Being an hour and forty minutes out of London by train, Bath is the perfect idyllic getaway for a bit of R&R. Whether you’re after some serious natural spa treatments, exploration by food, retail therapy or bathing yourself in history (no pun intended) from the Romans to Austen- this beautiful British city is the perfect bet (best read like Cameron…
Being an hour and forty minutes out of London by train, Bath is the perfect idyllic getaway for a bit of R&R. Whether you’re after some serious natural spa treatments, exploration by food, retail therapy or bathing yourself in history (no pun intended) from the Romans to Austen- this beautiful British city is the perfect bet (best read like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday). Anyway! Last week Joe and I booked ourselves a couple of days in the city for some quality time so pastoral my Year 12 English teacher would have done a cartwheel. Having never visited before (nope, I don’t know why either)- we filled our days with as much as humanly possible which my step counter can justify- fuelled by fresh cakes, plenty of caffeine and a little shopping too- not bad for 48 hours…
Staying: Air BnB
Whenever I visit a new city Air BnB is the first place I’ll check out for places to stay. Fortunately I’d had our hideaway saved on one of my wish lists for as long as I can remember, so it took no time at all to book. Although there are a ridiculously strong selection of boutique and spa hotels in the city, Joe and I knew we wanted somewhere that’d make us feel like locals- with home comforts readily available after a long day exploring. Fortunately, this pad couldn’t have been any more beautiful. With views over the rolling Somerset countryside, a kitchen boasting freshly baked bread and a bed arguably more comfortable than mine at home (all being a 10 minute walk from the centre)- I’d highly recommend this to anyone in need of a home away from home.
Eating: Hunter & Sons
Although this spot is somewhere that prides itself on it’s excellent craft beer and coffee selection (I noted it down largely for Joe’s satisfaction)- the brunch menu at Hunter & Sons is delicious, incredibly extensive and available every day until 4pm- which makes it very good if you’re as partial to a lie in as I am (and also if you like the thought of fusing drinks and brekkie too).
14/15 Milsom Place, Bath BA1 1BZ
If you’re in the market for some delicious, fresh and seasonal homemade grub, look no further than Sam’s Kicthen. Not one for flimsy salads, this place boasts hearty and filling healthy dishes (no wilted lettuce leaves here) as well as the most wonderful accommodating staff on one of Bath’s coolest streets.
61 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BN
Whether you’re after a cupcake with a gooey Nutella filling, a crumbled apple pie, pocket-sized macaroon or fluffy lemon meringue- Didi’s will have something for you. With a retro bar to sit up on, or equally perfect to take away- the cake selection here is pretty unrivalled in the city, and there’s no wonder why. Just save some room to go back!
132 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BG
Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms:
Nothing says 4pm in the UK like a visit to a vintage inspired tearoom, where ration books make up for menus and the playlist consists of jazz, Glen Miller and ragtime tunes. Bea’s is pretty well known for perfecting retro inspired dining, and if like us you were already filled to the brim with cakes and buns (ahem)- Bea’s also offer a delicious breakfast menu, including perfectly poached eggs and west country porridge.
5-8 Saville Row, Bath BA1 2QP
Coffee shop culture is a big thing in Bath, and one of our favourite discoveries was the airy and bright Society Café in the city centre. With plenty of places to indulge in some laptop time- the coffee’s were just as impressive as the cake menu- with plenty of gluten free options and artwork to ogle at too.
Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AB
Now this place is a bit of a gem. By no means a hidden one (book ahead if you want to get a table here)- the Italian food at Sotto Sotto is second to none (and will make you feel like you’re lapping it up somewhere v.fancy indeed). With everything from fresh pasta, excellent seafood and beautiful meat cuts- this place is perfect for a special occassion (and won’t break the bank either)!
10 N Parade, Bath BA2 4AL
Our last stop before heading back was to The Forum– Bath’s largest live venue situated in an old art deco cinema. The coffee shop itself has a small but perfectly formed and affordable menu, with everything from bagels to doorstop avocado on toast- perfect if you’re on the go and after something delicious and quick.
