Regular readers may remember that I reviewed The
Cowshed’s Sunday roast offering a couple of years ago, when I first started in
the restaurant critic business – and I believe that at the time, I described it
as one of the best roast dinners I’d ever had. Naturally, then, when The
Cowshed got in touch and asked if I’d like to come again and try out this
year’s menu, it didn’t take me very long to say yes.
Don’t worry – I’m going to get to the minute description
of every delicious thing we ate in mouth-watering detail any minute now. But
first I want to talk about why I love The Cowshed so much, which has a lot to
do with their brilliant approach to local sourcing. All the meat comes from
their partners, the Ruby & White butchery in Bristol, which works closely
with local farmers – so they’re in control of the whole process from field to
fork, making sure that quality and welfare are of the highest possible
standard. And it’s not just their meat that’s locally sourced – working with
Total Produce and Growfair, at The Cowshed they make sure they use as much
fresh, local fruit and veg as possible.
Okay, I know what you came for – let’s talk about what we
ate. The Sunday lunch portions at The Cowshed are extremely generous, but I
knew it was my duty to sample all three courses, so to start we shared an
incredible stew of mussels, clams and scallops (left). The sauce was creamy and
fabulously rich (we could’ve done with some bread to soak it up, although I
suppose then we really wouldn’t have had room for our mains) and the seafood
was cooked to perfection. I particularly loved the clams and the crispy scallop
on top, which was full of fabulous flavour. We washed it down with frosty pints
of Stoney Bonk, a brilliant cider mixed with ginger beer from local makers
Honey & Daughter, which I would recommend in the strongest possible terms –
one of my favourite local tipples.
Next, the staff brought us a great platter of roast
meats, crispy golden potatoes and huge fluffy Yorkshire puddings, plus jugs of
gravy and enamel bowls of swede mash, buttered greens and The Cowshed’s
incredible cauliflower cheese. The menu has expanded a little these days, so as
well as the roast beef (an absolute must-try, of course, with the Ruby &
White beef connection) we also ordered the confit belly pork, and shared both (above).
I do love a bit of pork belly because it’s just so full of flavour, but in this
case the beef was the star for me – perfectly cooked and really juicy.
Finally, of course, we just had to sample the desserts. I
had a warm chocolate brownie (right) topped with the chef’s own home-churned ice cream,
which had a beautiful texture, but I think my dining companion made the best
choice – a gorgeously light panna cotta with a tart red berry coulis. I’m a
sucker for a good chocolate brownie but it was a bit heavy after such a big
lunch, so if you’re going for a roast I’d really recommend the panna cotta
Phew! Just writing about it makes me feel full again. If
you’re looking for a roast lunch in Bath, I honestly don’t think you can do any
better than The Cowshed. As the weather gets warmer, you can even enjoy it on
their beautiful terrace outside, with a view across Bath. Look out for future
events on the terrace, including Sunday barbecues – I can’t wait.