*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
For the record, anyone who says the English have terrible food, must have only eaten at McDonalds. In my experience, I didn’t find that there was an “English” cuisine per se; it was entirely international…and outrageously delicious!I spent two days in Bath, England and I had two goals:
1. Experience a Roman Bath
2. Eat, Eat, Eat, Eat, Eat and Drink
I can gladly report, I very successfully completed my mission.
With only a weekend to experience this historic gem, I whipped together a flexible itinerary for Cain and I that played more to the desires of our culinary curiosity:
- Arrive from London-Paddington Station
- Check-in to Apex City Of Bath Hotel
- SPA DAY at the Thermae Bath Spa
- Dinner at Thai Balcony
After a long week at Lloyds (for Cain) and a week of self-discovery for myself, we needed a pamper-day. While exploring Royal Tunbridge Wells, my bartender had recommended the Thermae Spa, and raved about the views from the rooftop pool and spa services. It’s highly recommended to call ahead, otherwise you have to queue, and so Cain and I had our appointments for massages and a day at a Roman spa.
When I tell you OMFG, I can’t leave the “F” out. It’s several stories of naturally heated pools and saunas/wellness centers, including a rooftop pool overlooking the entire city. We visited their restaurant for some snacks and bubbly, but headed right back to the warm, mineral rich waters to indulge in the ancient luxuries of the Romans.
Once we looked like refreshed prunes, we left the spa and headed back to the hotel. We gathered ourselves together and walked around the city to see where things were and just wander. When you wander, sometimes you find things…like dog stores with pillows of weimaraners….ahem.
We were determined to have a balcony seat for the Thai Balcony, so we lined up outside the door waiting for them to open. Sounds crazy, but we weren’t the only ones. It was SO worth it. The Thai food was mouth-watering and the view unbeatable. Not to mention, the shrimp was on fire..literally, there were flames.
- Coffee at The Cornish Bakery
- Breakfast at Sally Lunn’s
- Walk by/see Bath Abbey
- Touristy Things: Royal Crescent, Roman Ruins, The Circus, Royal Victoria Park
- Shopping, Eating, Drinking (in no particular order)
- Restaurants to Visit: The Ivy, The Pump Room
- Dinner at the Olive Tree (we wanted to have dinner at The Circus, but it was closed)
*Touristy Disclosure* We figured since we went to the Thermae Spa on Saturday we wouldn’t do the Roman Baths (a different thing apparently) on Sunday. Plus, you have to queue for that shit, too. I don’t really dig waiting in line for anything, patience is not my virtue.
Well, not only did the Cornish Bakery have amazing iced coffee, they had scrumptious croissants and empanada-like pastries. I figured I’d start the day strong, and ordered a Moroccan empanada. It didn’t disappoint.
Sally Lunn’s is famous for their Bunns hun! I had my bunn lathered in cinnamon butter, and Cain had an actual breakfast bunn. We decided early on that we would only talk in British accents and have tea whenever possible, so of course, we had a breakfast tea and tried to read tea leaves like Harry Potter.
The Abbey was beautiful, yet again, I wasn’t waiting in line. However, if that’s your jam, you can totally go inside and see all that is has to offer. After seeing a gazillion churches in Italy, I was “churched-out”.
The Royal Crescent, Circus, ruins and The Royal Victoria Park were all in the same area on the other side of town, so we knocked those out rather quickly. My favorite part was the park and an old Land Rover we stumbled across. Cain also found an English coin, heads up by the ruins; must be good fortune!
Now gather your appetite, because we indulged! We didn’t really have a plan, we just wanted to walk from the Circus back towards the city center and the Pump Room. On our way we wandered into the Ivy Bath Brassiere. We lounged on their rooftop terrace, surrounded by Hydrangeas, plants and mirrors. I sipped on a Bellini while Cain tasted a Gin and Tonic; our afternoon snack was a shrimp cocktail drenched in remoulade sauce with just the right chill.
The Pump Room is famous for serving water you can drink from the ancient Roman baths. We ordered some of the mineral water, in addition to some appetizers and cocktails. This was our actual lunch stop for the day.
We also wandered around and made stops at:
- Green Park Brasserie – Beer purchases only (but the food looked delish)
- Griffin Inn – Beer purchase only
- Pug and Puffin- Dog store full of pet merchandise
- Boater- Beer purchase only (we seriously considered dropping all dinner plans and coming here because it was right on the water, and had the most amazing outdoor space. Not to mention the beer was cold and delicious.)
Dinner at the Olive Tree was well worth the drive back towards The Circus. Uber is pretty handy when you’re done walking uphill, and he dropped us off right at the doorstep. We really enjoyed that they source all of their food locally; in addition, the restaurant had a special set menu since they were about to be closed for a short reno! We were spoiled by the service and the duck. Oh my God the duck!
We were originally going to spend only one day in Bath and then head to Bristol, but we would have missed out on such an adventure together. We didn’t have an exact plan, we only had open minds and healthy appetites. It was surprising how walkable Bath was, and how easy it was to accomplish so much in such a small amount of time. It wasn’t about waiting in lines and seeing everything, it was about enjoying our time together and counting the memories, not the calories!