MINI ADVENTURE AROUND BATH

by - November 17, 2017


As I type this I’m cosily sat in my adorable little hotel room right in the centre of Bath…

I decided to take a little time and visit Bath, but not on a whim... A very last minute meeting cropped up and so opted to book an extra night at my hotel to make the most of a 3.5 hour train ride, and to do some sight-seeing. I’m a born and raised Bristol girl at heart, but there’s something magical about Bath. This is my first real visit and I’ve done nothing but wander around and around and around. I was enchanted before I even stepped onto the Bath Spa platform.

The people are far friendlier than you’ll find in the depths of Cornwall; the Cornish tend to take a little time to warm up to a new person, but the lovelies in Bath were straight in with the chit chat. As I grew up learning this chit chat mentality and it was such a refreshing change, everyone smiles at everyone, nearby people will join in on conversations, it's just all around friendly. My taxi driver was so lovely and even wished me a lovely trip – but he was a little disappointed that I wasn’t there for the shopping or the Vodkas.

I can however say that I was in no way enchanted with my choice of hotel. What an idiot. Before I even stepped into the doorway of the hotel the un-uniformed chap on reception was opening the door for me in the most awkward way (I had to clamber under his awkwardly positioned arm), whilst attempting to light his cigarette. Fabulous first impressions got worse when I was asked to take a seat in the ‘lounge’ whilst they finished preparing my room. Crikey. I honestly couldn’t take a seat anywhere, and not for the lack of spare seats – there was not a single other soul in the entire hotel. Nearly all of the overly worn leather sofas were torn in multiple places, the carpet was torn, the closest coffee table was thoroughly damaged, the bar was closed, and there was no way I was going to magically obtain the cuppa that I desperately needed. Ding ding ding, alarm bells.

Funnily enough I asked to see the room before I paid and fully committed. I had reserved the room on Booking.com, and so knew there would be a hefty cancellation charge. Either way, key in hand, off I went to inspect the room. Peeking at the stairs was bad enough. Everything was dirty, everything was beyond unkempt, and being a lone travelling lady I really didn’t want to hang around. I did check the room, and it was furnished with a double bed and a single bed. Why? I’m one person. Picture an oldy-worldy hospital room; basic beds, big bright and basic windows, medical-white walls… no thanks. I didn’t physically step one foot into the room before I appeared in reception and waved good bye. The chap on reception didn’t even try to fight it, and even waived the cancellation fee. Winner.

I was already booking a far nicer, and perfectly positioned (though a little more expensive) hotel before I even left the first. Do not ever book the Redcar Hotel in Bath. Do not. No. I didn’t even stop to take photos, I just ran. You couldn’t Bridget Jones my life any more if you tried, everyone I've subsequently mentioned the Redcar Hotel to recoils in genuine shock and fear.

Taxi booked and I was on my way to the Harington’s Hotel, right in the heart of Bath’s centre. My room at my new hotel wouldn’t be ready until 2pm, but I also had a meeting elsewhere in Bath at 2pm. Thankfully the wonderful staff immediately let me change in the toilets downstairs and stored my bags in their luggage room. One cuppa later and I was ready to jump into my taxi – and funnily enough it happened to be the same taxi driver that had dropped me off at the hotel. 

Meeting finished and I decided to walk back to the hotel, which surprisingly wasn’t too far, and it was beautifully scenic. I really really am in love with Bath. Everything is just so pristine and historical.

When I got back to the hotel I was given the official tour, received my room key, and was escorted to my room, where I was hugely surprised to find that the staff had already placed my bags… all the way up an incredibly long, winding, flight of stairs. I was on the very top floor. I’m easily pleased, but this was just above and beyond in my eyes and I was hugely thrilled. There was even a hot water bottle ready and waiting on the bed. What a dream.


   


Quick outfit change back into casual wear and booties and I was out the door on the hunt for my first meal of the day… at around 3.30pm. I kid you not. This wasn’t an easy feat either; I must admit, if you don’t know where you’re going in Bath it is a little difficult to locate any restaurants – Google Maps wasn’t much help. I did wander by Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths a multitude of times though, and they were a rewarding sight. By 5.30pm (yes, that’s right, two hours of me waltzing around in search of a restaurant and only finding takeaways, coffee shops, or fast food) I stumbled upon a little gem – All Bar One; a lovely little bar that boasted a fabulous little menu. Chicken Pad Thai ordered and I was sitting down to my first ever meal alone in a restaurant. Eep. Honestly I wasn’t as startled by it as I thought I would be and this pleasantly surprised me. I didn't even consider the other people in the restaurant as I tucked into my yummy meal. I was more bored than anything, the signal was so poor and I couldn’t connect to their wifi, but I am so so proud of myself. I overcame a little irrational worry, and now I know that I can happily go out alone to eat. You know, so long as there’s wifi/4G.

