After scouting round for somewhere suitably grand to celebrate my mother’s 70th Birthday, the obvious choice was Dan Moon at The Gainsborough in Bath Spa.

My brother and his wife were travelling from London during Storm Emma for this meal, so The Gainsborough has perfect transport link with it being just a short walk from the train station.

The Gainsborough’s opulence is obvious as soon as you go in through the front door. We were greeted by the smartly dressed restaurant manager Chris, who directed us to the stunning bar area. The furniture and decoration is all carefully chosen and no expense has been spared. Another equally as smartly dressed bartender took our order whilst we seated ourselves in the window overlooking the pool.

Soon after, our expertly crafted cocktails were brought over and we enjoyed Vodka Martini’s, Bloody Mary’s and Old Fashioned. They accompanied the drinks with tasty canapés, nibbles & copies of the lunch menu to peruse whilst we chatted and waited to be called through to the dining room.

The great thing about the Gainsborough is that although it is one of the best hotels and restaurants in the country, there is no sense of snobbery: the staff are polite & informed and they don’t mind groups enjoying a bottle of wine or two and enjoying the venue.

We were seated in the grand restaurant on a round table, which makes all the difference for a small family celebration, as you can easily talk to anyone in the party. The charming waiter soon took our order and we eagerly awaiting our starter.

The three available starters were: Smoked Duck and Foie Gras Terrine with caramelised onion puree and pickled shallot; Salmon Cannelloni with Horseradish Mousseline and Water Cress and Parsnip Veloute with Spiced Pear Chutney, Goats Curd & Walnut. They were all equally as delicious and immaculately presented.

Chris advised us on various wines to match each of the courses – after much deliberation; we decided to share a bottle of delicious Argentinean Malbec and French Chablis.

For main course, I chose the Roast Tenderloin of Pork with Pickled Red Cabbage, Salt Baked Celeriac, Black Pudding and Apple. I also tried some of the Poached Fillet of Cod with Broccoli, Lobster Bisque and Crab Risotto. I could not decide between the two as they were both perfectly composed and just the right level of filling.

For dessert, I couldn’t resist the cheese board and I wasn’t disappointed. It is one of the first restaurants I’ve been to where there is a perfect amount of crackers to cheese. I was thrilled to try some of Alex James’ cheese that I’d heard so much about and I was, of course, a massive fan of the indie band Blur in the 90’s!

We retired back to the bar area after we had finished eating, we were all feeling rather full and content so we decided to order a round of Espresso Martinis! The staff surprised my mother by presenting her with a plate of Macaroons with ‘Happy 70th Birthday’ written with chocolate. We were all overwhelmed at the level of service & attention to detail at The Gainsborough.

We were soon feeling rather more lively and ready to continue the celebrations elsewhere.

They’re running a lunch offer at the moment: for just £34 two people can enjoy a three-course lunch between Monday and Friday. Call 01225 358888 to book.

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