Olive Tree Restaurant Bath

We review Bath's Michelin Star Olive Tree Restaurant

In search of the finest cuisine Bath has to offer, our Editor Gabriella Dyson discovers The Olive Tree Restaurant’s nine-course tasting menu…

The Olive Tree Restaurant in a Nutshell

The Olive Tree Restaurant is arguably one of the biggest players on the Somerset dining scene and you’ll be hard pressed to find finer cuisine in the honey-hued city of Bath. Headed by award-winning chef, Chris Cleghorn and his youthful kitchen team, you’ll find this chic basement restaurant sitting pretty beneath The Queensberry Hotel. Under Cleghorn’s expert direction, the restaurant has held onto Bath’s only Michelin Star since 2018 and is the proud recipient of 3 AA Rosettes and a string of foodie accolades. But despite its many glowing credentials, The Olive Tree prides itself on being a relaxed affair where the quality food and wine speaks for itself.

Olive Tree Restaurant Bath
The Olive Tree Restaurant

The Atmosphere & Service

Though i’ll admit theres something a little intimidating about The Olive Tree’s Michelin Star status, any of my misconceptions where dispelled as soon as I stepped into the restaurant. There’s a reason it routinely tops all the culinary charts and it’s not just the food. It’s about overall experience, so you can expect quality service and a little theatre alongside your food. Every course is accompanied by the young chef who made it – brought out to explain the concept behind their plate and bask in a little bit of well-deserved limelight. Similarly, the attentive front of house staff who walked me through the wines pairings were extremely knowledgeable and displayed the sort of expertise that one would expect from a seasoned sommelier. The Olive Tree Restaurant hits that sweet spot between casual dining and silver service – which is personally what I’m looking for when the bill tips triple digits and I actually want to enjoy myself!

What’s on the Menu?

Diners at The Olive Tree can choose between six or nine-course tasting menus that draw heavily on high-quality local produce. Personally, I couldn’t resist opting for the nine-course tasting menu with matching wines (when in Rome, right?). I’d heard so much about Cleghorn’s inventive use of flavour and texture that I couldn’t wait to see how it all came together on the plate. What followed was a sequence of playful yet accomplished dishes accompanied by some equally one-of-a-kind wines.

The term ‘local’ is bandied about a lot these days. Having written my fair share of articles on the West Country food scene, I can tell you that ‘local provenance’ is hardly the novelty it once seemed. But Cleghorn and his ambitious team have clearly taken the time to develop strong relationships with their local suppliers and the proof is quite literally in the pudding. The ingredients on show throughout our meal were quite clearly a cut above. Thankfully said ingredients were allowed to shine on their own without the usual fine dining gimmicks such as dry ice or a dozen different gels. Each of the nine dishes that arrived at my table featured a handful of ingredients masterfully transformed into little works of culinary art.

The Olive Tree Restaurant
The Olive Tree Restaurant , Bath
Olive Tree Restaurant Bath

Standout plates included ‘Smoked Devon eel with Isle of Wight tomato and tarragon’ and Cornish monkfish cooked over coals with leek, Vin Jaune and sea herbs’. Despite the modest portion sizes, a nine-course tasting menu is about as filling as one might expect – especially when each plate is accompanied by a not so small glass of wine. However, I still managed to find room for the delicate and zesty ‘Yuzu, Szechuan, Meringue and Bazil’  tart that made an appearance at the end of our meal. 

My verdict? If fine dining is your thing then a visit to The Olive Tree Restaurant should be near the top of your Bath itinerary. The team has mastered the art of great hospitality and it’s easy to see how the restaurant has earned its gold standard reputation.

What you need to know

  • The nine-course tasting menu is £135 per person (+ £78 with matching wines).
  • The six-course tasting menu is £105 per person (+ £60 with matching wines)
  • Chris Cleghorn has designed tasting menus to suit a variety of dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian and dairy-free menus
  • For all The Olive Tree’s latest offers, visit olivetreebath.co.uk/offers