The train pulled in about 10. Early. With a check in time of 3. We needed something to do. The Roman Bath itself seemed like an obvious choice especially as Friday would be our only weekday. The Baths handle the crowds really well but I'd still rather not contend with the Saturday tourists if I can get away with it.
|You can see the water bubble up, how cool is that|
|This contains the only known fragment of the British Celtic language|
Looking at the artefacts is always amazing, the curse tablets being a particular favourite, but what is special about Bath is the atmosphere. The spring has been recognised as a special place since before the Romans came. The building has been shaped by Roman hands (and feet) but hasn't stood still with time, being changed, used (and yes, sometimes abused) by each generation. History didn't stop here but it's on display here. It's incredible.
Around the corner from the Roman Baths is Sally Lunns. One of the oldest houses in Bath and now a bakery and café and (so they say) the only place in the world to get your mitts on Sally Lunns buns. Huguenot baker Sally Lunns developed her bun back in the good old Georgian times (well they must have been good for someone, as a working class woman I don't think they would have been good for me...) and now the recipe is passed on with the deeds of the house.
|Bigger buns than mine|
A little (lot) more walking saw us at the hotel. Bath Priory is a small hotel with a spa and rather fancy restaurant. Our room wasn't ready when we arrived so we wandered around the garden for a while. The gardens are stunning and more will be written on them later. The head gardener has a Chelsea medal. All in all the place is posh. And there I was in my knee high boots. Nevertheless we were allowed to check in and shown to our room.
|A small town could be built on that bed|
But this was no time to linger. We had plans. Back into the city we went and straight to the spa. And unfortunately we had to leave our cameras behind. Thermae Bath Spa has two pools fed by the city's springs. One is on the roof. This is the type of place you know you are going to enjoy before you visit. The history nerd in me was happy with the idea that I was continuing in a tradition going back to Roman times and swimming pool on the roof, what part of me wouldn't love that?
Even the swimming pool that wasn't on the roof was spectacular but the swimming pool that was on the roof was bloody spectacular. The view, the bubbles, the relaxed floating, it was wonderful. We also tried the scented steam rooms which didn't mix well with my asthma. The huge ass waterfall shower goes well with everything.
Included in our entry was a dish from the grazing menu. The main vegetarian option on the menu was a particularly uninspired Wild Mushroom Risotto. It wasn't great. The mushrooms were cooked unevenly. The small ones were practically mush and the larger ones raw in the centre. It could have done with much more of the tomato sauce to cook through the stodge. I wouldn't have eaten here if it didn't come with the package but it did and it wasn't inedible so why not eat it and go back to the pool.
After our time was up we started a Bath tradition. We walked past Real Italian Ice Cream and popped in. I had a scoop of mango and a scoop of kiwi, Stephen had milk cream. It was so delicious we returned again and again.
So that was our first day in Bath. Relaxation, ice cream and history.