I’ll begin by saying Bath is always a glorious escape from London. Less than two hours from Paddington on the train, you can be transported back in time to somewhere altogether very pretty with a lot going on. It’s a thriving city with a great selection of shops, the streets are lined with buildings from another time and it all feels very, very lovely. This is Jane Austen’s Bath after all.
WHERE I STAYED
Full disclosure first, I was invited by MGallery to stay at their Bath home, Francis Hotel, in order to discover Bath and create my own weekend guide to the city. MGallery is a collection of boutique hotels which combine luxury with unique culture and history, with over 90 different addresses across 24 countries. The collection ensures that each address has its own personality which relates back to the local history and is inspired by the story of both the hotel itself and of the area.
So with further adieu, let’s start on Queen Square, where the hotel is located.
The hotel itself dates back to the 1800’s, spread over several interconnecting Georgian townhouses. From what I’ve discovered from Bath hotels so far - the decor has either been bold & out there or safe & neutral. Francis Hotel is the former. If quirky and bold colours ain’t your thing, then this isn’t the hotel for you because Francis Hotel is full of quirk (cc: the painting that’s fixed on the bedroom ceiling… yes, ceiling). Quirks aside, the bed itself is marvellously comfy, leaving you feeling refreshed for morning which obviously begins after you’ve devoured the breakfast buffet downstairs.
With a very good location and it’s not-through-the-roof prices, Francis Hotel makes for a good option for someone wanting a central base for exploring Bath with - and especially good for someone with a touch of eccentric! Female travellers are also in for some perks with the newly launched ‘Inspired By Her’ programme - a special offering designed by women for women - which is in honour of International Women’s Day. The programme is designed to make life easier for female travellers through the likes of a collection of wellness services, tailored beauty products and in-room amenities. With the idea that whether travelling for work or for an escape, MGallery wants to celebrate women and make them feel welcome in a whole new way. Bath, after all, holds so much history for empowered women: from one of the city’s most famous residents, Jane Austen, to the suffragettes from Bath who played a huge role in the fight for equality alongside Emmeline Pankhurst. There’ll also be an interactive map - which will launch on International Women’s Day - that will be a symbol of the suffragette’s legacy, showing just how far we’ve come over the past century.
WHAT TO DO
Visit the Thermae Bath Spa - the only natural thermae spa in Britain.
Walk to the Royal Crescent to see one of Bath’s most iconic landscapes for yourself. Whilst you’re there, visit 1 Royal Crescent - a museum that’s furnished like it would have been back in the late 1700’s.
Make a quick stop at The Holburne Museum to see an impressive collection of fine art and exhibitions. One for real art buffs.
Walk the (many) pretty streets of Bath - that’s half the magic of the city, is wandering, exploring and unearthing. Sometimes having no direction is the best way to get familiar with a place and easily do-able within a weekend in Bath.
WHERE TO EAT
Beckford Bottle Shop - Newly opened and well worth a visit, stop by for their cheese board and many a glass of wine (they are very well stocked!).
Clayton’s Kitchen - A true gem of a restaurant, everything we had was absolutely delicious. Booked on a whim and so happy the stars aligned.
Malborough Tavern - a charming pub close by the Royal Crescent. If you’re coming on a Sunday and want a roast, book ahead!
The Chequers - Sister pub to the Malborough Tavern, equally pretty and a popular Sunday spot but also a good place for fish & chips.
Colonna & Small’s - a must for coffee lovers.
WHERE TO SHOP
Found - a lifestyle store home to many wonderful goods for human and home. An ideal spot to stock up on ‘filler presents’ and little bits & bobs.
Anthropologie - OK, so I know London has a few but this is possibly the nicest Anthro store I’ve visited and it’s well worth a mooch around whilst you’re here.
Article - Wanted to buy all the dried flowers and take them home with me. Sadly they wouldn’t have made it through the train journey, so one for when I come back in the car.
Hay - The Danish design store’s only shop in the UK - full of treats for making your home a stylish one.
Magalleria - a perfect little magazine shop that stocks the most incredible selection of independent magazines. Stepping inside, you really just how many great small titles there really are out there.
WHAT I’M WEARING IN THIS POST
Jacket - & Other Stories
Shirt - & Other Stories
Cord Trousers - Jigsaw
Trainers - Adidas
Bag - Chanel
Cord Shirt - Jigsaw
Cord Trousers - Jigsaw