December is Christmas and January is my boyfriends birthday. See my predicament? My boyfriend and I haven’t been together too long, coming up with one good solid present was hard enough, let alone a birthday present too, just 4 weeks later. In the end I decided to go for a materialistic present for his Christmas gift and an ‘experience’ type of thing for his birthday. Potentially a selfish present as it was also a treat for me, but what can you do!
I decided on a weekend away to Bath as neither of us had been before, it wasn’t too far away from Berkshire/Hampshire and it seemed to offer everything you could need for a romantic weekend city break. We just needed to pack our bags and drive a couple of hours west!
Bath has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, touristy things, restaurants, bars and hotels. I did my research and we had a great weekend. The perfect combination of incredible food, drink, mooching, being tourists and relaxing. I really enjoyed writing up my 72 Hours In Milan Travel Guide post, so here is what we got up to in Bath!
I decided on the gorgeous Roseate Villa as I had read many rave reviews and had also stumbled across a great Virgin Experience Days deal that was made even sweeter with my sisters 25% discount on top! In the end I paid just £90 for a one night stay for 2 at the beautiful boutique 5* Roseate; which included parking, a glass of prosecco and breakfast. The hotel was super easy to find, and in an ideal location just a short 10 minute walk away from the main centre of the city. The hotel was also ideal as it included a free car park for the duration of our stay which was really useful. The service we received at the Roseate was perfect. Through the deal we had booked a superior room, however during booking I mentioned how gorgeous the pink and grey room looked on the website and they even reserved this one for us! When we arrived the hotel was a little quiet so they gave us the option of upgrading for free (letting us nosey around at both rooms to take our pick), so obviously we said yes! The room was perfect for us as it included a gigantic super comfy bed, gorgeous windows going pretty much the whole way around the room, a lovely vanity area, a bathroom with a bath/shower, and some incredible handmade complimentary shortbread. The staff went above and beyond for us. Alex forgot his toothbrush but after a quick call to reception and a minute later there was a knock at the door and a travel toothbrush for him! As it was Alex’s birthday break too, they even went all out for that and after our meal out we came back to a super cute platter with some mini macaroons and some chocolate piping saying ‘Happy Birthday Alex’ which was a really lovely touch.
The breakfast in the morning was perfect. The breakfast menu was pretty extensive; including pretty much every type of breakfast dish ever, but the vegetarian option swayed us both as it included some halloumi. On top of this there was also a contintenal breakfast buffet area set up with all sorts of yoghurts, toppings, croissants, pastries, juices etc that you could help yourself to. You could even treat yourself to some bucks fizz, which I obviously couldn’t turn down.
Eating and Drinking
When looking into where to eat and drink in Bath, I was a little overwhelmed as there were SO many amazing sounding options! As it was Alex’s birthday treat weekend I wanted to splash out a bit and with the help of the super helpful BathEats Instagram account decided a visit to Claytons Kitchen was a must for our dinner.
Clayton’s Kitchen is labelled as ‘a perennial favourite for local foodies and discerning travellers’ and that is exactly what we were. Doing my foodie research I was sold on the fact that Robert Clayton, the restaurant’s Chef Patron since its inception in 2012, creates uncomplicated dishes that explore and showcase the freshest and very best ingredients. Inspired by Mediterranean and modern French cuisine. Robert ensure that every dish is prepared, cooked and presented to perfection. And that is exactly what we got. Our meal out was probably the most expensive dinner i’ve ever had the pleasure of paying for, but it was worth every penny. We started off with some simple (and cheap) Breads with Dips; which were delicious, followed by our mains. Alex went for the Lamb Shoulder (which he said was the best he had ever had) and I went for the Porcini Mushroom Risotto; it sounds potentially dull and very stereotypically ‘vegetarian’ but it was the best I had ever had, and the parsnip crisps on top were unreal. For a posh tiny food dinner we were pretty full up so decided to share a sticky toffee pudding with honeycomb ice-cream for dessert. With a bottle of white to wash it all down with, it was probably one of the nicest meals i’ve ever had. Combined with perfect company and a gorgeous backdrop setting of the restaurant, it was a lovely romantic meal out.
After we’d spent pretty much all of my savings at Claytons Kitchen, we headed out to Opium for some drinks! Again, a gem that kept popping up over and over again during my Bath research. After trying to hunt it down on Google Maps and feeling like we were definitely lost (but we weren’t) we found the place, and it happened to only be a short 5 minute walk from where we were staying. Opium is tucked away in the vaults below ‘Grove Street’, a quiet residential area just off Pulteney Bridge, and is a super quirky sort of tunnel that all lead from the tiny entrance door. Each room/arch is decorated with a different quirky style. You’ll even find a fully suited taxidermy boar situated in the main bar, if that is your sort of thing.
Luckily when we turned up it was still a student happy hour, so armed with my student card, we sweetened the blow of the extortionate cost of dinner (but worth it) with some reasonably priced, and very strong cocktails. In particular we really liked the Opium English Garden (£7.50) -Gin, elderflower cordial, cucumber, lime, mint, ginger beer, which we loved so much that we’ve started recreating at home!
Obviously in Bath we had to try out Sally Lunn’s for a famous bun! Sally Lunn’s eating house is housed in a super historic building – it is actually one of the oldest houses in Bath, and the kitchen museum shows the actual kitchen used by the legendary young Huguenot baker Sally Lunn in Georgian Bath to create the first Bath bunn – an authentic regional speciality now known the world over. The bun recipe is still baked to a secret recipe, and whatever time of day you visit you can try a sweet or savoury bun as Sally Lunn’s is open for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, pre-theatre dinner and dinner, even serving regional English food – including their trencher dinner. There were SO many options to choose from, but we both went for the Creamy Brie Toasted Sandwich (£7.88) and it was divine.
The Roman Baths
It wouldn’t be a trip to Bath without a visit to the Roman Baths, and before I had planned anything at all, this was right at the top of my list of things we had to do! The baths themselves had so much more to offer than I expected. I just thought there would be a small museum and the actual baths themselves, but you get so much more! We spent a good hour or so at the baths as there are various sections that talk through the creation and function of the Roman Baths with various pieces that they found etc. If you love all things Roman and history related – you have to visit! And the audio guide that came with our ticket wasn’t too bad either, informative but interesting.
Pultney Bridge, Bath Abbey and Dyrham Park,
During our mini break we also had a lovely mooch about the old streets, the shops and Bath Abbey. Pulteney Bridge featured on my Bath ‘must see’ list, and little did I know that everytime we walked from our hotel into town we had actually been walking over it – but we had no idea as it just looked like a cute little street! We managed to see/do/eat/drink most of the things we wanted to in Bath on our first full day as we got into Bath pretty early (around 11/12) so on our second day after we had checked out, we decided to check out Dyrham Park National Trust! I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, but I’m slowly starting to appreciate National Trust properties a whole load more. Dyrham Park was really pretty, although after we had been on the tour of the house, there wasn’t much else – although it was lovely and definitely worth a visit if you’re interested and the scenery and gardens were really pretty too. If we visited again we would definitely check out the Thermae Spa!
Have you been to Bath? Where is your favourite place for a UK City break?