Five Years: An Anniversary in Bath

Looking relaxed

Five whole years with this lovely man.

This year our anniversary fell on the Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK. That, along with it being half term holiday for the kids, meant the streets on England were a tad on the busy side. But not to worry, we had a beautifully romantic couple of days in the glorious city of Bath.

And it was a complete surprise.

The Pump Room

We made the leisurely journey down the M5, took the turning onto the M4 and by then I figured we were either going to Bath or Stroud. I was hoping for sunny Stroud, but I guess Bath will do. 😉

As soon as we checked into our hotel (big up the Premier Inn massive!) {the only somewhat affordable option this week in Bath, who knew it was such a popular place???} we took off for a wander around the town.

Bath Abbey

It’s a truly lovely, with beautiful Bath-stone buildings, and higgedly-piggedly layout. There were street performers and musicians out in force. The atmosphere was gentle buzzing, and we were feeling the Bath love.

Our first choice for lunch was closing early (note: quite a few restaurants close at 2pm) so we opted for a small pub lunch gastro-stylee with posh scotch eggs and one of the tastiest sausage rolls ever.

After a bit more wandering around we stopped by another pub to sample the local beverage fare, Somerset cider. It’s strong, tasty and totally worth the potential tipsy-ness.

Tapas in Bath

It’s now going to sound like all we did was eat, but the next stop was an early dinner. Ha! We went to the most AMAZING tapas restaurant called Ole. It was smaller than a living room with maybe 6 tables and the tiniest kitchen ever. We perched on stools, looked out of the window at picturesque Bath and spent a couple of hours picking our way through tasty tapas, sipping on Rioja and chatting the world away. It was a perfect anniversary date.

wine

Anniversary

For a cheeky night cap we popped along to Sub 13, a basement cocktail bar which served me up a fantastic chocolate martini. It was atmospheric, fun and rather boozy.

cocktails

Not being much of a drinker these days we stumbled back home for an early night, not wanting to miss out the following day.

Bath at nght

After a trusty ‘spoons breakfast next door (can’t beat a 3 quid fry-up post-drinks) we embarked on a bit of a cultural jaunt over to the Roman baths. We absolutely love learning about history, culture and heritage – this place did not disappoint.

Roman Underfloor Heating

We learned so much. We had a wander around the fantastic museum, a really great example of how a museum can be interactive and interesting, and then took  a guided tour around the main pool area. It was fascinating to learn how the Romans bathed, the whole cultural aspect to the baths and how just how advanced they were.

at the Roman baths

Also, did you know that the only natural hot springs in the UK are all in Bath?

Afterwards we were feeling pretty excited to be able to actually try out this natural thermal water for ourselves with a visit to the Thermae Bath Spa.

You are given a two-hour slot (plus some extra time if you eat at the restaurant) to enjoy the several floors of baths, steam room, treatments and the show-stealer rooftop pool. I wish I could tell you just how much fun this was.

So, you get a bathrobe and slippers to wear around the pool. You go through the changing rooms, using this rather nifty waterproof band/locker key gizmo, and can wander to your heart’s content. We chose to start at the bottom in the Minerva pool. It’s an indoor pool on the lowest level. You shower beforehand and then sink into the deliciously warm waters. Ooooh, it’s so warm and relaxing.

After that we went on up to the steam room floor. There are four different aromatherapy steam rooms to choose from, each emitting different oils and fragrances into the air. We chose to try out every single one. In the centre of the floor is a giant rainfall shower. It’s intense yet fun. Great for sluicing off after sweating away in the steam room.

Finally we made it to the star of the show, the rooftop pool. It is wonderful. The thermal waters are perfectly warm. The rooftop ‘walls’ are clear glass. And there is a view across the low rooftops of Bath and beyond to the green hills. It’s just perfectly relaxing, even if you are sharing it with many others.

Obviously as we were going during half-term and bank holiday weekend it was rather busy, but it never felt so crowded you couldn’t move.

After a good long soak my fingers were getting uncomfortably wrinkly so we swapped into dry fresh robes to head down to the restaurant for food.

Again, we were pleasantly surprised, it was not the dry sandwiches and lettuce leaves I have experienced at previous spa experiences. Oh  no, this was a menu with meaning. We started off with fresh herbal teas, because spa … innit. We asked for our starter of crayfish arancini to come with the mains of Thai green curry and a black pudding with chorizo wellington. It was all tasty, but I particularly enjoyed the arancini, it was subtle yet balanced in flavours. To finish I had an espresso affrogato as I had a feeling all that relaxing thermal waters might send me to sleep on the way home!

With a little more time to spare we headed back to the rooftop pool for one last soak as the evening started set in and the sun dropped down to that beautiful golden hour. Oh, I so wish we had been able to capture it in photographs, it was so pretty.

Instead we will just have to make do with the memories.

Bath England

We left Bath feeling relaxed, content and fulfilled. It was a wonderful mixture of experience all wrapped into such a short space of time. It’s a lovely city filled with loads of interesting things to do and places to eat. Hopefully we’ll make it back there for further exploration.

You can now watch the vlog from our trip here:

 

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9 Comments

  1. Emily Jayne
    28 May 2015 / 3:36 pm

    Sounds like the perfect anniversary weekend – the bath spa sounds completely magical, will have to nag Dan to go!

    • Elizabeth
      Author
      28 May 2015 / 9:46 pm

      It really was lovely, thank you!

      And deffo, you guys will love it. I’d totally want to go again.

  2. 28 May 2015 / 5:02 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary xx

  3. 28 May 2015 / 6:10 pm

    Sounds like a very enriching weekend! Bath is a very beautiful and serene place, I always enjoy my visits there. I love your approach to life, you come across so positive and that gives me a good boost of positivity to carry around 🙂

    • Elizabeth
      Author
      28 May 2015 / 10:03 pm

      Enriching! I like that word. Yes, I did feel rather enriched and positive about the experience. Thank you!

  4. 31 May 2015 / 10:32 am

    Happy anniversary! Bath is an Amazing place, I’ve had several very happy holidays there.

  5. Sophie
    12 June 2015 / 2:54 pm

    i live in Bath and posts like this always make me appreciate it so much more! If you ever go again the independent shops such as French Grey and Sugar Loaf and Vinegar Hill are a must-visit! As it Boston Tea Party for the best coffee 🙂

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