As official flag-bearer for Bath produce, I am only too aware of the rich array of local cheeses, meats and veggies we have at our fingertips! So, what frustrates me about Bath’s ever-growing restaurant scene is the lack of local grub on the menu! It was therefore a delight to come across a restaurant that truly utilises this fabulous resource.
Framptons was opened in 2017 by three ex-army lads, Tom, Ed and Sam, who have renovated another weary Bath building and brought it into the modern era, with exposed brickwork, renovated wood and big open windows that allow you to peer out at Bath’s iconic Pulteney Bridge.
My association with Framptons is as a session drinking venue…
Me and the girls have been known to hit the cocktail list hard and the Rugby brigade love its proximity to the Rec, with a great ale selection and bar snacks.
Food at Framptons hasn’t been on my radar. However, the dawn of a new foodie era is emerging.
In March, a Framptons veteran from the Tunbridge Wells site- Sam Stone was brought in to head up the Bath kitchen. Sam’s passion for food, localism and service is infectious – we had a good old foodie natter.
You could perceive the menu to be a bit pretentious, with long descriptions of Bath products in each dish… However, my view is that these guys are championing small local producers.
I find this immensely refreshing plus it means the world to the producers themselves!
This is a menu of two worlds coming together – pub grub, burgers, steak, cheeseboards and easy-picking food. The stuff you order and enjoy with a pint and some mates. It’s comprehensive, including brunch – try the Bath Crumpets with 14-hour BBQ Somerset short rib and a bloody Mary! There is also a proper bar menu with dirty fries, burgers and flat iron steak.
As a food geek and full-on lover of Bath produce, the Dinner menu was my focus.
I normally get bored by menus – however this menu was entirely seasonal, exciting and jammed full of Bath produce.
To kick things off and give the bar team their time to shine… aperitif o’clock!
Mr Taste Of loves a sweet and boozy number, so he went for the classic Pornstar Martini. I opted for a Blighty 75, a Bath-Gin-based cocktail topped with lemon juice and elderflower and finished with an English sparkling wine.
A sharp, refreshing and very adult drink, this sums up Framptons for me!
Now, to the menu – we opted for the chef options, the foodie flag-waving dishes.
Our starters were a cannelloni of Somerset rabbit with a wild garlic and basil pesto (£7) and a pig’s head and pistachio presse with black pudding, chorizo, crackling and Thoughtful Bread sourdough crisp (£7). Hello fine dining!
The rabbit was melt-in-the-mouth, beautifully flavoured with an oozing sauce and delicate homemade pasta. As a total pasta snob, this was delicious. Rabbit is also exceptionally difficult to nail, often dry and chewy, but this was delicate and cared for.
Many of you may know that I used to produce pates and terrines as Rich Pickings, so being critical of this presse was second nature to me.
This plate was a triumph: the terrine was moist, light and full of flavour from the addition of chorizo and black pudding, this is the holy grail of pork and the balance of crunchy, crispy and porky was perfection. The crackling didn’t really do it for me, I would have replaced it with some homemade pork scratchings, but hey, I was a happy girl.
For mains, I went full on foodville, with a rosemary-crusted cannon of Jamie’s Farm lamb, fondant potato, parsnip three ways and a red wine jus (£21.50). High five Chef, you NAILED it!
Richly creamy parsnip puree, pink lamb and exceptional sauce… the sous chef worked in a French kitchen and these guys can do sauces!
I’m going to dream of this dish.
Mr Taste Of went for a steak with tiny weeny fries – for me, after the excitement of my foodie dish and the success of the starters, it was just a bit boring.
PUDS… good menu, no chocolate… I’m a chocolate fiend, so a little disappointed. However the Bath Gin and elderflower panna cotta with lemon sorbet and ginger crumble (£6) was silky smooth, refreshing and memorable.
The sticky toffee pudding and salted caramel sauce (£6) was huge and did exactly what it said on the tin. I especially enjoyed the spicing and saltiness of the sauce. Arguably you could say the pud was a tiny bit big and dense, but in the world of proper puds, it can be forgiven.
So… What are my thoughts on this new foodie destination?
I love it, I think with Sam at the helm in the kitchen this ship is going in the right direction.
An admirable and engaging use of local produce – they are not just talking the talk, they are walking the walk.
I salute you for that ethos!
Framptons is now as a place for all occasions:
Cocktails with the girls, brunch with the gang, bar grub and a pint with the lads (I call it my man crèche- perfect location to leave the lads!) and now… fine dining for the discerning foodies.
Here are some Fabulous Spring Offers
Tuesday: Beer & Burger £10
Thursday: Steak and Wine Night £15.00
Friday: 2 Cocktails for £10 (all day)
Sunday: Industry Night, all those hardworking bar/restaurant folk get 20% off!!!