Grays is a boutique B&B on the outskirts of the town and while you’ll have to walk 10/15 so minutes into Bath itself, it’s well worth considering. I don’t think I was as ever charmed by a hotel as I was this. The girl at the front desk – which is actually a sitting room – became our spirit guide for the weekend and never steered us wrong.
The décor had us WhatsApping our mothers endless reams of photos, and the goddamn breakfast, which you took in a breakfast room, was the best I’ve ever had. My vegetarian companion still regularly recalls it, as if the halloumi and potato sausage was an apparition too good to be true.
The Queensberry Hotel is bang in the middle of town and is a truly luxe experience. Staying in this beautiful hotel made us feel as we were a character in a novel where nothing bad ever happens. Which sounds like a boring novel, but IRL it’s a fab place to find oneself. Definitely one for the treat yo-self list.
The Olive Tree restaurant in the basement of The Queensberry was excellent when we dined there. The service was impeccable and I still remember the wine. It’s a top choice escape from high-season bustle if you find yourself flocking to Somerset in the summer.
The Old Green Tree is 100% pub snug and when in England I fully embrace pubs with wall-to-floor wood paneling where the air is thick with joviality. Also, pretty sure I had 13% cider here. It was 13%, so I can’t be sure.
The Jane Austen Centre, obviously. The acclaimed and beloved novelist is forever associated with the town, although you get the impression from the guided tour she wasn’t as enamoured of the place as it is now of her. Still, this is a must-do for those of you who can quote Mr Darcy’s proposal off by heart while horizontal wrapped I a duvet and staring slack-jawed at a flatscreen. There is an oil painting of Colin Firth hanging on one of the walls and that is worth the entrance price alone.
The Spa at the Bath Priory Hotel is a short taxi drive from town and is well worth adding to the itinerary. A lot of tourists end up visiting the spa in the city centre for r&r, but we think holidays are about relaxing, and not stressful queuing. This picturesque alcove is all calm and excellent service. There’s a heated pool outside and the massage therapies are excellent. Make sure to book in for lunch! We had the most gorgeous cauliflower dishes, and then we popped out to the garden for a game of croquet. Bath really is another dimension.
The Fashion Museum was a surprise find and is super underrated as attraction. If you’re a costume drama nut, you will be in heaven here. Georgian dress, Regency necklines, Victorian hoops – it’s a treasure trove of history. The current exhibition is A History of Fashion in 100 Objects and contains an embroidered jacket which featured in Gone With The Wind, as well as gowns from the most sought after designer in the 1890s, The House of Worth.
The audio tour at the Roman Baths is properly fascinating and it’s nice to hear about this history of water and springs without the whole politicking infusing H2O at home. We’d recommend leaving the tour until the evening as it can be quite rammed there during the day.
Leave at home:
Your bonnet. You actually get to try them on in the Jane Austen Centre and Fashion Museum. Perfect selfie fodder.
How to get there?
Fly into Bristol wirh Aer Lingus and get a bus from the airport straight to the city.