What: A restaurant and bar that sits within the new Hotel Indigo Bath following a multi-million pound restoration project. As well as a 60-cover dining room The Elder has a large terrace for al fresco drinking and dining.
Who: Mike Robinson, owner The Woodsman in Stratford upon Avon, and part owner of Michelin-starred Fulham-based gastropub The Harwood Arms is the man behind the project. He’s joined by group head chef of The Elder and The woodsman Gavin Edney, who was previously head chef at André Garrett at Cliveden House Hotel for almost four years before leaving in October 2017. The front of house team is led by general manager Paul Halliwell who was involved in the launch of The Woodsman, and was previously GM at Lutyens Restaurant and before that at Typing Room.
The food: Anyone familiar with Robinson or his venues will know that he’s a meat-lover and one of the UK’s leading authority on wild food and game, so it will come as no surprise that meat and game are a key part of The Elder’s nose to tail food offer. A professional huntsman delivers prime venison carcasses to the restaurant with other animals bought in as whole carcasses that are aged in the butchery before being broken down. Dishes are firmly of the ‘hearty British’ mould, with starters including tartare of south coast bream, smoked eel and apple with squid ink crackers, cod roe, dashi and lemon; Berkshire hare faggot with slow-cooked mushrooms and heritage carrot; and warm Dorset crab tart; while main dishes such as roast sirloin and ale braised cheek of Longhorn beef with beef fat crispy potato; red-legged partridge with stuffed cabbage, black pudding and sweet corn tart; and Gloucestershire fallow deer with red cabbage puree feature (two courses for £37.50, three for £45). Non meat eaters should not dismay, however; a more concise - and cheaper - vegetarian menu is on offer featuring the likes of artichoke soup; coffee baked carrots; salt baked celeriac with woodland mushrooms; and pumpkin gnocchi (two courses for £27.50, three for £35). Desserts, meanwhile, include a blackberry tart (pictured; lime meringue pie; and a selection of West Country cheeses.
The drinks: The wine list is substantial without being overfacing, with sparkling wines from South Africa, Italy and England as well as France and a good selection of red and white burgundies as well as 10 bordeaux wines starting at £39 and topping out at £550 for a 1996 Pauillac Carruades de Lafite.
The vibe: The Elder’s style is sympathetic to the building’s Georgian roots and has a grand country house feel to it, with dark green or pink panelled walls depending on which of the interlinked rooms you find yourself in as well as leather banquettes, thick curtains, stag’s heads on walls and oil paintings of animals and bucolic scenes.
And another thing: Robinson is looking to open a separate members club area within The Elder sometime next year.
2-8 South Parade, Bath