Sal’s Kitchen discovers… Summer at Southgate Bath

Tapas Revolution Bath
 A fabulous tapas feast at Tapas Revolution, Bath

Summer has arrived, with one hell of a wallop. I don’t know about you but I spent last weekend lying under a tree in the park, trying not to melt – in fact, I’m sitting under that tree as I write, having decided to move my office to Bath’s gorgeous botanical gardens until the weather calms down a bit. Us Brits aren’t always very good at dealing with the heat (to be fair, we usually have to pack all our barbecuing, tanning and Pimms-drinking into a few blistering days, so it’s no wonder we panic) but thankfully this week I’ve had a bit of help from Southgate Bath’s shops and restaurants…

 Southgate Bath
‘Mae’ Longline Shirt and ‘Mia’  Woodblock Tassel Scarf from Fatface

When the temperature gets this high, the first problem is what to wear, and how to reconcile the desire to lie around in your pants with the demands of decency and sun protection. I absolutely love this linen sleeveless shirt from Fatface – crisp white linen is the ultimate warm weather fabric, because not only is it lightweight and elegant, it’s so much more comfy and breathable than any awful synthetic stuff. I love the longer length of this shirt, so I can pair it easily with jeans (one day anyway, when the weather returns to normal) or a skirt. And – this is the best bit coming up – it has proper pockets too! Why do girls never get pockets on their clothes? I have proudly shown off the pockets to every girl who has complimented this shirt and they’ve all agreed that we need more pockets in our lives, especially when it’s too hot to be lugging a giant handbag around. To go with my new favourite shirt, I picked up this gorgeous spiral bangle – I do love the combination of blue and gold in the summer, it makes me think of Greece and white houses, blue skies and golden sands. And of course, if you’re like me and have skin that burns lobster-red at the mere mention of sunshine, you’ll need a cover-up too – this soft patterned scarf is just the ticket. Chuck it in your beach bag to protect your shoulders, or for when the sun goes down and it (finally) starts to cool off. I love the ochre tassel details which make it a little more dressy – especially combined with the shirt, for an outfit that’s light and comfortable on balmy evenings.

 Southgate Bath
‘Erin’ Colour Block Bangle from Fatface

All dressed up, I needed somewhere to go, and with this weather there’s only one sensible course of action – sit outside, drink sangria and eat tapas. We headed down to Tapas Revolution, where one of Southgate’s newest units has been utterly transformed into a beautiful little corner of Spain – the interior décor is absolutely gorgeous, with tall mirrors between stone arches to create light and space, intricate glass lanterns, and a bar with a scrubbed wooden top for casual seating, with a handsome olive tree growing through the middle. Colour is splashed all over the walls, from bright loops of neon to shelves of fresh herbs and racks of dried ham.

 Tapas Revolution Bath
Beautiful indoor/outdoor space at Tapas Revolution

We managed to nab a spot outside, underneath Southgate’s gorgeous installation of rainbow-coloured umbrellas (the perfect celebration of what British summer is supposed to be like), and set about ordering as much of the menu as would fit on our table. We started with a big jug of sangria, packed with ice and fresh fruit, and followed it up with prawns sizzling in garlic butter, crispy pork belly, sticky chicken wings with lemon and honey, meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, and patatas bravas loaded up with garlic aioli, plus fresh bread, jamon serrano and manchego, for nibbling. The albondigas meatballs were the absolute stand-out dish for me, so tender they melted in the mouth and served with the most amazing sauce (my dining companion laughed at me for scraping out the bowl, but I refuse to be ashamed). Unfortunately the chicken was a little dry, so I might not order that again, and I wasn’t quite sure about the sweet cinnamon glaze on the pork, but I did enjoy the gloriously garlicky prawns and I can never, ever eat enough jamon and manchego, it’s just the taste of summer holidays for me. Completely stuffed, we had to pass on dessert – but I’ve been hearing great things about the churros, so we will definitely be back…

How have you been keeping cool in Bath? What’s your favourite spot for dinner on a summer’s evening? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 Tapas Revolution Bath

Many thanks to Southgate Bath for treating me to the clothes and the meal mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own.

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