In addition to the wealth of restaurants, pubs and cafés in Bath, there are also plenty of chances to get stuck in and enjoy a hands-on cooking experience. If it’s world flavours you’re after, there’s no better place than Simi’s Kitchen, Bath’s Persian Cookery School. Run by experienced Iranian cook and teacher Simi Rezai, who came to Bath as a student and fell in love with the city, here she shares four of her foodie favourites so you too can make the most of some of the wonderful producers, growers and experiences in Bath…
Meet the Locals
If you’re in Bath at the weekend, wander, sample and buy some delicious local treats for a picnic or as a tasty souvenir at Bath Farmers' Market. The UK’s first ever Farmers’ Market, started in 1997, it’s held in Green Park Station, an equally historic former Victorian railway station. With a wonderful atmosphere, meet the locals and look out for the fresh bread, cakes and dairy, which are all on my weekly shopping list! Once a month I also volunteer on Bath Organic Group’s stall, where we share the produce we've grown less than half a mile away from the city centre.
Find the Farm
If you’re coming to Bath with a car, a great place to visit is Hartley Farm, on the way to the delightful Wiltshire town of Bradford-on-Avon. The Bowles family have been farming here since the 1970s, and it's a great place to visit in any season, with a varied programme of events to suit all ages. They sell the only fillet steak I will eat: reared, butchered and sold on-site.
Have a Coffee Pit-Stop
When I'm meeting friends in town we head to Thoughtful Bakery, where Duncan and his team bake on-site and offer freshly made breads, savouries and sweet treats baked using local seasonal ingredients. They also offer bread-making classes, letting you gain an insight into a particular technique or hone your baking skills.
Enjoy a Pub Lunch
For a meal which is sourced carefully and cooked well, you have to visit The Longs Arms in South Wraxall, about a 20-minute drive from the centre of Bath. In this quintessential village pub, Rob cooks the best pies, Sunday Lunches and puddings. They are as delicious as they are beautifully presented!
As we say in Iran, noushe jan, which I like to translate as “may it [the food] be good for your soul!”
Simi runs bespoke Persian cookery classes from her kitchen, based on the grand Great Pulteney Street. Perfect for small groups, each class at Simi's Kitchen is akin to a meal at a friend's house rather than a formal workshop, and will let you enjoy the authentic flavours of Persian and Azeri food in a welcoming and inviting setting.