1a, Forum Buildings, St James’s Parade, Bath BA1 1UG
It felt almost rude to consider going to Bath without paying a visit to Sally Lunn’s. Having heard endless things about the place from my friend Hannah, we made it a mission to taste a delectable bun from this Bath institution. Although it is a little bit of a tourist trap (aren’t some of the best places?) we managed to pick up a bun to take away, and it was every bit as delicious as I’d expected. Who knew buns were all the rage this side of the UK?
4 N Parade, Bath BA1 1NX
If you have enough room: Blue Quail’s Deli, Bridge Coffee Shop (for views over Pulteney Bridge), The Whole Bagel, The Scallop Shell (amazing seafood and fish and chips), The Oven (delicious fluffy pizza with pillowy crusts), The Raven (perfect pub food and homemade pies), Dough, Bath Priory Spa Hotel (a michellin starred set menu and afternoon tea), Acorn (infamous veggie food), Beyond The Kale (clue’s in the name) , Comins Tea (all the tea), Colonna & Smalls (arguably the most well known coffee house in Bath), Made By Ben (perfect homemade sandwiches and mammoth sausage rolls- uh hu honey).
Even if you’re not someone keen on visiting tourist traps and historic sites, you’ll be hard pushed to avoid them in Bath- and whilst a few do come at a cost (The Roman Baths, The Jane Austen Centre & Fashion Museum) you can happily stumble upon most of them throughout your day, and I promise they won’t disappoint.
One of our favourite spots was The Circus (a stone’s throw away from The Royal Crescent) and it’s stunning Georgian architecture. It’s the kind of place you can imagine flying straight out of a Dickens novel, and feels more surprising to see someone in a tracksuit around here than it does a pinafore and bonnet (which sounds far less strange once you’re there, I promise)! We also loved walking along Pulteney Bridge, along Walcot Street and it’s independent shops- and would have loved to squeeze in Priory Park Landscape Garden too had we the time.
Shopping: The Foodie Bugle
Having followed The Foodie Bugle on Instagram for as long as I can remember, it was a total pleasure getting to visit the store IRL and appreciate everything from their home baked goods, artisan produce and groceries, homewares and endless wicker baskets (what is it with me and baskets??) in the flesh. Plus, Silvana and John-Paul who run the shop also host supper clubs, events and are hugely knowledgable (so make for a great chat)!
2 Abbey St, Bath BA1 1NN
Run by Olivia Brewer and Nik Blake, Found is home to everything from beautiful design, contemporary fashion and an extensive stationary and homeware selection (which even cracked a strong willed me). With brands you love (read: Karen Walker, Hades and YMC) and new niche one’s you’ll equally grow to love, Found is a pint sized department store stocking a perfectly curated selection of things you didn’t realise you needed (but will be glad you realised you did).
17 Argyle St, Bath BA2 4BQ
As much as I love visiting magazine shops, it’s so refreshing to visit a store owned by someone who really knows what they’re talking about, and Magalleria in bath is just that. With endless favourite titles and plenty of refreshing new ones, it’s easy to pick up a debut discovery here (they even have a wall of suggestions if the choice is overwhelming) and I can guarantee you’ll get lost in the stacks and emerge with some treasure.
22A Broad St, Bath BA1 5LN
Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights:
Alongside coffee, there also seems to be a wealth of beautiful bookshops in the city, and Mr B’s was one that came highly recommended (alongside Toppings). With helpful (and clued-up) staff as well as plenty of recommendations to get you started if you’re not quite sure what you’re after, it’s the perfect quiet haven outside the bustling streets of the centre.
14-15 John St, Bath BA1 2JL
If you’re into your brush lettering, calligraphy and stunning personalised and custom made stationary, Meticulous Ink is worth dipping into. With a huge expertise in printing, type and lettering, the bespoke service here is second to none- and they also offer classes too.
134 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BG
Although I didn’t get to dip into quite as many vintage shops as I’d have liked to, Heaven’s Bazaar is one of the few that I did- and their selection of preloved designer and classic pieces were quite something. With everything in remarkable condition, and the shop feeling like an untouched period boudoir, it made for some pretty beautiful browsing time (for me, not Joe that is)!
3 Margaret’s Buildings, Lower Lansdown, Bath BA1 2LP