I haven’t talked about this much on my blog, but over the past nine months or so, I’ve been working on my most ambitious creation yet – growing an entire tiny human, from scratch. As a food blogger, one of the questions I get asked all the time is how I’m coping with the food restrictions (and the lack of booze), so I thought it was time for a Sal’s Top Five pregnancy special, with all my favourite preggo-friendly treats! If you’re a pregnant lady in Bath, and you’re craving a good steak, proper French cheese, a cocktail or any of the other things you can’t have, then read on…
Disclaimer: everyone eats differently during pregnancy, and some people feel safer being extra careful with what they give up. I made the decision to stick to the NHS’s advice (specifically, this list on the NHS website) and not worry too much about the extra things that some people avoid. I am not a doctor, nothing in this blog should be considered as medical advice, and if you’re in any doubt, you should definitely ask someone with the proper qualifications.
I’ll be honest, I think the thing I was saddest to give up during my pregnancy was a proper rare steak. After a few months of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I’d head to Chez Dominique (which is my favourite place in Bath for a steak) and see what they might be able to do – and all I can say is, I’m so glad I did. They were most gracious about me ordering my steak well done (which is basically a crime in France) and the resulting onglet was absolutely delicious. Somehow it was still beautifully tender and juicy, and served with an incredible Café de Paris butter – I’ve been back for it multiple times since. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be ordering it rare again once the baby is born, but in the meantime, for any pregnant ladies craving a really good steak, this is where to get it.
Cheese is another biggie on the pregnant no-go list. Basically, you can’t have any cheeses that involve mould, whether it’s the blue veins of Roquefort or the soft white rind of goat cheese. For some reason, especially at the start of my pregnancy, I had an absolutely fierce craving for cheese – I thought about it all the time, dreamt about it, and ate a lot of pasta with melted cheddar. But woman cannot live by cheddar alone, so if you’re craving something a little more exciting, hit Comptoir + Cuisine for your cheese fix. I especially recommend their menu of beautiful baked Camembert with different toppings – I was told baking makes it safe to eat, so it’s a great way to satisfy your craving. Order a whole one to yourself and go to town with the crusty fresh bread.
Personally, I went off hot drinks a bit at the start and haven’t really craved them that much – and I must also admit that I usually drink decaf coffee and tea anyway. But I know that for a lot of pregnant ladies, the idea of giving up proper coffee is a real wrench, so for my money, the best decaf in town is to be found at The Colombian (where you’ll also discover a whole range of incredible cakes to ease your sorrow). If you feel like decaf coffee is worse than no coffee at all and you’d rather just skip it, hit Good Day Café for some of Bath’s best hot chocolates (with incredible homemade marshmallows), or try the lovely Three Mint Tea at Boston Tea Party.
I reckon if you did a survey, most women would probably say that the booze is the saddest thing to give up, and this is partly because no one has yet come up with a satisfactory alcohol-free wine – they’re all awful, so unfortunately you have to pretty much write that off. There are some good alternatives to other tipples though, and I’ve found mocktails to be the best option – weirdly, lots of bars still don’t offer much in the way of mocktails, but I tried some seriously good ones at The Botanist, and I particularly recommend the Juniper Garden, which is made with Seedlip (a gin-free gin), elderflower cordial, apple, lime and sage. I often find mocktails too sweet but this is lovely and sharp, and I genuinely think you can’t tell it isn’t made with real gin. Alcohol-free beer is another good option – visit Beercraft for a brilliant selection of booze-free beers, and ask the lovely chaps there for their recommendations.
What with everything you have to give up, and all the other little (and not so little) hardships and challenges of pregnancy, I reckon you are definitely entitled to a few extra treats. These are a few of my favourites – administer as needed whenever you’re particularly missing the Prosecco/charcuterie/Brie. For those with a sweet tooth, I highly recommend you hit Swoon Gelato (especially good at this time of year if you’re overheating), Didi Cakes (plenty of cake is essential for pregnant ladies), and Boston Tea Party for their sensational scones with lots of jam and cream. If you’re more of a savoury person, some of my favourite savoury treats include the incredible fry-ups at Cafe au Lait (their veggie breakfast with crispy halloumi is the bomb), fish & chips at The Scallop Shell (at least we don’t have to give up chips, am I right?) and The Green Bird’s outstanding cheese toasties.
Are you a pregnant lady in Bath? Have you found anything particularly amazing to treat yourself to? Help a sister out and leave me a comment to let me know!