A Birthday Break in Bath

25th January 2020

I’ve been told a few times how gorgeous the city of Bath is so I was excited when Matt told me (via a very sweet treasure hunt) that this was where my fiancée Matt was taking me for my 27th birthday. This was a week before we were to leave because Matt knows that while I love a surprise, I actually (somewhat nerdily) really enjoy researching things to do and places to eat.

Matt excelled himself with his hotel choice, No.15 Great Pulteney, a boutique townhouse hotel right in the centre of Bath. Parking at the hotel was a bit of a joke at £22 per night (in the end we used one further away for a lot cheaper) but the location meant that we didn’t have to use the car for our stay, instead going everywhere by foot.

The first thing that struck me as we arrived was the incredible interior design featured around the hotel. Think intriguing and contemporary art and you’ll get the gist for the playful vibe of the hotel. There’s something quirky and fun to look at wherever you go in the hotel from a wall of kaleidoscopes to a wall of musical instruments.

The whimsical style carried on in our room too with a dollhouse housing a coffee machine and a wall of majestic hats. We were kindly upgraded to a Deluxe Double which if I’m honest, felt a little snug for my liking, with us having to turn sideways to edge down the side of the bed. That said, the king-size Hypnos Lansdowne Cashmere bed was incredibly comfy and pretty hard to leave in the mornings.

Something I especially loved about the hotel was the larder which offered complimentary snacks and drinks for guests to stock up on. I’m talking buttery flapjacks, fudgey brownies, cans of branded fizzy pop and even ice cream and sorbet. This was open 24/7 and a really nice touch which I’d love to see more hotels including.

Breakfast was included with our stay and each morning we could choose whatever we wanted, with options ranging from Eggs Royale to a Full English (which we chose both mornings). It was absolutely delicious although we both agreed that the tablespoon of beans which accompanied our breakfast was far too small! We were also able to help ourselves to the continental breakfast where we topped up on freshly squeezed juice, assorted pastries and artisan meats.

While we would have loved to have visited, unfortunately, the Thermal Spa was under refurbishments while we were in Bath (typical!) so instead, we paid to use the spa within the hotel, Spa 15. Hidden beneath the pavements of Bath within exposed stone vaults, the cosy spa consisted of a large cedar wood hot tub and a barrel-shaped sauna. Due to the small size, I do think it would have been nice if this was offered complimentary to guests on an hour by hour basis (it cost £20 each for an hour and 15 minutes which felt quite steep) but it was a really lovely as we had it all to ourselves and being perfectly honest, the jacuzzi is always my favourite part of any spa.

We didn’t actually plan a whole lot to actually do in Bath,  instead preferring to spend our time mooching around the gorgeous city. It’s not that there wasn’t plenty to do in Bath, more that it was just really nice to take things at a slower pace. A lot of people asked if we are planning to do the Roman Baths, but honestly? It just didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Of course, I appreciate the vast history but we felt like we knew enough to give it a miss. We did, however, do a whole lot of eating. Top of my list was Sally Lunn’s Eating House which I’d read about on most Bath recommendation blogs. Sally Lunn’s is most famous for the first ‘Bath Bun’, which is essentially a large, light sweet bun. It reminds me more of brioche than say a bread roll but it sort of sits somewhere in the middle.

While there are other options on offer, the majority of the menu at Sally Lunn’s is based around a Sally Lunn bunn with savoury choices such as welsh rarebit or sweet choices where the bun is served with something like clotted cream or chocolate butter. My Sally Lunn bun was toasted and served with something called ‘Milk Jam’ which is basically a caramel spread made with west country milk and sugar. It was absolutely gorgeous and really filling so it’s probably a good thing that you actually get half a bun rather than a whole thing. It’s definitely something that I can see being enjoyed either sweet or savoury and part of me is glad I don’t have access to them every day as I would be putting on a lot of weight.

I really recommend taking the time to put away your phone and just soak up Bath and explore by walking wherever your feet you take you. There are so many lovely little independent coffee shops and stores to discover as well as all the high street favourites you know and love. The Georgian architecture is absolutely gorgeous pretty much most places, great tall buildings you have to crane your neck to take in. We made a visit to Royal Crescent, a row of 30 terraced houses designed by architect John Wood, which are laid out in a sweeping crescent. It’s pretty iconic for Bath and sits around Royal Victoria Park which frankly, you wouldn’t even dare step on.

No birthday is complete without a little cake and having found DidiCakes on Instagram, I was desperate to take a visit. So grabbing a couple of umbrellas from the hotel, we trudged through the rain until the shop rose like a shining beacon of light in the darkness. Making our choices was very difficult as there were so many gorgeous flavours. In the end, we selected Oreo, Salted Caramel, Red Velvet and Death by Chocolate. Each one was absolutely gorgeous although we did have a slight issue in that our hotel room was pretty warm and a couple of the cupcakes got pretty melty. Nonetheless, there wasn’t a crumb left behind!

I’m really pleased we got the chance to visit Bath and it truly is just as beautiful as everyone says. The weather wasn’t the best during our stay so I’d love the chance to return during the Summer – and take a visit to the thermal baths!