When I lived in the UK I wandered around the lovely streets of Bath for a weekend. Just like Catherine from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey I wonder, who can ever be tired of Bath?
“A fine Sunday in Bath empties every house of its inhabitants, and all the world appears on such an occasion to walk”“they hastened away to the Crescent, to breathe the fresh air of better company”
This lovely piece of green pasture is marked on an old map as “never to be built upon”. The Bath city layout is sprinkled with circles, squares, and crescents, and even contains one circus.
“They set off in good time for the Pump-room, where the ordinary course of events took place; Mr Allen, after drinking his glass of water, joined some gentlemen to talk over the politics of the day and compare the accounts of their news-papers; and the ladies walked about together, noticing every new face, and almost every new bonnet in the room”
The Pump Room is open for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea. Wander in at breakfast time, after 9.30 am, and the sunny room, with light tunes of violin and piano floating in the air, will be all yours. Try the spa water – it’s not half as ill-tasting as in many other places. These are the “lower rooms” of Jane Austen, where ladies and gentlemen “took the waters”, along with “Oliver bisquits” (delicious but heavy on calories), during the day, and enjoyed conversation and dance during the night.
“Edward has been pretty well this last week, and as the waters have never disagreed with him in any respect, we are inclined to hope he will derive advantage from them in the end”
The thermal waters of Bath bubble up from three springs in the Roman Baths, over a million liters per day. The baths are beautifully restored and the excellent audio tour easily keeps your wandering around for 3 hours.
Hoping to dip your toes into the famous thermal water? Finally Bath has a spa again. The Cross Bath, and the all-new Bath Thermae Spa, are located behind the Roman baths. Half a day just flows by in the hot thermal waters, aromatherapy steam rooms, spa treatments, lovely restaurant, and rooftop pool.
““I could not tell whether you would be for some meat, or only a dish of tea, after your journey, or else I would have got something ready… Perhaps you would like some tea, as soon as it can be got.” They both declared they should prefer it to anything”
Afternoon tea in Bath is not to be had without the Bath Bun, or the Sally Lunn Bun. Fluffy and round, split in half, dripping with hot butter and brown sugar syrup with a hearty dash of cinnamon… the secret recipe and the tea room have served thirsty and hungry visitors for over 300 years, which I think Sally Lunn would have been very proud to know.All quotes by Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, personal letters)(Bath, United Kingdom; June 2011)