I’m always happy to be given an excuse to head down to Bath. As you know, it’s one of my all-time favourite cities, so I was thrilled when the Bath branch of Jamie’s Italian got in touch to invite me to check out their new autumn/winter menu. Bath was looking its usual amazing self despite the rain as we enjoyed a short walk to work up an appetite before lunch.
Jamie’s Italian is hidden away in Milsom Place, which you’ll find next to Hobbs on Milsom Street. You’d have to know it was there, but looking up, you see the tell-tale Jamie’s Italian branding on the first-floor blinds. This also made me notice the amazing ‘ghost-writing’, which, despite having been up and down Milsom Street probably hundreds of times over the years, I’d never noticed before. Bath is famous for its ghost sign-writing, and this is a particularly wonderful example.
On arrival at Jamie’s Italian we were led up to the main dining area on the first floor. I took this photo later during our visit; it was a lot busier when we first got there! If you’re not aware of Jamie’s Italian, it’s owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, and I’d place it at the upmarket end of the UK’s Italian restaurant chains.
Our table was right by the window, giving us a great view of St Michael’s church (please forgive the iPhone reflection). The terrace – closed for the winter – looked as though it would make an inviting spot for an al fresco meal in the warmer months. I love ‘roofscapes’, and all the Bath townhouses with their rows of chimneys make for a great one.
Rather than full starters, we both opted for smaller choices from the ‘quick nibbles’ menu, which were just right for whetting the appetite. I had a board of delicious proscuitto, which came drizzled with olive oil and with a couple of authentic Italian breadsticks.
Lee had the garlic bread, garnished with rosemary and parmesan. We both enjoyed both the dishes, which went really well together.
Moving onto the main course, I had the Julietta pizza, which has buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and slow-roasted tomatoes. I’ve been to other branches of Jamie’s Italian in the past, and I don’t remember pizza being on the menu, so I was happy to find it was an option now. I certainly didn’t regret my choice, despite the many other tempting choices on the menu (including lots of lovely pasta dishes, which you can order as a half-size if you want a smaller meal, or if you’re dining the Italian way and ordering two main courses). The pizzas have a sourdough base, making it quite filling, so I was glad I left plenty of room by having a smaller starter. The only thing that could have improved this pizza was more buffalo mozzarella – I’m a huge fan of it! With it, I had a glass of Montepulciano, which was lovely.
Lee opted for the Italian steak, which came with fries and purple slaw, and it’s one of the options on the lunch deal. What it lacked in presentation, it made up for in the garlic butter, which he really enjoyed! It was quite thin, but it got a good report from Lee, who has fairly exacting standards when it comes to steak.
We just about had room for dessert, so I couldn’t resist ordering the “epic chocolate brownie”. It comes with chocolate sauce, salted caramel ice cream and caramelised popcorn, and it’s as delightfully rich as it looks!
Lee went for the tiramisu pavlova, which bore little resemblance to either a pavlova or a tiramisu; as you can see, it’s more of a deconstructed Eton mess, with meringue and chocolate ice cream. Other delicious-sounding options on the dessert menu included ‘wobbly panna cotta’ and ‘molten chocolate praline pudding’, so deciding which to go for was a difficult decision!
We really enjoyed our meal at Jamie’s Italian and would definitely go there again. The atmosphere was cheerful and the waiting staff friendly, and it was nicely busy even though we arrived in the latter half of the lunch service. The drinks are on the expensive side, but if you’re on a budget then the Super Lunch Deal (two courses for £11.95 or three for £13.95, Mon-Fri from 12-6pm) makes it more affordable. Next time, we will follow my friend Alice’s tip to go for a sharing platter for a starter and then a small portion of pasta. Hopefully that will leave room for that molten chocolate praline pudding…