Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bath-coholics: Abbey Ales, Bath Ales and Bath Gin

Abbey Ales

Abbey Ales is the first and only brewery in the historic city of Bath
and has been brewing for over 50 years.

The range of beers produced includes Bellringer Best Bitter and Bellringer Maximus,
a strong hoppy brew made from Wiltshire Maris Otter malt
and finished with the finest Worcestershire hops.

Bellringer is the top selling cask bitter in Bath and
is as popular with the many visitors to the Georgian city as it is with Bathonians.

The Coeur de Lion:
the smallest pub in Bath

with my Bellringer
and (my third different brand)  pork scratchings
(will share on a different post)

Bath Ales

Bath Ales is an independent brewery based in Bristol,

producing distinctive beers such as
Gem (a bitter-sweet amber ale),
Dark Side (a delicious chocolaty stout),
and seasonal favourites such as Festivity (the winter porter).

Bath Ales can be found in many local pubs including the brewery’s own establishments,
The Hop Pole, The Salamander and Graze Bar.

*Unfortunately, we forgot to taste this during the trip
but will def taste it soon!

Bath Gin

The Canary Gin Bar,

tucked away down the cobbled Queen Street,
is a gin lovers paradise.

Canary: The Home of the Bath Gin

Alongside a well stocked bar packed full of different gins,
don't miss the unique Bath Gin,
the recipe for which was created here in the city using local ingredients.

The Bath Gin has been created by owner of The Canary, Peter Meacock
with the help of expert mixologist Tim Whelehan.

The team chose ten botanicals: 
Juniper, Cassia, Lemon Peel, Burnt Orange Peel, Liquorice, Cardamon, Angelica and Cubeb Berries with two further and unusual additions:
Wormwood, famously used in the distillation of Absinthe, 
and Kaffir lime leaf, used in the Rums of Madagascar, Reunion and Martinique.

The result is a gin which is bright and fruity and citrussy and fresh - it’s a canary-like flavour!

We had a Bath Gin and tonic.
I had it with Elderflower tonic and even though I am NOT a fan of gin,
damn it was deliciously refreshing!

Now, I'll have to make it at home.
Preferably while in the bath tub! lol

"Gin" Austen! hahaha

There are currently only 1,000 bottles of the Bath Gin, all branded with a picture of a winking Jane Austen.

“In most pictures Jane Austen looks quite severe,” said Peter.
“And she has this image of being not necessarily prim and proper, but very correct.

“Actually, she was quite a naughty girl.
She liked her young men and she liked her gin and we wanted to show that side of her.”

“We have ambitions of having a distillery in Bath,” he said.
“But that’s a way off yet. In the meantime we are going to do some other gins.
This is the Canary edition, and we are planning a LHOOQ edition,
named after the Salvador Dali picture of Mona Lisa with a moustache
with a picture of Jane Austen with a moustache on the label, a
nd also a Bath edition which will be a bit more mass market with a slightly lower price point.”

Omg! This would be a hilarious pic!

Sally Lunn's "Bunns" vs regular Bath Buns


Sally Lunn's
Bath's Oldest House c. 1482

Home of the World Famous Sally Lunn Bath Bun

Sally Lunn, a young French refugee, arrived in England over 300 years ago.

She baked a rich, round and generous bread now known as the Sally Lunn Bun.

This Bun became a popular delicacy in Georgian England
as its special taste and lightness allowed it to be enjoyed
with either sweet or savory accompaniments.

Bun Etiquette

During the day,
they serve half a bun unless otherwise stated.

You might get a top or a bottom---
they tend to use tops for sweet buns
bottom for savory,
although there is no rule.

If there are two of you,
(like me and my fiancé),
why not ask for a top or a bottom so you get to try both?

The bun is generally eaten with a knife and fork
but there are no fixed rules.

Most guests enjoy their bun with a huge smile on their face!

top bun for the fiance
Cafetière & Cinnamon Butter Bun:
A cafetière of one of our famous coffees served
with half a toasted & buttered Sally Lunn Bun
topped with our home-made cinnamon butter

bottom bun for me
Light Breakfast:
Half a toasted & buttered Sally Lunn Bun with
marmalade or our home-made cinnamon butter
& a pot of house tea for one

We both got sweet buns as we went for breakfast.
We haven't tried the savory ones unfortunately.

sweet rocks
Actually the word bun is an unhelpful description. 
There is no truly useful common English word to describe a Sally Lunn Bun 
as it is part bun, part bread, part cake… 
A large and generous but very very light bun; 
a little like brioche/French festival bread….
but traditionally it has been called a bun – or bunn – so, even if it isn’t really a bun or a bunn, 
let’s call it a bun!

The association between Sally Lunn’s and Jane Austen is an interesting one.

A young Jane Austen writes a typically mischievous letter 
about “disordering my stomach with Bath bunns.” 
The extra letter ‘n’ may not be an accidental slip.

She could be referring to Sally Lunns. 
Nor is she criticising their indigestibility, 
simply implying that she liked pigging out on them as a form of comfort eating.

Today you can enjoy a bunn in The Jane Austen Room at Sally Lunn’s – 
you can also enjoy bespoke dishes, and blends of tea and coffee . 

The Museum

The old bakery museum is open until 6pm daily.
Entry to our museum is free to guests who take refreshment.

The fascinating museum in the cellars, where you can see the roman and Medieval foundations of the house and finds from the recent excavations.

Original kitchen with its faggot oven, Georgian range and old baking utensils. 

Since it was my first time to hear about this oven myself, 
learn more about faggot oven by clicking here.

You cannot visit Bath without experiencing the taste of the World Famous Sally Lunn Bath Bun!


The Bath Bun (not to be confused with the Sally Lunn bun!) was invented by 18th century physician Dr. William Oliver.

The doctor's buns were originally made from a rich, sweet egg and butter dough topped with crushed caraway seed comfits.

However, they were so tasty his patents' waistlines expanded at an alarming rate (LMAO!)
and had to quickly be replaced with far plainer, savory Bath Oliver biscuit.

You have been warned! ;)

Today's Bath bun is still made from sweet yeast dough (often with a whole sugar lump in the center).

Bath Bun Tea Shoppe

Sorry I was so hungry that I forgot to take pic of the actual bun!


The Sally Lunn's bun wins!
It is true that is a large bun but light
and very interesting.
Even the fiance who's not into bun approves!

The Bath Bun was good too in all fairness!
But I am not a big fan of the whole sugar lump in the center.
It was like eating a whole pack of sugar!


On a side note,
the Bath Oliver biscuits
that replaced the original Bath buns
will be put to test next!

The biscuits known as Bath Olivers are a popular accompaniment for cheese and can be found on the shelves of most supermarkets in the UK.

As I mentioned earlier,
they were originally designed by Dr. William Oliver.

When Dr. Oliver died,
he left £100, a sack of flour and his secret formula to his coachman,
who subsequently set up a shop on Green Street and became rich on the proceeds.

And then this!