We are in Bath with our book-loving friends, Sassy & Jem, embarking upon a new and novel experience – lunch in Clayton’s Kitchen at The Porter . On a very chilly winter day, we are glad to find a warm welcome when we arrive.
There are two pages of menu to read here – a really interesting à la carte and an unbelievably reasonable, but slightly shorter, set lunch menu. Rock & Sassy both choose the whipped ewe’s curd with roasted & pickled beetroot and candied walnuts – all beautifully presented on the plate. Jem goes for the Coln Valley Smokery smoked salmon mousse with cucumber ribbons, sweet mustard, dill mayonnaise & poppy seed croutons. I decide to have the Little Haven crab tagliolini with chives & lemon oil. All the dishes are very enjoyable.
We are all now hoping the second chapter of lunch is going to be as good as the first. Sassy decides to have the grilled sea bass with a library of hand cut chips and seasonal vegetables plus a fish velouté. Rock & Jem have different editions of the market fish dish served with crushed confit shallot potatoes, slow cooked fennel & leeks – all bound by a Jerusalem artichoke puree. Rock has brill, Jem has sea bass. I have the pan roasted cannon of lamb, savoy cabbage & bacon, creamy mash and a decent volume of port wine sauce. And, yes, we are just as absorbed by the second chapter.
Can the final chapter deliver the sort of ending we are all hoping for? Rock & I decide to share the vanilla pannacotta with red wine poached pear. Jem & Sassy share the lemon crème brulee illustrated with candied almonds and raspberry sorbet. It is a good ending to a lunchtime thriller!
It would not be a fiction to state that there is every chance we will book another table in Clayton’s Kitchen before too long.