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Bath Restaurants

Browns Restaurant & Bar
Orange Grove
Bath
England BA1 1LP
Tel: 44 1225 461 199
www.browns-restaurants.com

Although it's a venerable-ish (30-odd-years-old) English chain, Browns is no McDonalds or Starbucks. The brasserie-style restaurants usually occupy interesting, even historic buildings; this one's in a Georgian police station and magistrates' court opposite Bath Abbey, with a former cell serving as a bathroom. The food is hardly ambitious—salmon cakes with mango salsa; steak, mushroom and Guinness pie; brownies and ice cream—but it's reliably good and reasonably priced. In pleasant weather, head for the large terrace of outdoor tables.

Fishworks
6 Green Street
Bath
England BA1 2JY
Tel: 44 1225 448 707
www.fishworks.co.uk

Back in 1997, seafood obsessive Mitchell Tonks had the bright idea of combining a fishmonger with a café—and a fish-cooking school. Since the tenth branch opened in July 2006 (in London's Parsons Green district), FishWorks is officially a minor national phenomenon, with Tonks almost equaling Rick Stein as England's TV-chef fishmeister. Freshness and good value are the mantras here, with chef Ollie Navias bringing the pick of the catch from the store's fishermen-suppliers to table. You can select your own specimen from the fish counter, or try dishes like roasted skate with brown butter with capers, breaded fried haddock, or sea bream baked in salt (the selection varies with market availability). Taramasalata made from fresh smoked cod's roe is the house specialty. Unusually for England, the casual dining room is augmented by a covered, heated deck.

Closed Sundays.

Moody Goose
Old Priory Hotel
Church Square
Midsomer Norton
Bath
England BA3 2HX
Tel: 44 1761 416 784
www.moody-goose.com

After ten years earning accolades in the center of Bath, chef Stephen Shore moved his Goose to this medieval house in a nearby picture-book village. The house-made breads, local fish (delivered daily from Devon), and all-English seasonal produce are given modern treatment here. Selections might include a pie of roasted rabbit and wood pigeon; a salad of Cornish lobster, green beans, potato, and quail eggs with truffle oil; and Cornish lamb with a pine kernel crust and poached sweetbreads. The good news for those too sated to drive back to Bath: There are seven quaint and comfortable rooms upstairs that can be had for about $200 per night.

Ring O Bells
10 Widcombe Parade
Bath
England BA2 4JT
Tel: 44 1225 448 870
www.ringobellsbath.com

If you keep hearing about the British gastropub phenomenon, this is a good place to see what the fuss is about. An alehouse since 1837, this modest-looking place was overhauled in 2002; it's now an open-plan, stone-walled nouveau pub with farmhouse tables and a big skylight. The monthly-changing, pan-Euro menus with daily specials are fresh and usually interesting (if egregiously spelled: beetroot-cumin "gazpatcio" and a "creviche" of salmon and scallops were on offer recently). Alongside the beers on tap—including Guinness, the Belgian white beer Leffe, and one or two "guest ales"—there's a good wine list.

Hotel Photo
Sally Lunn's
4 North Parade Passage
Bath
England BA1 1NX
Tel: 44 1225 461 634
www.sallylunns.co.uk

There's no point pretending this funny little place in the heart of Bath is anything other than a tourist trap—but it's actually worth a visit. According to a legend of dubious authenticity, a French refugee girl moved into this, the oldest house in Bath (dating from 1482) sometime in the 17th century, and started baking rich buns a foot in diameter. (There's a museum in the basement with displays explaining all this.) Nowadays, half a toasted Sally Lunn with a topping (preferably Welsh rarebit) still makes a fabulous lunch, and the busy scene with grannies in their coats sipping tea hasn't changed in decades.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.