All Bar One is conveniently situated just a few feet from Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths, so Pad Thai finished I decided to wander by one last time – and the Abbey was beautifully lit. What a lovely sight. The Roman Baths had just closed, but did have picturesque lamps framing it. A great little detour back to the hotel.

After the worst night’s sleep I think I’ve ever had, I was up bright and early to be the first through the doors at the Roman Baths. I really wanted to do a little photo-shoot whilst I was in Bath and so tripod in hand I walked the short walk to the baths ready for their 9.30am opening. I was hoping to beat all of the other tourists so that I would feel far less embarrassed setting up a tripod to take snaps of myself, but as soon as I walked over to the ticket desk I noticed a great big red cross next to a photo of a tripod. Why oh why they don’t let you use tripods I do not know, because I instead had to be hugely creative and utilise the ruins of the baths themselves – which surely is far worse than using a tripod? Who knows. Either way, I did it. No others in sight I managed to set up some fabulous shots and run into frame with time to pose.

   


I’m really proud of myself for this. A second mini-worry overcome. I was so nervous to prop up a tripod and pose for my own photos, but I was prepared to just do it (do it for the blog). I wanted those shots. I mostly wanted them so that I could practice a little more with Lightroom (and to have some fab travel shots for Instagram). It’s always so awkward or difficult to get photos of yourself, especially when you travel on your own. A selfie stick is great but it doesn't always give you those brilliant Instagramable travel shots that you want. But there I was, braving up and running back and forth from camera to frame, posing and waiting patiently. Even when a few others started wandering around I ignored them, but did notice that they didn’t even bat an eyelid. I’ve now started to feel so much more comfortable knowing that I can do this all on my own. Of course I'd be far more confident with someone I know nearby, but this little solo practice is great because I’ll be tripoding it up big time in Iceland over Christmas. 


   


Baths shoot done and I decided to go for a long stroll around the brilliantly autumnal Parade Gardens. The colours of the leaves were just incredible, and the views of the river were beautiful. I did have a very brief look at the park on my first day in Bath, but dusk was dawning and I was on the hunt for dinner, so I went back on my second day for a real mooch around. I’m so glad I did, the colours of the trees in the daylight were something else, and leaves were perfectly scattered around the floor of the gardens like a beautiful autumnal blanket. I did stop on a number of tucked away benches to really take in the sights. You can spend so much time looking through the lens of a camera that you often forget to look up, and it’s always well worth using your own two eyes.


   


After a quick, and utterly regrettable, Costa hot choc pit stop I headed back in the direction of the Roman Baths. Bath Abbey is right next door, and it is definitely worth a peek inside. The architecture outside is simply stunning, and inside the roofing is just as wonderful. Don’t think Sistine Chapel and beautiful hand painted artworks, think incredible stone work and enormously tall stain-glass windows. There are endless labyrinths of beautiful floor vents that radiate warmth. When you think of churches or cathedrals you often think of wrapping up as warm as possible, but it was like walking into a very welcome wall of heat. The walls were plastered in history, with wonderfully detailed stone plaques mourning, remembering, and paying homage to a variety of men and women from history. If you're an architecture buff you'll absolutely love wandering around Bath Abbey, and (like me) if you're not - you'll still appreciate looking up at it's incredibly high ceilings in awe.


   


A little more sight-seeing on route, I decided to head back to the haven of my hotel, grab my laptop from my room, and park myself in a comfy armchair in the lounge area just offset from the hotel’s reception. A perfect spot, my little armchair was perched in the window; but even with lots of lovely people watching to be done I got to work checking all of the photos I’d taken throughout the day and having a little play on Lightroom. Before I knew it 6pm had arrived. This time I would be prepared for dinner, no two hour long wandering around hunting for something to eat. I decided on Miller & Carter, and wow what a choice.

Miller & Carter turned out to be a pretty fancy steakhouse, and was only a short walk from my hotel. I appeared in the doorway and was immediately greeted by a hostess who advised me that the restaurant was fully booked – eep! I think she took pity on a single girl dining out on her own so she propped me in a tucked-away booth by the bar and happily took my order. I blended in so well with the surroundings; their colour scheme is deep deep brown and burgundy… and there I was, sat in the most perfectly matching burgundy jumper, black skinny jeans, and deep brown boots. Oops.

