Thursday, 26 January 2017


I'll be honest with you, of all the places I've been in the country and around Europe, Bath has been the most unimpressive. Save for the converted Georgian hotel we stayed in, it's one of those cities that I'm not keen on visiting again. 

The ubiquitous high street food chains and even an airport staple like Giraffe in the city centre put us off. To me, they are places I would eat in when there are no other options. No, I'm not a snob. I eat Cadbury chocolates, unlike someone I know who turns up her nose at non-luxury brands even though where she's from she only ever had proper nutrition after the end of the Cold War. I'm just partial to supporting independent shops. It didn't help that out of the three restaurants we went to, none served a decent coffee. One would assume that Costa or Caffe Nero would have the same formula for every cappuccino or Americano. But I guess at the end of the day it's down to the barista.

When I used to live in Camberwell in the southeast of London, I frequented a coffee shop called Love Walk Cafe. It was shabby inside, with grubby seats, mismatched cutlery, the occasional leftover morsels of what have you on the tables, and unpolished floor, but it was steeped in character.  There was no Instagram then, and I wasn't active on Facebook, so I have no photos to share. Starbucks grubby isn't the same: it only means that the cleaner or staff assigned to clear up hasn't done so. In terms of character, it's not in their menu. 

I was kind of hoping to chance upon something like that, especially when it's a university town (two unis in fact), but chains awaited me. I guess there are more tourists who crave the familiar in the unfamiliar. 

Perhaps living in the country now as well takes away the novelty of the rural atmosphere I live and breathe everyday. Or maybe I just didn't really fall in love. It was difficult to do so when some locals we encountered had bloated egos the size of some demagogue's we all know. The attitude wasn't welcoming at all.

Mosaic tiles of sea beasts found at a house in Aquae Sulis, (otherwise known as Bath) c. 3rd to 4th century AD

When you're already in Bath, you have to see the Roman baths of course. In fact that's what we came for. I thought we'd get a discount as one of the bath areas was closed for upkeep. But no, the entrance fee was set at £15 per head. I think for £21 you get to visit the Fashion Museum as well.

Smoke emanates from the original thermal baths that still flow with natural hot water

The Mr is of Irish descent, so I pointed this out to him. He gave me that smile that only happens when he has to remind me he's not one of my gay friends who'd be as equally appreciative of a brooch. Fair enough.

Called The Sacred Spring Overflow, here is where surplus water from the spring pours into a Roman drain and flows on to the river

A £5.5 million redevelopment was initiated in 2011 to further preserve the Roman baths for the next 100 years (there were in fact lots of scaffolding around when we came). That means you have plenty of time to plan your trip to the Roman baths.

We circled around town before heading back to the hotel for our spa day. It was a gorgeous sunny day, albeit freezing. I had to buy a Cossack style hat (click HERE for Instagram) as my felt fedora was getting blown off by the wind. Bath homes and buildings architecturally remind me of an eclectic mix of French, Italian, and German. 

My holiday requirements are easy: decent coffee, good food (for a good price is a bonus), and locals who don't make tourists feel they're an inconvenience. The rest are negotiable. One at least, and I'm happy. None at all, and I won't go back. 

I must commend the hotel staff though at Homewood Park. They've been gregarious. 

To see the hotel, click HERE.

See you again on another journey!

1 comment:

  1. Shame it wasn't as great as it seems to be. Have wanted to go to Bath for years, might still. I don't like when things get too chain business like. Beautiful pictures x


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