The Salamander, Bath. You couldn't find a more cosy place to hide away on a cold Winter's night.
The Salamander is one of those tucked-away pubs that's easy to forget about, but it's becoming a favourite boozy destination of ours and is popular with Bath locals looking for something with a bit more soul than the usual city gastro pub. In the bar downstairs, you can choose from a tempting array of Bath ales or something from the decent wine list, and pitch up at a wooden table by the fire. But you'd be a fool not to go upstairs afterwards and sample the food in the intimate dining room.
Feeling in need of something hearty, my boyfriend and I both opted for the braised ox cheeks with horseradish mash (despite it being a pet hate of mine to both order the same thing, mostly because I want to see what the other dishes on the menu look like!). Ox cheeks aren't the usual cut of meat you'd expect to see on a menu, but luckily they were slowly cooked to perfection so that the meat was tender enough to cut with a butter knife, and served in a rich savoury sauce alongside a big heap of creamy mash with just enough of a horseradish kick. Pretty reasonably priced too at £12.95.
We carried on drinking leisurely whilst kidding ourselves that we weren't going to order dessert. The final compromise was to share the English apple tart with butterscotch sauce and creme fraiche, and although the flavours were the perfect balance of sharp apple and achingly sweet toffee, to be honest it was a greedy step too far and we couldn't finish it.
So we gave up and carried on drinking. Well it is nearly Christmas!