Ben Franks: Spotlight on The Cowshed Bath
The Cowshed has only been in Bath since 2014 but has already affirmed its place as one of the city’s top destinations for meat lovers.
Real care is taken over sourcing high quality meat for their menu, which supplies their own butcher Ruby & White in Bristol. By knowing the full story of their meat they know their menu better than most and ensure you dine in style.
I had previously only visited The Cowshed once, and it was some time ago now, but I have wanted to come again for a while. The draw for me is the wine list, which I’ve featured as one of my top in Bath for wine lovers, because it is both recognisable and adventurous. While you can happily enjoy fresh and bright classics like Kiwi Sauvignon or Provence rosé, there’s also the option to give the premium Japanese white Grace Winery Kayagatake Vineyard Koshu a go – a wine critics regularly feature in their top 5 wines from Japan.
Of course the exciting thing for red meat lovers is the selection of red wines – although if you can afford a bottle of one of their Montrachet White Burgundies then they make surprisingly fab partners with med-rare meats or Sunday lunch. Steak’s better half, the popular-selling Michel Torino Argentinian Malbec, is always a safe bet with its medium body, dark fruits and powerful intensity.
Even the restaurant’s house red – Cowshed Special Cuveé, Remoissenet – is a quality red Burgundy blend. What a lot of restaurants get wrong with Pinot Noir is by stocking commune-labelled Pinot Noir that is simply too young to properly enjoy, especially at its usual price tag. But here real thought has been given to the wine choice, picking a 2013 blend will show the bright fruit of youthful, drink now Pinot Noir and a touch of earthy complexity from Givry’s vineyards. That means you get an excellent Pinot Noir that is perfect to drink now. Not to mention Pinot Noir’s wonderful affinity to pair with a vast variety of food.
The relaxed atmosphere of The Cowshed has picked up since their renovation in January. By creating a lounge area at the front of the restaurant by the bar, customers can now enjoy a morning coffee or a couple of drinks after work. It’s also a new opportunity for the restaurant to offer small plates, capitalising on the trend for social dining that is growing rapidly in the south west.
While The Cowshed is being innovative in its offering, one of the restaurant’s challenges is being off the beaten track, just off George Street. For its success to take off, it needs to be a destination venue. That means great food, great wine, and a reason to come back.
In the wine world, the golden key for any restaurant’s success is a great, flexible relationship with a superb wine merchant. And The Cowshed holds that golden key. Their team regularly works with Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines, who have a portfolio of exceptional wines that will bring a smile to anyone in the on-trade, to provide advice and supply specialist customer demand.
That means wine lovers can get the wines they want when they host special occasions at The Cowshed. Whether that be bringing in a Cava for a Spanish wedding party or holding a bottle of Rioja above the bar for that loyal weekly customer who is partial to a glass or two.
By going above and beyond, The Cowshed becomes a destination venue and will keep you coming back for more. Housed in a beautiful Georgian building that combines modernity with Bath’s classic character, with views across the city from the garden and a cosy vaults area perfect for private dining, it seems to have everything going for it.
So if you’re planning an event and fancy some great food & wine, or you’re just keen to try somewhere new for dinner, The Cowshed is definitely one you should try. Or you can always pop in for a few small plates and a glass of fizz after work on a Friday! I may see you there…
With thanks to Grantley White, general manager, and Nerys Neath, events manager, for taking time for our interview.
I’m always on the look-out for new wine lists to try and I’m here to help any restaurant or pub who think their wine list needs a seasonal update. For more information or to get in touch about some more of my favourite wine & dine destinations, call Ben Franks Wine on +44(0)7545353147.
Images © Copyright Ben Franks Wine 2016