Bath, in the Somerset County of the United Kingdom, is known for being home to Britain’s original and only natural thermal spa. For which thanks should be given to the Romans. In the first century AD, they had the bright idea to capitalize on the mineral-rich springs and set the wheels of motion for early development of the city. Other notable claims to fame? Jane Austen. The author briefly took up residency in Bath in the early 1800’s. And if you happen to be visiting in September, there’s a 10-day festival [holy hell!!!] devoted to the English novelist. And for the architecture enthusiasts, Bath’s got you covered. I’m not going to pretend I know the difference between Palladian or Georgian, but know there are some noteworthy structures on viewing [ie: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, Royal Crescent & The Circus]. Annnddd, because of the impressive architecture, the city of Bath was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
Ok. So. That about covers the standard run through of Bath attractions. But because my time in the city was so limited [2p-1a], my list of Things To Do Bath mainly focuses around eating and drinking. If you’re interested in a few alternative food and bevy suggestions, read through. And maybe in the spirit of this post grab a drink while you do so – it’s 5’o’clock somewhere!
THINGS TO DO BATH
[Tipples & Nibbles Around The City]
First thing I like to do when getting to a new city is pick up local bread, cheese, and cured meat [and wine, obvi!]. A few times on my travels I’ve arrived during bridge holidays, and if I’m lucky, a grocery will be open so I grab these essentials. Well, when in Bath, do better than the Waitrose or Tesco and peak in at the Fine Cheese Co. Here you’ll find a mouth-watering assortment of artisan cheese and an equally tantalizing selection of prepared, take-away meals [serving lunch & dinner!]. A little disclaimer: I didn’t actually visit this fine cheese shop [as I learned of its existence after my trip], but the recommendation comes directly from my cheese expert, Raymond Hook Specialty. If he says the cheese is good, then you best believe it is!
ON THE GO NIBBLES
All that grid walking ( 😛 ) can work up an appetite. If you’re looking for quality AND wallet friendly snacks stop by family-run Gourmet Scoffs. The café is centrally located near the Bath Abbey, overlooking Parade Gardens, and a second take-away location is opposite Bath College, next to the Gainsborough Spa Hotel. Pick up to-go delicious pastry, meat pie, and sausage roll – all at reasonable prices. If you need more than a quick fix, relax and grab a seat at the café as Scoffs has a full menu of home-cooked, tasty dishes.
FOOD TO FILL MY BELLY
Pizza, Pie [not pizza pie, there’s a comma in-between!], & Cider. That’s all I needed to make up my mind to say YES to The Stable. It’s a UK based, independent chain [14 locations & 2 more on the way], but don’t hold it against them. It’s surprisingly good, at least the Bath location. And each eatery sources ingredients locally, making all locations unique. But what I really got down with was the cider tasting. I’m big on tastings, and this one delivered. Great price, heavy *sampling* pours, and substantial selection – 34 varieties between draft, box, & bottle! Bonus Cut: in Bath on a Tuesday? Tuck in for pizza, side salad, & half-pint drink all for just £10 [a steal in the UK!].
DRINK. DRINK. [X 5 more times] EVERYBODY!
What would Things To Do Bath be without sampling some Bath[tub] Gin! *har har har* Head over to the Canary Bar and imbibe in the many Austen themed gin drinks on offer. Here your libation of choice will most definitely be Bath Gin – a local micro-distillery concocting small batch premium gin. Fun fact? This gin is made with 10 different botanicals: Juniper, Cassia, Lemon Peel, Burnt Orange Peel, Liquorice, Cardamom, Angelica, Cubeb Berries, and two more curious additives. Wormwood, famously used in the distillation of Absinthe, and Kaffir Lime Leaf, used in the Rums of Madagascar, Reunion, and Martinique. Because, well, it’s a ‘gin of a different persuasion’. Feeling a bit more proper; head upstairs to the martini bar.
More drinks? Less gin. Tequila, anyone? Head over to Las Iguanas. Again, it’s a chain and at 10pm on a Friday, this place is a sensory overload. But only downstairs, where the DJ was bumpin’. Literally. So, if you’re looking for something more relaxed keep to the main restaurant on ground level. Las Iguanas makes my Bath take-over list because 1) it’s also a Cachaçaria!! There aren’t a lot of places outside of Brazil, and probably Portugal, where you’ll find a robust list of cachaça to drink straight [ie: not mixed into a caipirinha]. Win for the hubby; everyone’s happy! And 2) the churros. Perfectly fried and served with chocolate AND dulce de leche. BOOM! Hands down, the best this girl has ever had [could have been because I was 5 drinks deep…. NAH!] If the dessert is any indication for the rest of the menu, this place is a solid lunch or dinner option.
BUT WAIT… JUST ONE MORE
Be sure to look up events at Queen Square, especially if you’re visiting Bath in May [Party in the City music festival] or June [Bath Boules]. We were there during the boules competition. Surrounding the square was a wonderful street food market which shouldn’t be missed. Tasty and artisanal food, drinks, and boule – what’s not to love!
If you’ve visited – or, even better, are a Bath local – let me know your favorite Things To Do Bath in the comments!
Happy Grid Walking 🙂