Review on The Old Spot

Having spent some five years searching for the perfect site, Ian Bates eventually homed in on the cathedral town of Wells, saw what he wanted, refurbished the premises and named his new restaurant after a breed of pig.

The Old Spot is a congenial kind of place with olive-coloured wood panelling, bare floorboards and equally bare tables, plus a few framed restaurant menus and a mosaic of tiles around the bar. Above all, what impresses is the unfussy quality of the food and the remarkable value for money – both at lunch and dinner.

Ian Bates learned his stuff with Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum in the early '90s and has tucked away a good deal of 'nous' from those heady days. There's no fuss of finicky elaboration about his short, sharp menus: pressed ham terrine comes with lentil vinaigrette and a few cornichons, long-braised shoulder of lamb is accompanied by peasant-style ratatouille, while bavette steak arrives in company with oxtail sauce, snails and persillade. Desserts are seasonally spot-on – medjool date and vanilla tart, peach trifle studded with pistachios, and so forth. The serious wine list is tantalising collection from premier-league merchant Bill Baker.

The Old Spot is also featured in: Michelin Guide, AA Guide

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Modern European


Ian Bates

Restaurant Opening Times

Lunch: 12.30 – 2.30pm Wed-Sun
Dinner: 7.00 – 9.30pm Tue-Sat

Accepted credit cards

Visa, Master Card

Online Booking Availability for The Old Spot

Facilities at The Old Spot

  • Private parties
  • 50 covers


The Old Spot
12 Sadler Street

Customer Ratings on The Old Spot

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The Old Spot Christmas Menu

Restaurant menus often vary from day to day, so the above should be treated as examples of what to expect in terms of cuisine and price.

Images of The Old Spot

Virtual Tour of The Old Spot