“When you’re home this morning, sort out a nice outfit and don’t eat too much today.”
This is a text message I received early on Saturday morning while Wes was at work and I was at home with a toddler who doesn’t know the meaning of the words ‘lie in’.
I don’t do surprises well. It’s the lack of control that puts me on edge. I like to know all information at all times, mainly so I can say no if need be (and come up with some sort of Oscar worthy excuse). It was obvious Wes wasn’t going to divulge any more than he already had and a quick phone call to my Mum confirmed he’d been planning this surprise for a few days. She was in on it and had assumed the role of member of the Secret Service. There was no way she was giving so much as a hint as to what I’d be doing later on that evening. Dammit.
Now, I’ll be honest here, I had an idea of what we were doing. Mainly because I knew I had to be ready reasonably early as we were getting a bus which led me to believe we were going to the beautiful city of Bath. I’d also mentioned some weeks before that I’d like to visit CAU as my parents had had a lovely meal there earlier in the Summer and my Mum hadn’t stopped wittering on about it. More on that later.
As many of you may know, if I’ve been to a decent restaurant then I will write about my experience. By no means am I some sort of Michael Winner worthy restaurant critic but I can appreciate a good meal, ambience, wine and such like, thus, I like to report on my dining experience with my lovely blog readers.
However, this time there is going to be a slight change to proceedings. Wes has recently enjoyed dipping his toe in the world of writing himself. He set up a TripAdvisor account (love that app) and has been uploading his reviews of the various places he has been over the last couple of months.
So, with this in mind, I thought it appropriate to hand it over to Wes and let his words paint the picture. Of course, me being me, I can’t let him do it all, so while Wes has indeed written this review himself, the italics are my interjection. I just can’t help myself I’m afraid. Yes, I am a gobshite.
Cau Could I Not Like It (Brilliant, I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when he read this title out to me)
After recent weekends away gallivanting with the lads I felt my brownie points at home needed a boost so I decided to surprise the other half with a meal and night out (wise, Wes, very wise indeed, those air miles you have been clocking up deserve at least a meal out – if not a weekend away – hint hint?). My in-laws (we’re not married) had recently had a lunchtime meal at CAU Bath, and had a delightful meal so I decided this would be where we’d head (and don’t we ever know it).
I’m not normally one for chains, I like individual food & somewhere a bit more exclusive (ark at ‘e mind, spose he thinks he’s some sort of Celeb), but having been recommended I thought we’d give it a try. Table was booked for 8:30 and we promptly arrived on time only to be told that our table was being prepared, could we wait at the bar while this was done. We happily sat & waited at the bar whilst perusing the drinks & food menus. I opted for a Malbec (when in Rome – or Argentina) & the missus (charming, can’t I be girlfriend/beloved/partner/fiancée) chose a dry white wine on recommendation from the barman as they didn’t have her normal tipple of Pinot Grigio, and even offered samples. This was a touch (a touch indeed, I practically bit the barman’s hand off)! Unfortunately with it being busy they were short on wine glasses. Mine was served in a brandy glass & hers in a beer glass, they were very apologetic & let’s face it, it’s not going to affect the taste is it! In the meantime our table had been prepared and we were shown where it was to take a seat as & when we were ready.
Having already scanned the menu I had an idea of what I wanted. I chose Belly Pork Tempura for starter and Twice Cooked Pork Belly for main, with Triple Cooked Chunky Chips for side. She (who is she, the cat’s Mother? Bloody cheek) had Goats Cheese Bruschetta starter & Fillet Medallions for main, cooked Medium on recommendation of the waiter as Well Done would’ve made it tough & ruined the cut of meat.
We also requested wine glasses for our drinks if any became available (it really does make a difference guys, it’s all about the wine glass for me!). I was surprised at how quickly our starters arrived given it was very busy & peak time on a Saturday night! My starter was lovely with an accompaniment of the house CAUchup.
The batter was crispy & the pork very tender, the dip was very tasty & just enough for the portion served. The other half said her bruschetta was lovely (knowing me and my Bristolian ways, the adjective used was probably lush)!
Our plates were cleared & our mains came soon afterwards.
The presentation was simple yet effective, chips came in separate baskets, & small churns contained sauces. My Pork was stunning, the crackling crispy just as I like, the sweet corn purée sweet enough & not overpowering to the meat. Chips were nice & crispy outer and fluffy inner. The blue cheese sauce I ordered to dip my chips was think, rich & flavoursome. Her (her? Her? I have a name) steak was tasty, tender & was a perfect cut, no gristle or fat to it whatsoever.
During the main, the waiter had brought us over proper wine glasses to decanter our drinks to, very attentive! We decided against dessert but were able to go back to the bar to have a cocktail. Nothing took our fancy on there (this isn’t strictly true, nothing took HIS fancy) so we asked for the bill.
The waiter explained he had removed the service charge as an apology for the glass situation, which I thanked him for & explained it was unnecessary. The bill came to just under £60 which for the atmosphere, décor, food, drink & service was very well spent & worth it! I’ll be back again to work my way through the menu (I bet he has the pork again)! I may have found a new favourite (me too, I echo Wes’ thoughts, it really was a lovely meal)!