A VISIT to Bath, whether you’re shopping, on a night out or showing visitors the attractions of the city, isn’t complete without a meal.
There are, of course, a number of gourmet destinations which can be the sole purpose of the trip, or you can just want somewhere warm and welcoming to get some tasty food and speed you on your way.
Acting, as is always best, on a recommendation, we’d visited The Stables for a family party and enjoyed it. This time I tried it when spending the night out at the nearby Theatre Royal with a friend, to see if it could cope with the challenge of feeding us fast enough so that we got to our seats in good time.
The Stables is in a very central location, and for many years was home to a fast food chain pizza joint which was, in our experience, anything but fast. So much so that despite its proximity to the theatre, cinemas and shops, we’d stopped using it.
I booked a table for 6pm to be on the safe side, but really need not have bothered for when we arrived the evening rush was only just beginning.
The seating style is either small tables for two, or long refectory tables with bench seating, great if you’re a large party but not so good if you object to sharing your table with total strangers.
That wasn’t an issue tonight, and we settled down on the end of a table with a view over Kingsmead Square.
Deciding on this occasion to veto their amazing cider menu (thought from our previous visit I can heartily recommend the five-shot cider tasting board) in favour of an elderflower presse and an orange juice for my friend, we looked at the menus.
The Stables promotes itself as a pizza and pie venue, but I’ve never tried the pies as the pizzas are so inviting. 
They really do go in for some unusual and delightful flavour combinations, served on a thin crispy base and are absolutely huge, so much so that when they arrive you think you are going to have to take a doggy bag home. Funnily enough we managed to eat the lot......
On this occasion I went for the Lamb Roast  which is topped with pulled slow-roasted lamb shoulder, sweet potato, red onion, goats’ cheese and mozzarella, served with a side of mint sauce, £13, while my friend tried the Longhorn Jim, which features marinated Longhorn ground beef, chorizo, field mushrooms, mozzarella and red onion topped with pulled ham hock at £13.50. Previously I’ve tried the Avonmouth Angler, which had hot smoked salmon, tenderstem broccoli, spinach, crushed potato, mozzarella and a free-range egg.
Both choices were delicious, with tasty tender meat and perfectly cooked veggies on a crispy, not soggy, base. I passed up on the mint sauce but felt it was a nice touch.
Our final bill came to £31.20. And we were seated, served, ate and left in an hour, with ample time to stroll to the theatre, get comfy and read the programme properly before curtain up.
We didn’t feel the need to nip into the shop for our usual £1 bag of sweeties, either, so it could even be said to have been good for our waistlines, too.
Alison Phillips


The Stables


Westgate Buildings

1-3 Kingsmead Square

Bath BA1 2AE

01225 429851


Opening hours: Mon-Fri & Sun 12 noon-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm

Disabled access: Yes

Children welcome: Yes

Our ratings:

Food 8/10

Decor: 7/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Price: 8/10

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5