Oh hi, hello there, hi. So, here we are; another Sunday evening, and I have a major case of the back-to-work blues, for reasons which will soon become clear. Well, right now in fact – The Boy is soon to turn 30 (this very Thursday – and I’m not far behind), so as a birthday treat, I took him to Bath (the place in Somerset, not the one that gives our bathroom its name) for a longish weekend. From Friday to today, in fact.
It was meant to be a surprise, and I did really, really well keeping it a secret, right up until last Monday, when I gave up and told him exactly where we were going. I just cannot keep a secret from him, as evidenced when I bought him an extra birthday gift while we were away, and gave it to him approximately 17 minutes later, because I couldn’t stand the excitement. In case you were wondering, it was a leather notebook, with his name on it and everything.
I was very lazy, and decided I didn’t want to drive (apart from anything else, I am rubbish with directions), so we took the train, which worked out rather well as we bumped into this chap at the train station; an excellent start to the weekend (please ignore the smudge under my eye. We got caught in a LOT of rain):
Once we arrived in Bath, we embarked on what should have been a two-minute walk to our B&B (the amazing Berdoulat and Breakfast, recommended by my lovely boss and more of which presently), except as I already mentioned, I’m rubbish with directions. Even with the help of Apple Maps, it took us a good 20 minutes to find where we were staying. Some would say that if I had switched the navigation to ‘Walk’ instead of ‘Drive’, we would have found it faster, but…at least we got to know the street we were staying in extremely well.
When we finally arrived, we received a lovely warm welcome, and were shown to our room. And look how pretty! (As you can see, The Boy was overcome with all the gorgeousness):
The room also contained a rainfall shower, and I now covet one with covetty covetousness.
And the breakfasts. Oh my word, the breakfasts. You have a choice of English or Turkish breakfast, so I had the English yesterday and the Turkish today. I would have taken photos, but…well, firstly, it seemed rude. And secondly (probably more importantly), it was so delicious that I was halfway through them before I even remembered. For those of you wondering, the Turkish breakfast includes tomato and pomegranate salad, olives, feta and halloumi (quick Dad joke: What did the cheese say when he saw himself in the mirror? Halloumi!), a filo pastry & feta piece of heaven and poached eggs on toast. YUM.
You get a selection of teas in your room (which led to a minor incident when I tried to make tea without opening the shutters – that’s right, the windows have shutters – and The Boy nearly ended up with mint tea with milk and sugar, but no harm done), which meant for the first time ever when we’ve been away, I’ve been able to have a tea in the morning (I only really drink mint tea you see). There are only two rooms rented out at any one time, and the owners are so, so friendly you really feel like you’re staying with friends for the weekend; I cannot recommend it enough. And I shall say so on my Tripadvisor review, just as soon as I get around to writing it.
On another boss-lady (she loves it when I call her that) recommendation, we took a visit to the Thermae Bath Spa on Friday night. The Boy doesn’t do spas (I think he has a mental image of lots of ladies having pedicures), but I think he’s pretty glad we went. Apart from a 1hr wait time, that is (cannot stress this enough – if you go, and I hope you do, be prepared to wait, particularly at weekends and, apparently, Friday evenings). Of course, if you book a spa treatment, you can book a 2hr slot in the spa at the same time, but as this was The Boy’s first foray into spa-y goodness (and I did manage to keep this bit a surprise), I didn’t want to scare him too much, so we took our chances with the queue.
There are three floors in the spa, so we decided to start at the top and work our way down. First up is the open air pool, with amazing views of the city. Unfortunately when we were there, it was very chilly, so although we enjoyed the views and the pool is heated, we didn’t spend too long there! On the first floor is the steam and sauna room and they are amazing. Four separate glass rooms/areas have different scents, and you’re encouraged to take a cold shower between each one to give your skin the most benefit. Just don’t squeal like I did. Also, if you’re so inclined, take your make up off before you enter, like I didn’t.
On the lower ground floor (yes, I know I missed one, but I didn’t think you needed to hear about the changing facilities. Which are excellent, by the way), is the Minerva bath. We stayed here for ages, getting stupidly excited about the jets that propel you around, the jacuzzi and the ‘Fountain of tapness’. Yes, we gave it a weird name.
