Dan Moon at The Gainsborough
The handsome interior of Dan Moon at The Gainsborough is the inspired handiwork of New York-based design firm Champalimaud. The result of their collaboration with The Gainsborough is an elegant, easy-on-the-eye blend of neutral tones and striking contemporary furnishings that exudes refinement. Throughout the week, The Gainsborough’s central location and dignified setting invite leisurely daytime diners and business lunches in equal measure. In the evening, bathed in the light emitted by the feature wine wall, the restaurant’s interior takes on an altogether different dynamic. The atmosphere shifts, becoming sophisticated yet informal; the perfect backdrop for a notable get-together with family, a special occasion with a loved one, or even a corporate tête-à-tête.
Dan Moon’s menus are a tour de force of seasonal, contemporary British cuisine. Drafted on a daily basis, they represent a balance of Dan’s inspired texture and flavour pairings, and his trusted suppliers’ exemplary produce. Almost invariably, the à la carte leaves dining parties debating over who will order what. Of course, if an accord can’t be reached on this, the six-course tasting menu is a wonderful workaround. On our visit, my partner and I decided that we’d strike for the à la carte. I began proceedings with sautéed scallop served atop flavoursome lobster and crab risotto, garnished with crisp fennel and inky-black beads of caviar. My partner’s terrine of smoked rabbit loin was complemented by piquant pickled radish, creamed sweetcorn and a perfectly cooked, soft-in-the-middle quail’s egg. For the main event, we sampled roast fillet of halibut accompanied by king prawn, leeks and tart yuzu, with piping-hot haddock chowder poured at the table; and roast loin of Mendip venison served with goat’s curd, pommes Anna, salt-baked celeriac, chanterelles and black pudding. Both were a triumph of flavour, texture and presentation. Unable to resist a third course, we finished with Valrhona chocolate ganache with honeycomb, orange sorbet, ginger and citra cress, and buttermilk panna cotta layered over apple compote with apple sorbet and almond crumble.
If you’re introducing visitors to the South West, what better way to treat the uninitiated than with a table at one of the Bath’s premier gastrodomes? Just be sure to arrive early enough to enjoy pre-dinner drinks at the bar, which overlooks The Gainsborough’s spa and pool. In fact, if you’ve time to spare, why not indulge in an afternoon at the spa?