My weekend in Bath
Before I kick things off - I love Bath and want to retire there. That really is the overall summary of this piece.
I'd never been to Bath before and since covid happened I've wanted to see more of the UK. Yes I still love getting on a plane and cannot wait for my trip around Europe in July, but a lot can be said for visiting some of the beautful places we have on our doorstep.
In November I went to Scotland for the week, so if you want to hear about that go here.
We arrived on the Friday evening and just got Deliveroo that night because after a long (+sweaty) drive the last thing you want to do is head out.
On Saturday we had a day mooching round the city and then finished off with a night out. If you love Jane Austen then the museum is a must. It's just an hour-long session which features presentations, a film, and then self-guided bits for you to read and look at. I'm a huge Austen nerd so this was a real highlight for me and the gift shop was really good quality too - a Pride and Prejudice tote bag made it's way home with me.
If you're at all into chocolate then you have to go to Mrs Potts Chocolate House. I got a dark hot chocolate on this occasion, topped with homemade marshmallow and freshly whipped cream - AMAZING. They do all things chocolate - desserts, hot and cold drinks, cakes and cookies - everything looked lush. It looks out on Bath Abbey and an open square with lots of benches round the edge. There was a guy playing guitar in the sun and everyone was just so happy listening, it was the perfect place the drink the perfect hot chocolate. I had to go back on Monday to get some cake to take home and (I don't say this lightly) it was the best chocolate cake I've ever had. Proper Matilda vibes - DELICIOUS.
The Thermae Bath Spa is a big thing I was told about too. You can book a two-hour session to use the rooftop pool, indoor pool, and steam rooms/saunas. As you can't prebook this, we headed over in the morning to book into a session later in the day. You get a writstband and then just return at the time you've been given. This was a brilliant way to finish the afternoon. We really lucked out with the weather so being in that rooftop pool in the sun was bliss. That was the thing with Bath, as the weather was so good it really felt like you were abroad with restaurants spilling out onto the streets, it was such a good atmosphere.
After having a refresh and we headed back out to Ole for tapas. This was excellent. You could easily miss this as it was just a door on the street and took you to an upstairs restaurant that could probably only hold about 20 customers at a time. Due to the small size of it, it felt more like you were in someone's home being cooked for. It was very personal and had a great buzz to it. All the food was delicious and finished off with a jug of sangria set us up for a great night out.
On Sunday we drove out to Cheddar Gorge with slightly fuzzy heads. It's about 45 minutes to get there and despite the challenging hills, we managed to get there in one piece. We parked in one of the town centre car parks and then walked around the gorge for a couple of hours. What I will stress is that the car parks we saw were all cash only, so make sure you have some change with you. We just walked through the middle of the gorge and then back again but there are lots of routes ranging from an hour to a full day so it's up to you how much of a hike you want. For lunch, I'd found The Gardeners Arms on Tripadvior and what a find it was. It's a little bit out of the of town and in a very quiet residential area. It had very old school vibes when you walk in with old men in the bar area and a pub dog in the corner. We went through to the dining area (they were fully booked so make sure you book ahead) and all had roast chicken. It was the best roast I've had in years. Everything was delicious and there was plenty of it. I just wish I'd had room for pudding! We finished off a lovely day with some of the local cheddar and chutney in front of the tele.
Finally on Monday we went for brunch, had a bit more of a mooch, and then headed home. It was the perfect weekend.
Accommodation and parking
Accomodation-wise we stayed at a flat just round the corner from the Royal Crescent so we really were in the thick of it. It was a great flat, but the only thing with Bath is parking. It would have been £60 per car to use a car park, so instead we used the JustPark app to essentially pay to use someone's driveway. It was much cheaper and really easy to use so I would highly recommend that for any city break if you're driving.
More recommendations of things to do/places to eat:
Pulteney Bridge - Independent shops
Royal Crescent and Alexandra Park - Lovely green spaces
Sotto Sotto - Italian
Opa - Greek
Mokoko - Pastries
Vino Vino - Wine bar
Sally Lunn's - Teashop
The Olive Tree - British menu with Mediterranean influences
The Roman Baths
Sweet Little Things - Afternoon tea and sweet treats