Later that evening, we met up with The Boy’s littlest brother, who’s at university in Bath (one of the reasons I chose it for our trip), and heard all about his plans for next year while we ate lots of Chinese (please don’t tell my Slimming World leader). He also took us to an amazing pub called The Raven, where I drank an ale called Drover’s Return, chosen purely for its punny name that thankfully, turned out to be very nice.
The next day, on the aforementioned littlest brother’s recommendation, we went to view some sights, including the Royal Crescent (a terrace of lots of lovely houses). We were warned that it was up a hill, so The Boy was expecting something approaching a vertical incline. Instead what we got was a gentle slope, which leads me to worry how The Boy’s family views my hill walking abilities (to be fair, they are extremely limited and I have not acquitted myself well on the walking holidays I’ve taken with them). We decided, upon viewing the houses, to try really, really hard to win the Euromillions, so we can buy a couple. We then needed to have a sit down in the park, because, well, because the sun had come out and we didn’t know if we’d get another chance.
We also stopped off at the Abbey, where The Boy freaked me out good and proper by pointing out the stone angels climbing up ladders around the entrance. I think we’ve just scouted a location for the next weeping angels episode of Doctor Who.
We then took a trip to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair (The Boy insisted), where I had my first paparazzi experience when he murmured in my ear, “That lady’s just taken a picture of you. I think she likes your dress”. Which, I’ll be honest, creeped me out a bit – why couldn’t she have just asked me where it was from? I’m really very nice. But on the plus side, I bought a black vintage bag for £10, and we got another teapot to add to our centrepiece pile.
Anyhoo, after all the excitement, we needed sustenance. By which, I mean The Boy needed tea, I needed cake. We took a look at Sally Lunn, one of Bath’s oldest houses and the home of the Sally Lunn Bunn (we bought some, and fully intend on eating one after dinner), but decided on The Bath Bun instead, as The Boy is a bit obsessed with bath buns. It was lovely (you can see some photos of the food below), and I loved reading all the quirky informational wallpaper (even if the pedant in me did spot several misplaced apostrophes).
After another sit down in a park (we had to pay £1.50 for the privilege, but we did get to see a couple of wedding parties, so I got too ‘ooo’ and ‘aaah’ a bit, which was nice), we headed back to our room to change for dinner, at the Allium Brasserie. As before, I was far too excited about my food to take any photos (we shared a baked Camembert – another Dad joke – “How do you encourage a bear to come out of the woods? Camembert!”, and I had chicken with gnocchi and all manner of amazingness), but please enjoy these photos of a kinda-weird looking but still very cool flower, the awesome lamps on the ceiling, my grown up Gin Fizz, and the bee wallpaper in the ladies loos. How cool is that?! If you’re ever in the Bath area, I’d definitely recommend you pay the Allium a visit (also, just in case you were wondering, you can wear jeans. I checked).
Sorry, this has turned into a proper review post, hasn’t it? I loved Bath very much, you see. To bring it back around to weddings nice and smoothly…as luck would have it, one of Chris’ lovely chums and work colleagues recently got married, to an equally lovely young lady, and they happened to be in Bath celebrating their ‘mini-moon’. We rudely intruded (if they’re reading this, sorry again) when they joined us in The Raven and I asked them lots and lots of silly questions, including “So, do your left hands feel weird?”. I know, it’s a good job The Boy is the one who has a job asking questions.
I would like to suggest that Bath is a perfect place to de-stress and just enjoy being together after you get married, as it’s just lovely. There’s lots to do to relax, lots of places for a romantic stroll, and, if you’re not sick of it by that point, lots and lots of cake to be had.
Upon our return home, we discovered the The Boy’s mum and dad (I would have said my mum-and-dad-in-law-to-be, but that is just too many hyphens) has completety rejigged and renovated our garden. They’re very nice indeed.
And finally (WARNING: PLUG COMING UP)…I would like to say a massively big thank you to all the people who have voted for me in the Miss Vintage UK 2015 competition so far. If you haven’t voted yet and would like me to love you forever, please can you click on this link and hit like? https://www.facebook.com/twinwoodevents/photos/a.10152666756157657.1073741838.30797112656/10152741483282657/?type=1&theater
Thank you very, very much (twice).