mangiando tutti i componenti del piatto separatamente ed era tutto un po’ freddo, salato e monotono, ma forse stavo facendo tutto sbagliato! Quindi ho provato a mangiaretutto insieme spalmando la crema di pomodori sul pane, ma non era comunque un granche’ secondo me. Devo dire però che la presentazione del piatto è stata molto carina e il pane era caldo di forno. Come piatto principale, ho ordinato l’hamburger di barbabietola con patatine fritte e verdure come contorno e posso dire che questo piatto non è il loro cavallo di battaglia, sinceramente. La piccola insalata aveva un sapore fresco dato dalla gustosa vinaigrette alla senape. 

Il burger invece era piuttosto gommoso – un agglomerato chimico rosa fosforescente colloso che può essere facilmente trovato al supermercato. Le patatine erano sottili come capelli d’angelo, più come decorazione. Il personale era gentile ed educato, ma il servizio andava molto a rilento, così tanto che abbiamo dovuto aspettare circa due ore per avere i nostri piatti principali e il ristorante non era nemmeno affollato. Si sono completamente dimenticati di noi addirittura hanno pensato che avessimo finito di mangiare. Dopo aver ricordato loro che stavamo ancora aspettando, ci hanno portato delle olive e una baguette appena sfornata per compensare. La mia amica ha ordinato un’enorme cipolla ripiena e lasciatemi dire che era così insapore che l’unica cosa da assaporare era la forchetta in bocca. Non è stata una brutta esperienza, ma alcune cose non andavano proprio. Non so se merita un ulteriore tentativo.

Fatemi sapere se avete mai provato The Gate ad Hammersmith e quale piatto suggerireste di provare o evitare?

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