59. A Night Away in Bath
A couple of weekends ago, Papasaurus and I escaped to Bath for a child free night. Neither of us had been to Bath for many moons and were long overdue some quality time together minus the children, I don't know if it's the same for you but I always find that it's only when you get some precious time to yourselves as a couple that you realise just how important it is to make time to do. We're always the same when we go to places that are frequented by tourists - we avoid most of the the 'must see' things and just mooch about, exploring the smaller back streets in search of the perfect coffee shop. But of course the cathedral was a must-do...
Our evening was smashing - we headed to a lovely tapas restaurant called Same-Same But Different that Papasaurus had found through Trip Advisor and we weren't disappointed, tasty food, good wine and at a reasonable price - it ticked all our boxes. Next stop, Sub 13, a cocktail bar, that was pitching to 'trendy professionals, I had my reservations but having heard tale of their awesome gin cocktail the English Garden I felt that fate was beckoning me. Set below street level it's notoriously hard to find. Ok, rule number 1 about any bar where a drink is over £6 a pop in Bath appears to be that tealights must feature promantly. The bar was dark, I mean so dark that we had to huddle round a tealight to read the drinks menu. The bar to me felt a bit confused - an ace venue, brill drinks, buff bartenders but Phil Collins was playing in the background which REALLY threw me as it just didn't look like the sort of place where 'I can feel it coming in the air tonight' would be playing. We left after one drink, my musical mojo in tatters.
From this pricey den of trendiness we emerged to street level and made the mistake of walking into the Slug and Lettuce. Seriously. Step away from the pub. The culture shock from pretentious cocktail bar lit by tealights to the harshly lighted bar full of scantily clad writhing middle agers was just too much for our minds to process. We walked in, we walked out.
Exploring the streets I gave a high pitched squeal and pointed into the night ahead at a sign which had two simple words on it: GIN BAR. Oh hello sailor! Yes, The Canary Gin Bar where they only sell gin, all manner of gin - expensive gin (£6 - £12 a pop) and of course, the place was festooned with tea lights. Momentarily I pondered whether Bath had a power cut...
Finally we found a normal pub, a decent pub, The Raven. The sort of pub where you'd expect to, and we did, find a half toothless local with a broad accent who'd happily talk you through the cider selection. We drank beer that cost less for 2 pints than 1 glass of herby cocktail did at the first bar and sat in normal lighting, shooting the breeze - and not a tea light in sight.
The hotel we stayed at was the lovely Francis Hotel Bath - MGallery Collection
From the moment we arrived the staff were very attentive, before we'd even introduced ourselves to check in (this evenings stay was complimentary in exchange for us to share your thoughts with readers), the staff had parked our car and offered to take our bags. The hotel itself felt classic to Baths heritage whilst giving a contemporary edge, the balance was just about perfect.
Our hotel room was roomy, well equipped and made us smile as soon as we stepped through the door. Touches I really appreciated were the large, plump pillows, ornate mirrors and the gorgeous bathroom. The bed, as with all Accor hotels that I've stayed in was a dream to sleep in and we had a brilliant nights sleep. Breakfast at the hotel the following morning was of a very high standard, we poted for the mild-hangover old favourite of a full English breakfast but whilst grabbing a glass of orange juice I clapped eyes on the continental selection of breakfast goodies and was really impressed - I almost regretted choosing the full English, and that never happens! Our cooked breakfast didn't disappoint, the bacon and sausages were of a high quality, the egg cooked to perfection.
If you are even in Bath and are looking for a hotel to stay in I whole heartedly recommend Francis Hotel Bath - MGallery Collection. for more information on the hotel and it's rooms, services and prices please click here.