Saturday, July 18, 2015

GF Brunch at The Pump Room

"Every morning now brought its regular duties – shops were to be visited; some new part of the town to be looked at; and the pump-room to be attended, where they paraded up and down for an hour, looking at everybody and speaking to no one." -- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

The Pump Room is a restaurant in a historic building, built in the late eighteenth century, in Bath.  It is directly next door to the entrance to the ruins of the Roman Baths.  

Roman Baths

 The baths themselves are utterly astounding, but we found ourselves far more charmed than expected by the Pump Room, with its soaring ceiling, Corinthian columns, and elegant chandeliers.  The service was impeccable, and there was live music filling the air with the sound of violins.  It was easy to get carried away to the Jane Austen world of romance and Landed Gentry.  
The Pump Room in Bath

I knew they had gluten free options, but I was blown away by the choices available, and sad that I had but one stomach to give to the cause.  I had two kinds of gluten free scones -- sweet and savory, and both were incredible.  And the butter -- oh my!  And the jam -- I don't have the adjectives to do it justice.  Suffice it to say that when I finished my sweet scone, I proceeded to put jam on the savory scone as well, it was just that good.

Gluten Free Scones at The Pump Room
Poached egg and gluten free toast at The Pump Room

I also had a poached egg and a pot of tea, both prepared perfectly.  I really wished I had room for their gf carrot cake, but sadly I was stuffed beyond hope.

In Jane Austen's time, the water from the springs was believed to have healing properties and was drunk as a tonic.  If you wish to "take the waters," The Pump Room has a table set up with safe water from the spring.  (The water in the Roman ruins is contaminated with bacteria, but they are able to obtain drinkable water from a different spot along the natural spring.)  It tastes like a combination of tonic water (quinine) and copper pennies.  Yuck.
Drinking Fountain at The Pump Room 
It was a great meal in a beautiful restaurant, and definitely an experience not to be missed.  

(It was reasonably priced as well.  Our breakfast for 5 was $87 US, a bargain for that quality.)


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