Bath Travel Journal
Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Visit Bath to do just that! Given that Bath has been on my ‘to go’ list for a while, I jumped at the chance. It was in association with their #feelgoodbath campaign and to support local mental health charity Bath Mind, me and a few other bloggers were shown around and invited for a 36 hour whirlwind trip.
Starting the day bright-eyed and bushy tailed at Paddington, all coated up and slightly nervous, yet excited to meet a new group of bloggers, I jumped on the Great Western Railway train for a quick, easy and comfy 1.5 hour journey to Bath!
Nestled in Somerset, my first impressions of Bath were simply '“ok WOW.” Such a beautiful city with a heck of a lot of history to boot. After a little solo wander around town, it was onwards to Visit Bath HQ to meet with the rest of the group.
First stop was the famous Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa for tea (of course! peppermint for me, always) and a chat around mental health with Bath Mind who are doing amazing work within Bath and its surrounds. Mental health and it’s awareness is something I’m very passionate about, so I was so pleased to see Visit Bath collaborating and raising awareness for such an important cause. Starting off the presentation with a breathing and visualisation exercise immediately had us relaxed and calm and ready to learn more about the incredible work Bath Mind are doing for mental health and issues.
Bath Mind focus on “Live Learn Share” which empower people to engage in services and early intervention work to prevent, maintain and improve their own wellbeing. I was so touched to see so many of our group be so open and honest about their own struggles and those within their families! It was very eye opening to me to hear the point of view of some of the women who’s husbands and partners struggle with depression and their mental health and hear their perspective and how they are affected as a ‘carer’. It definitely made me more aware of how I can be open and communicate with my own husband about my mental health with him being in the same position as these women.
Now onto the Royal Crescent hotel itself - yes, please and thank you I’m moving in! I will definitely be staying here next visit to Bath. Such stunning grounds and a historically beautiful building. The spa looked out of this world and I definitely would have stripped off into my bikini and jumped in to do a few laps in the pool if I had the time!
After a little stroll around the hotel, it was time for lunch! We wandered down to Comptoir and Cuisine for champagne, cheese and sooo much good food. C&C was a francophiles heaven! I’ve always loved everything French and you can buy everything on display there, from furniture, to market bags, to vintage style toy cars, it was all sorts of cool. Started by four friends, French and Italian expats, all united by their love for champagne, and cheese and convinced that the two are the perfect match!
Since opening their Champagne+Fromage bistros in London in 2011, they have been on a mission to prove the flavours, the utility and the versatility of Grower Champagne (varieties by independent producers who are passionate in following the traditional methods of artisanal wine making) C&C are experts on taking things further by offering the chance to experience some of the best food, drink, produce and products that France has to offer., and cheese, and that they can be enjoyed and savoured throughout the year.
I must say, I could definitely see myself spending a very long lunch here or bringing hubby for an out of town escapade and date night. Their downstairs bar was the cherry on top, perfect for those cosy corner evenings with your lover, champagne in hand!
Leaving with full bellies and a nice little buzz from the delicious champagne, it was onwards to Julia Davey Ceramics, where we got our hands dirty and played with plenty of clay and craft. I don’t know if any of us will be master ceramicists any time soon (there were a number of laughs as we worked on our pieces!) but it sure was a lot of fun and something I would totally recommend for a fun hens weekend activity. Julia runs a number of workshops and we were all sent our creations via post after they’d been put through the kiln and glazed! I made coasters, using dried flowers and plants to create patterns and detail.
Then it was time for a refresh and to settle into our accommodation for the night. Bath Boutique Stays put us up generously in Mr Darcey’s Abode, a beautiful self-catered home walking distance to the city and ideal for big groups! We each had our own room and I think I scored with the gorgeous wallpaper and fireplace in my room! The house was huge and I didn’t even have a chance to make it to every level!
After a quick make up top up and change of outfit, it was time for dinner at Koffmann and Mr White’s - an English French fusion restaurant, where you can bet, I ate myself silly haha. All the food was delicious - especially the pain perdu for dessert! Yum!
The next day was a bright and early start to head to the Thermae Bath Spa. This was hands down the highlight of the trip for me and an absolute must do for any visit to Bath. Go early to snap those rooftop shots before the crowd hits.
Bath and it’s hot springs are full of historical significance, in fact, “there is archaeological evidence that there was human activity around the hot springs on which the City of Bath is built at least 8,000 years B.C; but probably the place was too mysterious, with steam emerging from a hot, lushly vegetated swampy area for any settlement to take place here. According to legend, Prince Bladud, who had contracted leprosy, was cured after bathing in the hot muddy waters. In gratitude, Bladud founded the City of Bath around the springs in 863BC. In AD 70, the Romans built a reservoir around the hot springs, and then a sophisticated series of baths and a temple dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva.”
The Thermae Bath Spa is a prime opportunity to step back in time and ‘do as the Romans do’! On the crisp and frosty morning we were there, the warm, mineral rich waters from the Kings Spring, the Hetling Spring and the Cross Spring that the Thermae Bath Spa is filled with were definitely welcomed! After the rooftop, make your way down to the saunas - they had a giant infrared sauna which I spent a good solid hour in. You can read all about the benefits of an infrared sauna in my blog here. The Thermae Bath Spa also have a separate spa called the Cross Bath which you can privately hire out (at a very reasonable price I might add!) for hens do, birthdays, the works - just BYO champagne and how’s that for a day out! It was gorgeous to boot.
After our morning soak, it was time for breakfast! Onwards to Good Day cafe where my Aussie roots were very much satisfied with plenty of avocado on toast and kombucha (and good coffee!!). They even had a ‘doggos of good day’ wall for all their furry visitors which you know won me over.
With full bellies, a wander around Bath was necessary, with pit stops along the way for pastries, coffee and boutique shopping and a visit to the famous Roman Baths and one final stop for gelato at Swoon. I tried pretty much every flavour and this place is a must taste! Bath is definitely somewhere I’ll be visiting again soon and exploring after feeling like I only touched the tip of this historic iceberg.
A big thanks to Visit Bath for having me and looking forward to returning soon.