Nourish is a plant-based restaurant at 1 London Road, Beaufort, Bath. It’s been open since late November and getting busier every week. Their aim is to be able to please everyone who comes in with an open mind. If you want a table at weekends it’s a good idea to book in advance!
Despite being right on the main road, Nourish has a quieter, relaxed atmosphere early on a Friday afternoon. It’s a bright, clean space, playing shades of blue against vibrant splashes of colour: a serious update on traditional pub decor. My attention is drawn to the large windows I spotted from outside, and the cloud fittings, hung charmingly from the ceiling. Later I find out that all of the paintings are done by a vegan artist, too. All the details fit the ethos here – my drink straw is paper, and even my napkin is fabric. I’m assured that they don’t use processed soy or rapeseed either, and everything is either already gluten-free or can be made so.
These are not limitations – on the contrary, Nourish is about to turn every preconception of bland, unsatisfying vegan food on its head.
The staff are lovely – they believe in their vision, and have no trouble at all selling food that they know is good. I ask for recommendations, and the barman talks me through the whole menu! The spectrum of options is frankly astonishing. I dither between the traditionally healthy and the traditionally hearty, struck by the range of choice that isn’t risotto, chips or even just toast. Tofu is a feature, not a staple, and the menu assures me that everything is 100% plant based and made from scratch. This is backed up by the barman – he warns me that if I want to try the Mushroom and Ale Pie (£13.50), it will take them half an hour at least. I’m happy for an excuse to try one of the many starters while I wait.
As I’m sitting, sipping on my live tea made by local business Bath Culture House I wonder how many of my table-neighbours are meat-eaters. Turns out most of them are. Nourish is open to everyone, and the menu seems designed to tempt you out of your comfort zone. The food delivers on this promise.
Looking to try one of their more worldly inspired dishes, I go for the BBQ Taco (£4.95). I’ve had jackfruit before, but never like this. It’s tender, and though naturally sweeter than meat, it’s perfectly balanced, not at all overpowering or lost in salad. I would say I’d have no trouble deciding what to have again next time, but that’s a lie – when the menu boasts things like Braised Tofu Duck Pancakes (£8.15 and a staff favourite) and Banana Blossom ‘Fish’ and Chips (£12.95), such decisions are never so easy.
The pie is everything a pie should be. I’ve had trouble finding vegan pies that satisfy, and I imagine that after such a perfect example of how it should be done, I’ll struggle even more. The puff pastry is thick and flaky, the filling rich and satisfying. For authenticity, I test it with a good scoop of mustard – it holds up amazingly. The vegetables, true to form, are perfectly done; the kind of vegetables that picky eaters ask for.
It’s a testament to the chef that I was tempted to skip my seminar and stay for pudding, but instead I had to settle with a promise to myself that I’d be back. It’s a little out of town, but well worth a visit for a special occasion, and not beyond a usual budget for a good meal. There are also plans for a student-aimed version close to the city centre, something I’m definitely looking forward to! The variation in choice of food is one of Bath’s best features, and a vegan pub, especially one this good, is a welcome addition!