24 Hours in Bath
Contains gifted experiences which are marked with an * this does not effect my opinion, and I was under no obligation to include them in this guide.
After just getting back from my second visit to Bath, here is a much requested blog post of things to do and see in the city. The first time I visited Bath I went with Jack’s family, on a very hot day in the summer, and it was so lovely to spend some more time there at a quieter time of year with Visit Bath. You can get to Bath in 1.5 hours from London Paddington by train and it feels like no time at all. Also it’s only 13 minutes on a train to Bristol or 13 miles in the car, so if you were thinking of a longer trip than just the weekend I’d say that would be the perfect combination of places to visit. A big thank you to the gorgeous @SarahFromBath who was the best tour guide on day two, she has all the best tips (walking tours soon please Sarah).
Comptoir and Cuisine*
You won’t find it hard to pick somewhere to eat in Bath, there are so many independent cafes and restaurants, the hardest thing will be narrowing it down. During the press trip we were taken to the dreamy Comptoir and Cuisine, who also own Champagne Plus Fromage in London. The concept is small plates, cheese and champagne, what’s not to like?! Champagne to them, is to be enjoyed like wine, and pairs fantastically with cheese, I am not arguing with this as it’s my favourite tipple.
We ate a sharing board of cheese, cured meats and tapenade and I highly recommend the Garlic and Herb Camembert, and Mont d’or fondue which is essentially a miniature swimming pool of cheese. Head down the 70s inspired basement for a decadent experience whatever the time of day.
Good Day Cafe*
Newly opened in October, this perfectly pink cafe is a great place to hit up for brunch or a coffee / cake date. Also Good Day is a dog friendly cafe, there’s even a good doggie wall of fame and that’s a good thing all round in my book (unless you’re allergic, in which case I’m very sorry!). Inside, there are over 150 living plants, which I am sure is adding to and ensuring the good vibes inside. Find it here.
This restaurant cafe, is located in The Loft, situated in the old Evans & Owen building, which was a popular department store dating back to pre 1890. It also sells some mighty fine interiors too, a nice way to spend a morning and it’s in a good location to do some meandering afterwards.
I can’t even explain how much I loved this place, this isn’t regular Gelato. This is Swoon Gelato. I am known for my sweet tooth, and this is the perfect place to come and get a rich decadent sugar hit. They also pride themselves on dairy free gelato flavours. The chocolate one I sampled was just perfection. Each month on their Twitter they do a poll to decide what guest flavours they’ll create that month. Alongside their gelato they also have a fridge full of gelato based treats, where you can experience gelato in a totally different way. I also recommend the hot chocolate, I don’t care if you go in August and it’s 30 degrees outside, TRY IT. It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted, and yes better than Angelina's in Paris - there I said it.
Regency Tea Rooms
Find a partner that will happily eat cream teas with you, as that’s where Jack has often found himself over the years. We popped in here on a busy day in the summer and happily found a table, however I do always tend to go to cafes at odd times to try and ensure I get a table if I haven’t booked. There’s pots of tea, table cloths, cloth napkins, scones, finger sandwiches and clotted cream, what’s not to like?!
You won’t find Susannah on Instagram, she’s as one of my friends described her, not of this world. Wherever she is visiting from, I am glad she’s decided to grace us with her presence for a while and create this treasure trove of a shop. Filled with antique dresses, lace, bedding and furniture, it was definitely a highlight of my independent shop tour. Find her on Broad Street and be transported to another world.
An independent magazine shop, what’s not to love?! Go, pick out some of my favourites including: Frankie, Oh Comley and Lionheart. There’s also a fabulous door knob shop next door (yes I did just say that) which I am sure will solve any finishing touches issues for your interior projects.
