I go on a discovery of one of the UK’s most unique cities.
The city of Bath has long been renowned for its curative medicinal springs. Throughout the ages, Romans basked in the waters recovering from their battles and Kings and Queens visited the city, known then as Aquae Sulis, to be cured of their ailments. Bath today is a compact city that offers visitors plenty of interesting things to see and experience whether you’re a lover of architecture, museums, walking, shopping, spas, local food and drink, Bath has it all.
The city’s most popular attraction is the Roman Baths. With steaming baths, hypocaust (underfloor heating) systems, and the remains of the temple to Sulis Minerva, this extraordinary Roman site is captivating. This is Britain’s only hot spring and the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex that still flows with natural hot water that rises at a rate of 1,170,000 litres each day at 46 degrees.
At the Romans Baths visit the Pump Room for lunch or afternoon tea. Once at the heart of the Georgian social scene, today the Pump Room is still elegant serving delicious brunches, afternoon tea with super service.
Now you can experience the naturally warm, mineral –rich waters of Britain’s only natural springs with the opening of the Thermae Bath Spa. The thermal waters which fell over 10,000 years ago and then sank to a depth of 2kms are heated by high temperature rocks before rising back through one of the three springs in the city centre; The King’s Spring, The Cross Spring and the Hetling Spring.
The Thermae Bath Spa is open to everyone to relax and enjoy. You can indulge in the open-air top roof pool, by day and by night, float away in the Minerva Bath and enjoy the best steam rooms ever sampled with aromatic essences including eucalyptus and mint and lemongrass and ginger. Look out for the new wellness suite launching next year which will include saunas, a steam room, an ice room, and other exciting experiences.
Spa treatments are offered where you can indulge in a range of thermal treatments, water massages, hot stone therapies, facials and beauty treatments. The Oriental Massage is one of their signature treatments that combine massaging with stretching using aromatherapy lavender oils.
The Cross Bath Spa is a Grade-1 listed building and home to the only place in the UK where visitors can see the naturally warm mineral rich spring water come to the surface from a specially commissioned open-air thermal bath within stunning Georgian surroundings. This is where the mineral-rich waters rise from the Cross Spring. This beautiful Georgian space is available for hire for private parties or for exclusive sessions.
Over the road is the deluxe Spa Village Bath within The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel on Beau Street, where hoards of Roman coins were discovered when the hotels was under refurbishment two years ago. The opulent spa enables guests to ‘take the waters’ in luxury as guests go on a journey called the Bath House Circuit that includes dipping in three natural thermal pools of varying temperatures and using traditional and infra-red saunas and steam rooms.
Guests are given small bags of Cornish salt infused with specifically made Neal’s Yard aromatherapy salts to suit your mood to take on your spa journey.
For a city so small, Bath has more museums in one square mile than many cities twice its size. Cultural heritage is a hugely important asset and tourists flock here to soak it up, capturing the beauty of the Georgian buildings, and imposing Bath Abbey as they explore. Head to the No.1 Royal Crescent to see how the Georgian gentry and servants lived, visit the Herschel Museum of Astronomy where William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus from his back garden, visit the majestic Bath Abbey and take the Tower Tour up the 212 steps to catch a bird’s eye view of the city or simply relax in the square nearby to admire it and watch the artists and musicians perform.
Shopping in Bath is a dream because it’s a small city and easy to get around as a pedestrian. The city has certainly ensured that food power overrules wheel power! The Milsom Area is the city’s top place to shop and find great fashion shops and restaurants. This area is also home to Bath’s flagship store, Jolly’s, which was the UK first ever department store which opened in 1831. Nearby is ‘Upper Town’ where you find Brock Street and Margaret’s Buildings known for great cafes, jewellery and art. Also check out the Artisan Quarter for the famous Bath Aqua Glass and The Corridor Shopping Arcade which is Britain’s finest example of an indoor covered arcade built in 1819.
For the foodies among you, Bath doesn’t disappoint with its gastropubs and fine dining restaurants. The Malborough Tavern serves a limited menu but all of which is fine British locally sourced food from good quality dry aged steaks to beer battered Haddock and chips. Affiliated to The Malborough Tavern, try The Chequers on 50 Rivers Street. Sample the best burgers in town at the Burger and Lobster restaurant at Milsom Place.
For fine dining, The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel partners with Johann Lafer, the world renowned Michelin Starred chef that combines locally sourced food with Asian flavours.
The Head Chef Daniel Moon launches his outstanding six-course tasting menu in October, consisting of homemade bread, Goat’s Cheese Panna Cotta, Smoked Ballotine of Var Salmon, Chicken Liver Parfait, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Roast Breast of Creedy Carver Duck and Valrhona Chocolate Dome to finish. It’s an exquisite tasting menu set within the beautiful surroundings of the hotel. The hotel is currently offering 241 lunch menus.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel located in the centre of historic Bath, is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and opened in September 2015. It is an exceptional example how old buildings (which were formally a hospital, an almshouse and an educational facility) is now five-star high calibre hotel, housing the luxurious, Bath Spa Village, a fitness gym, ninety-nine bedrooms, the Johann Lafer Restaurant and bar.
The bedrooms are all different, due to the nature of the building, no room is the same. Huge Georgian windows and high ceilings are the familiar feature, where if you are lucky, you will overlook the city of Bath, the Bath Abbey and people enjoying themselves in the open-air Thermae spa pool.
For more information about Bath: http://visitbath.co.uk/
Book your stay at The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel & restaurant booking at their Johann Lafer Restaurant. Rooms rates start from £285 per night.
Tel: 01225 358 888. www.thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk.
The Thermae Bath Spa offers two hour sessions which cannot be pre-booked. To Book a spa treatments at New Royal Bath at Thermae Spa telephone 0844 888 0844.
Kate was a guest of The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel for one night and paid a media rate of £285 per night for two nights. Kate and her guest were guests of The Johann Lafer Restaurant and The Thermae Spa. Also entry to The Roman Baths and various museums from Visit Bath.
Thank you to you all for hosting my wonderful trip to Bath x
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