Where’s Claire? Taking the Waters in Bath: Part 2

Mimi ON Sep 17, 2009 AT 1:18 pm

The City of Bath

The City of Bath

After Dark
The Georgians made Bath their party town with grand balls under sparkling chandeliers. Today, there are some lovely places to eat and drink in a variety of settings and we had some beautiful meals – these are my recommendations:
For cuisine, there are several award-winning restaurants in Bath, such as the excellent Michelin-starred Bath Priory. We tried the lesser known Olive Tree at the Queensberry Hotel, with 2 AA rosettes. Traditional and refined (although a little lacking in ambience when we were there), the food could not be faltered. The risotto of cock crab, courgette flower and tempura soft shelled crab (£10.50) made an interesting starter, followed by a beef fillet, with dauphinoise potato and golden beetroot (£24.75) – cooked to perfection. Washed down with a Peach Melba, raspberry sorbet and toasted almonds (£8), the menu was reassuring traditional but with a modern Mediterranean twist.

Take in some of the sites in Bath

Take in some of the sites in Bath

For something more informal and with a charming alfresco terrace overlooking the river and Pulteney Bridge, Il Tocco d’Italia is a great choice for an affordable but high-quality Italian meal, with a chef who has worked in many world-class hotels.  Everything is made to order and vegetables you eat here may well have been grown within a 5-mile radius!

For the local recommendation, try The Circus – an atmospheric candle-lit bistro serving seasonal and carefully sourced British food for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a beautiful street just off the Circus it shares its name with. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll see Nicholas Cage wandering past the window while you’re eating!

After dinner, we were surprised to find several opulent drinking dens more at home in Shoreditch – try the newly opened Opium Bar, an eclectically designed sanctuary for intimate chats. For a boogie, we liked Opa – an established and popular Greek restaurant, which transforms into a pretty decent underground club with approachable clientele.

Kennard Hotel

Kennard Hotel

Where to Stay
We stayed at the Kennard Hotel, a charming Georgian townhouse in a fantastic central location minutes from Pulteney Bridge. It has been well restored, albeit with a little too much chintz! But it’s very cosy and provides a little tradition of yesteryear. Think gold urns and elegant chaise-longues in a classic style. There are a variety of individual rooms with high ceilings, sash windows, comfy beds and indulgent Molton Brown toiletries. Plus the excellent English breakfast is worth its weight in gold to see you through to a late lunch. (Doubles from £98 bed and breakfast).

Coming Up?
Bath is a great place for a winter weekend break. Between 26th November and 6th December 2009, it hosts its annual Christmas market, with 123 wooden chalet stalls lining the streets and Nicholas Cage turning on the lights on the opening night!

For more information go to Bath’s official tourist information site www.visitbath.co.uk.

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