27 HOURS IN BATH

11:40

I am yet to find someone who has anything bad to say about the town of Bath. The place seems to be a source of national pride for Brits as some have raved about it to me and then admitted they’ve never actually been. Go figure. 

Luckily for us it’s only an hour and a half by train from London so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. 

11.30: It begins After a journey of sitting through scowly faces from the guy next to me (I’m one of those people who doesn’t hush their voice when speaking in public, much to the blonde kiwi and every British person’s dismay. However, I wasn’t the one who decided to blare Ed Sheeran out of my phone was I Mr train man?!) we were pleasantly surprised to see our hotel was literally across the road from the station. 

FYI accom in Bath is expenny. If you’re looking for a centrally located hotel that won’t make your bank account lose the will to live then the Royal Hotel is all good. The staff were really helpful and it’s in a great location. Not cheap but you can get decent rates if you book direct.

11.45: Strolling in Bath is just so lovely. Proof of this is the fact we did it in 1 degree weather and still had smiles on our mugs.
Selfie in Bath

12.00: The Holbourne Museum Everywhere you look are examples of stunning architecture but this guy certainly stands out.

Holbourne Museum

We were recommended to visit the Holbourne museum by the concierge at the hotel. What I gathered is that William Holbourne was a really rich dude and also a massive hoarder so when he died all his stuff wound up in this place.  

There is a very impressive collection of bits and bobs inside featuring an astounding number of teaspoons and a great porcelain monkey. It’s also free, happy days. 

13.00: Lunch time! Still being on the vege wagon, I gravitated towards a sign that said ‘sustainable’ on it assuming it would have decent vegetarian options. It did. Helloooo mozzarella and tomato toastie. Picnic was the name of the cafe and there’s a nice view for people-watching at the Burton street branch.  

14:00: The Roman Baths No visit to Bath is complete without a visit to The Roman Baths or so I was told by those experts who’d never been. We were not disappointed. This place is incredible! Real Roman ruins just lying around! Coming from a country that is so young it literally has New in the name, old stuff never ceases to impress me.

View of Bath Abbey from the baths

As a frequent tourist I like to judge places like this on the user experience and I can vouch that this place is really well set out with comprehensive audio guides included in the ticket price (£15pp).

The Roman Baths

Sadly no bombs allowed... or swimming of any nature. The blonde kiwi wouldn’t even let me put my hand in due to the supposed filth levels. However he was happy enough to let me drink it from the fountain (so gross FYI).

Roman Baths in Bath

You can actually bathe in Bath just like back in the day... except you’re probably not nude and it wouldn’t have cost you a week’s wages to get in. Slight exaggeration here but £37pp for 2 hours Thermae baths? Yeah nah (translation for non-NZers = we weren’t interested).

15:00: Sally Lunn’s This place was a little more in our price range yet still boasted a coveted spot in our hotel pamphlet’s top 5 list of ‘things to do in Bath’. The sell was easy - home to gigantic brioche style buns slathered in jam and cream. Sign. Me. Up.  

Sally Lunn Bun

It’s not all about the buns though, there is a bit of history here in the form of the ‘museum’. I use the term loosely here because it’s not so much a museum as a bit.

If you eat in the restaurant then the entrance is free - but when you see it you realise it’s not worth paying for. Spoiler alert: There is a really old oven in there and some poor lady squidged in the corner flogging magnets and takeaway buns. 

16.00 - 20:00: Downtime Yes we spent four hours watching telly in our hotel room, what are you gonna do about it? It was cold alright! Also dry Jan makes for some dry inspiration while trying to fill the gap between sightseeing and dinner. 

20:30: Dinner At Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen. Rather than chance stumbling across an amazing restaurant as we have so often tried and just as often failed at, we did our research first and booked a decent looking vegetarian place. So glad we did as it turned out to be one of the best meals of my life. 

Set in a beautiful old house, this place is so cosy and romantic. The staff are all wonderful and they have a menu where you either order 2 or 3 courses. Gluttons that we were we opted for 3 and it took all my strength (and the Blonde kiwi telling me no!) to resist the wine matching.  

I am usually really crap (and embarrassed tbh) when it comes to taking pictures of meals but couldn’t resist when the food looked this good. 

First courses:
Carrot and cashew pate

Carrot and cashew pate

Vegetable veloute with potato balls (pre pouring my veloute on woops

Vegetable Veloute

Main courses:
3 types of Winter squash: pureed, fondant and pickled with homewood’s ewe ricotta gnudi, hazelnut and cavelo nero

3 types of squash

3 types of Cauliflower: poached core with old demdike cheese, caramelised puree and lightly pickled, served with a 5 grain and seed risotto and homemade Riesling mustard

3 types of Cauliflower

Cue a slightly awkward moment when I made a joke to the waitress about us both ordering a 3 way...

Desserts:
Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

Salted Chocolate Tart with peanut butter sorbet

Vegan salted chocolate tart with peanut butter sorbet

The tart was absolute perfection and VEGAN! Who says you need dairy for a decadent pud?!

If you eat at one place in Bath, make it here. Even if you’re not a vege I can guarantee you’ll enjoy the atmosphere, service and above all interesting and satisfying food. Sorry Vantro (our first vege restaurant experience) this place wins if only for the masterful way the chefs made regular old veg the stars of the menu. 

09:30 Lie in We slept like logs with not a pulsing bass beat or siren in earshot (a far cry from London). Breakfast at the hotel was nice enough. The blonde kiwi smuggled out a banana that joined us on our travels for the morning. 

11:00 Shopping After a leisurely start we went exploring to see what’s open on a winter Sunday in Bath. Turns out not much in terms of sights so we ended up shopping. Again, don’t judge us - shopping in Bath compared to London is an absolute dream. 

Even the high street is pretty and the WH Smiths, Subways and the likes are nicely concealed with minimal signage. It’s so relaxing wandering around with the luxury of personal space. 

13:00 Bath Abbey The Abbey is gorgeous and only open at select times on Sunday due to services. Unfortunately tower tours don’t run Sundays either. Apparently they’re really good too - mild regret on the down time yesterday? yeah wee bit.

13:20 Vege roast at The Green Rocket Cafe Vegetarian gravy is really hit and miss so we were delighted with this one that didn’t taste like marmite or fruit (a miracle).

Nut roast

The nut roast itself was delish and the rest of the menu looked great. We don’t eat exclusively at vegetarian restaurants by the way but it’s nice to have some variety to choose from so you don’t have to settle for the token vege option! 

14.30: Home time After lunch it was back to the station for our train home. We ate the well travelled banana and that signalled the end of our time in Bath which I can happily say was just lovely - believe the hype.

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