Having travelled a lot in the last 4 years I’ve seen numerous restaurants open up in cities local and afar, of every new restaurant that opens up probably 50% are some kind of steak/meat/fresh local produce based restaurant. And I really don’t have a problem with it…
I love the idea of supporting the local community when visiting town/city & I want to have different experiences through the interpretation of staple foods.
I’m not going to say that the Herd has somehow revolutionised steaks but I will talk you about the ambience, service, location and quality that I experienced there.
The Herd is just off pulteney bridge which is right by the pulteney wier which is a postcard view of Bath. There is a small sign pointing to the herd which will lead you down a steep set of stairs. It’s worth noting if you have mobility issues you’ll need to be prepared as this place isn’t wheelchair friendly, at least through this entrance.
The restaurant is cosy with rough whitewash walls, solid oak tables and steel chairs. Farmhouse style décor along with a helpful anatomy of the cow decorate the room. Being a family run business you sense the personal connection as soon as you walk in and the staff greet you. The clientele in the restaurant was sound, couples, families and friends all enjoying themselves. It can get quite loud in the room due to sound control not mannerisms of guests.
Firstly the menu is seasonal, so vegetables and special dishes will vary. To my understanding there is a set of staple cuts of steak to go alongside specials there are able to offer. The menu is broken down simply, into starters, mains, steaks and sides ‘to graze on’.
Steaks range from a 10oz sirloin to a 16oz porterhouse, all from locally reared Aberdeen Angus and Hereford Crosses. Aged for 21-28 days before being prepped by the local butcher. Portions are not small here and I challenge you to be left wanting after having the 16oz porterhouse. I queried the waiter about the difference between the T-bone and the Porterhouse and he said I would be stupid to order anything else besides the Porterhouse.
16oz is 453g, which is pretty large by most people’s standards. The Porterhouse is a very tasty cut of meat because it’s a ‘two in one’. Taken from the tenderloin but towards the narrower end i.e. less bone more meat you get the anatomy of a filet on one side, sirloin on the other (new york strips for the Americans reading this)
Now I can’t give any steak the, ‘best steak of my life’ award because so much more than just the steak can influence that decision. What I can award this was that the steak was on it’s preparation & substance. Firstly preparation, there was no over charring, no over/under cooking and no unwanted extras that tainted the meat. It was perfectly cooked, the meat was very tender and could be pulled apart with little effort. 10/10 on the prep. Now everyone is going to have their own preference when it comes to the meat composition of the steak. I sit right in the middle I don’t want an incredibly lean cut, e.g. no marbling or fat because it’s usually quite bland, equally I don’t want the majority of my meal being rind, which I will not be eating. These steaks suited my preferences and landed right in the middle.
Service was good, it was a nice relaxed pace. A couple times the chance to re-order drinks was lagging, as the restaurant was low on staff. It didn’t impact the meal as we were there on an anniversary and had no need to hurry.
If you’re looking for a amazing meal in a cosy atmosphere then look no further. We stayed at the Royal Crescent on this trip as well which is worth checking out.