Mike James from Savouring Bath introduces some of the many local independent food businesses he works with in the city...
I’m in the privileged position of working with over 40 independent businesses in Bath through my work with Savouring Bath, providing artisanal food and drink sampling tours. As a result, I’ve got to know the many people we work with on a personal level and they’ve become the friendly faces I get to see every day. Here are six of the wonderful characters I've been fortunate enough to work with...
1. The Italian Food Hall
Laura has become a familiar face quickly in Bath for sourcing and retailing high end Italian culinary products at The Italian Food Hall, and providing regular supper clubs with assistance from her network of Italian foodie experts based in the city.
Pop along to peruse their authentic selection of Italian produce, including fresh cheeses, cured meats, flavoursome pasta sauces, speciality coffee and hand-picked wines or take a break from shopping and enjoy a hot drink and light bite.
2. Bath Soft Cheese
Bath Soft Cheese is the creation of the Padfield family, who have achieved global success with their amazing array of award-winning cheeses. Just a stone's throw from central Bath, they make their organic cheese on their farm in Kelston using milk from their own herd of cows.
Take a seat in their café with a mezzanine floor from which you can look down onto the cheesemaking room and watch the cheesemakers busy at work! Afterwards, visit the shop to stock up on cheese - as well as the original Bath Soft Cheese, you will find a variety of other cheeses, including the world champion Bath Blue, Wyfe of Bath and Kelston Park. All of them are made with old fashioned manual methods which give the cheeses more flavour and character.
Swoon is a regular winner with our tour groups where Cameron, Alyash, and their team share their passion for Italian gelato, made in their own kitchen with many locally sourced ingredients, like organic milk from Burton Dairy, and switch up their flavours with seasonal produce. Their handmade treats include completely dairy-free sorbetti, great for vegans and vegetarians.
4. Le Vignoble
Ona is the manager at Le Vignoble in Milsom Place, where the team share their knowledge of great wines. Ona often regales our tour groups with stories behind wines from their extensive selection, with tasty French tapas to match. Their unintimidating approach to fine wines means you can discover what you like at your own pace by helping yourself to a glass of wine from one of the self-service Enomatic dispensers.
5. Good Day Cafe
Steph, at her dog-friendly café, often tells me how she really wants to help everyone have a good day with her offerings of great food and drink made fresh on site at Good Day Café. The seasonal menu features freshly cooked breakfasts and lunches, alongside pastries and cakes that look almost too good to eat. Plus. there’s a host of little touches to give you those all-important good day vibes, from home-baked dog biscuits for your canine companions, to no extra charge for non-dairy milk alternatives, and colouring for the kids.
Steph’s raspberry matcha cake is to die for...but apparently it’s her dog Crumble, who's really in charge!
6. Guildhall Market
There are so many welcoming and friendly independent traders in the Guildhall Market that it’s difficult to know where to look first. Stephane is the proud owner of Nibbles – the longest established cheesemonger in Bath, where his vast knowledge of the best cheeses will help you find just what you’re looking for. The Guildhall Deli is where sisters, Miranda and Sarah, have a loyal following who crave their tasty selection of deli delights.
These individuals, and so many more like them, are the people behind Bath’s incredible independent businesses who they make this city an incredibly vibrant place to live, work, and visit.
Mike James is the owner of Savouring Bath who operate food sampling tours in the city. Their Local Flavours tour offers tasting experiences of regional delicacies on Saturday mornings.