I just spent a lovely weekend in Bath with my friend Megan. Despite going to uni in nearby Bristol, I haven't been to Bath much apart from for netball matches so it was nice to get to know the city a little better. Plus, after a super busy first quarter at work, a girly weekend was exactly what I needed. So I took a half day on Friday and hopped on the train.
We stayed in an Air BnB about half an hour's walk from the city centre, called the Garden Lodge. It was absolutely adorable! Super cosy, very stylishly decorated and the host Claire was so friendly and helpful. We both agreed that we would definitely stay there again.
What did we do?
The main reason we were visiting was to go to the spa. Having not booked any treatments, we did queue for quite a while to get in, but it was definitely worth it. It's £40 for 2 hours, but you're allowed an extra half an hour to account for changing at the beginning and end, plus any time you spend in the café doesn't count towards your limit. This was my first spa experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! There were two thermal baths, steam rooms, an infrared sauna, funky showers with different lights/smells/sounds and a 'celestial relaxation room,' where I definitely could have fallen asleep! My favourite part was probably the rooftop pool, with a beautiful view over Bath. We also popped to the café about half way through our time to drink peppermint tea in our robes. Afterwards we were so sleepy and relaxed, I almost felt like I was floating.
Apart from that, we mooched around Bath, seeing the sights and browsing the shops. Oh, and eating... a LOT of eating. We are both big foodies so finding cool places to eat is something we try to do wherever we go! Here are the places we ate, all of which I would 100% recommend.
On our first night we went for Pizza, after googling places that would cater for vegan (me) and gluten free (Megan). This hit the nail on the head! With loads of different base options (multigrain, hemp, seaweed, turmeric, gluten free) and a nice vegan cheese, we were in business. The pizzas were incredibly tasty, and we went home to our Air BnB full and sleepy.
Green Rocket Cafe
Saturday brunch was at this cute little vegetarian cafe on Pierrepont Street. I went for the 'Breakfast of Champions' which included garlic mushrooms with greens, lentils, scrambled tofu, homemade baked beans and avocado, plus some very tasty sourdough toast. It was super filling and delicious, and set me up well for the day (it's a hard life spending hours in the spa!)
After leaving the spa we headed straight to Society Café for a cheeky bit of cake. This hipster spot has two locations in Bath and can also be found in Oxford and Bristol. There were loads of vegan and gluten free options. I had banana and peanut butter cake and an almond milk dark hot chocolate, both of which were delicious.
King William Pub
This was an accidental dinner venue as there were no tables available at the place we had first intended to go to. It's a cosy little pub, and we sat downstairs in the bar area. The staff were all really friendly and fun, and the food was very tasty. They talked us through the menu, were flexible in terms of changing things up to meet dietary requirements and knew the wine list inside out. We both went for the black bean burger, and I then had a trio of sorbets for pudding. They were the best sorbets I have ever eaten, not icy at all but smooth and packed full of flavour.
Beyond the Kale
Possibly the most #wellness brunch I have ever eaten. We each had an acai smoothie bowl, then shared some pancakes topped with fruit and coconut yoghurt. Absolutely incredible (plus great for a clichéd Instagram brunch pic). We also drank kombucha made by a local company, which is certainly an acquired taste but I quite enjoyed the tang!
We didn't do a huge amount of shopping, but popped into anywhere that caught our eye. Most of these are chains but Bath is also full of independent shops so I would definitely explore those further next time. These were the shops we liked the most:
Full of jewellery, homeware and gifts. Plenty of millennial-friendly tropical prints and flamingo paraphernalia as well as some great scented candles.
French Grey Interiors
A lovely little gift shop. More jewellery, candles and general knick knacks plus a good range of cards, gift wrap and some beautiful cushions and rugs. I may have treated myself to an avocado keyring...and i'm not even sorry.
Topping and Company Booksellers
A cute little book shop which was absolutely filled to the rafters! They even have the wooden sliding ladders to reach the higher shelves. We weren't too impressed at the amount of plastic wrapping on a lot of the books, but the shop had a cosy vibe and you could easily while away an hour in there drinking free coffee and browsing the shelves.
Window shopping only here due to the prices, but Anthropologie is full of so many beautiful things, and was a good way to pass some time. I wanted to buy most of the homeware but managed to be good, and left empty-handed!
Magalleria - full of niche and beautiful magazines that I had never heard of! Most of them looked more like fancy coffee table books, and subject matter was unusual and varied. A little bit pretentious, but interesting to look at!
What to do next time
We by no means exhausted the list of things to do in Bath. On the agenda for next time are the Roman Baths and Pump Room for a bit of history and some afternoon tea, Bath Abbey and the Jane Austen museum. There are also plenty more great brunch spots to be found I'm sure. I will definitely be visiting again.