But wow, Miller & Carter was the right choice. Honestly, I have never had food quite like it. My main was beautifully braised beef that was perfectly placed on top of silky mashed potatoes, with a side of lightly-cooked seasonal veg and crispy onion – all covered in the best gravy I think I’ve ever had. I treated myself to a strawberry and prosecco sorbet teamed with a raspberry and white chocolate meringue, rhubarb and rose curd, and a handful of fresh raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. This was of course all accompanied by a fabulous raspberry vodka and strawberry puree cocktail – shaken with apple juice, lemon, and sugar… and boy was it amazing. It came in the cutest little shaker jar filled with ice and a lovely cocktail glass adorned with two single raspberries. What a dream meal. Honestly! Well worth every penny, and what a brilliant dinner to (almost) complete my trip.

Dinner done and it was straight back to the hotel to blog away. My sister will be popping up from Bristol tomorrow morning to see me, and then that will be my Bath trip all at an end. I don’t want to leave. I am absolutely in love with this beautiful, historical, city. Can’t I just stay forever! There will be plenty more snaps on my Instagram account, so if you aren't following do head over and keep your eyes peeled - @perfectlyclaudia

Have you visited Bath? Or somewhere similar? Leave me a comment below and let me know all about it.


Claudia xo




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14 comments

  1. It sounds like a proper adventure - even with the hotel kerfuffle you stayed cool and explored! I think it sounds lovely. Sometimes I find being on your own somewhere can be nicer, like a one person adventure! :)

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    1. Hotel madness out of the way (which is an hilarious story to take away from the trip) it was absolutely brilliant! I love a little exploring on my own. You can do what you want at any time that you want to do it.

      Claudia xo

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  2. I really admire you for taking this trip alone. As someone who suffers with anxiety and can't actually GO anywhere on my own, this is a nice uplifting post. I'm sorry to hear the first hotel was so awful but good for you for getting the heck out of there! I'd love to eat alone in a restaurant one day - it's a goal of mine! Fab post and the Roman baths looks gorgeous!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Ahh thank you Jenny! <3 I absolutely love travelling about on my own, but this is the first time I’ve eaten out alone in the UK. It’s so funny because I don’t mind at all in another country! It’s always worth pushing yourself to do the really scary things, because they won’t seem at all scary anymore. Definitely give it a try, baby steps!

      Claudia xo

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  3. How on earth did I miss the fact that you have been in Bath? It's literally down the road from me, I was even in Bath last night!!! Boo, we could have met up, I could have been your tripod, haha! I'm glad you had a lovely trip though, and if you do visit again perhaps we could get together? Congrats on a lovely post and fab pictures! X Lisa | www.lisasnotebook.com

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    1. Aww no way!! I gave up last night and went back today my hotel haha. I’m hoping to be a permanent Bath resident asap so I will definitely keep you updated!

      Thank you! <3

      Claudia xo

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  4. I've never eaten in a restaurant alone, either. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have wifi/4G! Good for you for doing it though, it seems like a proper grown up thing to do!

    I'm glad you had a good time, despite the hotel nonsense! x

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    1. Argh it was definitely a little awkward to start with but I just concentrated on the food haha! So glad I did it and I’m hoping it’ll get easier and easier to do again.

      At least it’s provided me with a giggle from my trip, but the rest was so amazing! <3

      Claudia xo

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  5. Considering that it is only a short journey up the road from me, I am really surprised that I have never been to Bath. It looks so pretty.

    I am terrified of eating a lone in a restaurant, but I know I am going to have to do it sooner or later. I think what I am most worried about is what to do in between ordering and getting the food, and not having anyone with me to tell them how yummy everything is, haha.

    Kirstiekinsblogs

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    1. Ahh it’s amazing, so worth a visit if you’re that close. I didn’t want to leave!

      Argh it’s such a big thing isn’t it?! A huge irrational fear that really isn’t as bad as it seems once you’ve done it. I just used my phone an awful lot to make it feel like I was chatting away and it really did work!

      Claudia xo

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  6. I really love this post. Bath is most definitely one of my favourite cities in England. It's so enchanting! I also have to do the same thing - balance my phone somewhere and run into the shot in time. :)

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    1. Ahh I just love Bath! I’m baking again next week for a very quick one day visit. Haha I’m glad it’s not just me who has to run back and forth! Maybe I should get a wireless remote...

      Claudia xo

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  7. I absolutely loved Bath when I visited, I'd love to go back at some point. Everything there is so beautiful and the Roman Baths were so interesting! It's a shame you had trouble with your first hotel but I'm glad everything went a bit smoother from then on! Your photos are gorgeous too, and I'm so impressed you had a totally solo trip - I'd love to conquer my anxiety and do that one day!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

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    1. Ahh it's so lovely, I was there again last week and I'm going back tomorrow haha. No hotels this time though, I have family in the Bristol area so I'll be bothering them.

      Ahh thank you! I travel solo about 90% of the time! The more you do it the more you really will get used to it. I still get a bit nervous travelling to destinations alone, but it's all an experience!

      Claudia xo

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