Mr B’s Book Emporium
That smell when you step through the door, is one of my favourite smells on earth. When I was younger I read and read and read, now it’s much more of a struggle, but that smell reminds me of a time when bookshops were my favourite places to visit on days out. As well as super helpful staff, there’s a real sense of community in here, with book recommendations left by strangers on the walls. You can even book a ‘Reading Spa’, which is where the staff sit down with you and discuss recent reads you’ve loved, they then go off and come back with tailored book recommendations. I also heard there’s cake involved too - I can’t think of anything more marvellous!
Originally based in London (they now have 3 shops, including the Bath location), this iconic haberdashery gets me all kinds of giddy when I step through the door. It makes me want to buy tassels, ribbons and trims in large quantities for no reason or purpose. Head here and you won’t leave empty handed, they even introduced me to DOUBLE SIDED velvet ribbon…not all heroes wear capes.
Grace & Mabel
This small but perfectly formed boutique sells some of my favourite labels of the moment, including Stine Goya and Baum und Pferdgarten. It was so great to try things on, instead of staring at them online, I love seeing things IRL. I impulse purchased this dreamy skirt and already I know it’s going to be such a versatile piece in my wardrobe this summer.
Grace & Ted
A marvellous treasure trove of second hand designer items and something we should all be supporting in our bid to buy fewer new items of better quality. I found some classic Chanel ballet pumps, some Gina mules that I can’t stop thinking about and even a pristine blue lace Self Portrait dress. Worth popping in and seeing what gems you might discover.
A children’s shop which not only had an exemplary sticker selection, but a solid range of pocket money toys, and some gorgeous indie clothes brands for little ones.
The place recommended most to me on the ‘gram and I understand why. A curated selection of the best design products from cards to candles, jewellery, clothes and bits for the home.
Therme Bath Spa
This was my second visit to one of the most famous spas in Bath and it did not disappoint. If I ever win the lottery the first thing I am doing is installing a swimming pool with a lazy river, absolute bliss. The mineral-rich water in all the pools comes from the natural thermal springs which naturally heats the pool to 33.5 degrees and contains 42 different minerals. Just incredible! The rooftop pool is the jewel in this crown, with views of the Abbey from 9am in the morning, all the way through to 9pm. Also there is a private part of the spa called The Cross Baths which you can rent privately for up to 6 people, sign me up.
Fashion Museum Bath
I didn’t visit on my most recent trip, but have been before. It’s one of Bath’s 15 museums and I’m ALL about a fashion museum. Currently they have their permanent exhibition of ‘History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ and coming up in February an exhibition looking at ‘Royal Women’ and their clothes, now excuse me whilst I pretend I’m an extra in The Crown.
Julia Davey Workshops
A bit further out from the centre is Julia Davey’s shop and workshop. We had a workshop with the lady herself, and it was so much fun. Julia hosts different workshops for all kinds of occasions including hens, if you’re looking for something a bit different I’d highly recommend. Her personalised products are such a lovely idea for gifts too and her sister in law Annaliv makes children’s clothes, which are for sale too - what a talented family!
What a stunner of a cinema! For £2.50 more than my chain cinema in Lincoln (I could talk to you about cinema prices for HOURS, cheapest I ever had was at The Carlton cinema in Westgate for £3.50) I could be lapping it up in the Tivoili. I know where I’d rather be! The cafe is beautifully furnished, and a lovely place to have a tea or glass of wine near the station. Sadly I didn’t have time to watch a film there, but I will be back for sure.
The Royal Crescent
Bath’s most iconic building, this 200 Georgian development is where you want to head for your ‘insta moment’. it’s a truly inspirational piece of architecture and also home the Royal Cresent Hotel and Spa, which boasts it’s own private gardens and pool. I haven’t stayed, but have had a tour and I’ll be booking it upon my return.
I didn’t visit myself, and it’s not often I include places I haven’t tried and tested but I got it on good authority that they do a great manicure, which is also a useful addition to your itinerary should you need it.
As with all my guides, half the fun in going somewhere new is exploring. They are designed to give you an insight to a place but not give everything away and inspire you to add it to your ‘to-visit list’. Have you been to Bath? Where would you recommend people go, let me know in the comments!