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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Bath? Based on the name alone, it’s the Roman baths of course, a great reminder that ever since AD43 Bath was a city made to enjoy.

Then it’s the Georgian Bath. Strolling through the elegant streets of the Royal Crescent, almost as if wandering the pages of Jane Austen novels – the city’s most famous resident – is another picture that jumps to mind.

But there’s yet another, slightly more unexpected side to the city – one you’ll find once you look beneath the historical heritage and focus on what Bath has to offer today.

I boarded the train at Paddington on a particularly gorgeous, summer day. The sun was shining in a very un-London-like manner and, as the countryside landscapes blurred when the train picked up speed, I smiled at the thought of the adventures ahead. 

Visit Bath has ever so kindly invited me to explore the unexpected side of the city and, remembering how much I loved it the first time I visited, I jumped at the opportunity.

THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURES

The first stop, following a quick stroll through the city centre, (I couldn’t help but stop every couple of minutes to take photos of all the beautiful Georgian buildings!), was Electric Bear – a microbrewery with a bold, modern take on beer. I’m not much of a beer fan so I was a bit skeptical, but you can’t really say no to coffee-flavoured stout, especially when the ingredients include chocolate and toffee!

Following a sunshine-filled lunch at the lovely Lockbrook Inn and an ice cream break at Swoon Gelato, we went on to explore the city before enjoying a bit of wine tasting at Le Vignoble. Located inside a gorgeous Georgian building in the upmarket quarter of the city, the wine lounge combines a restaurant/bar with wine tasting classes.

A few glasses of wine later, once we felt appropriately tipsy…er, educated, it was time to grab a quick dinner at Framptons, right by the famousPulteney Bridge. Make sure to stop by if you’re ever in Bath. The dark oak floors and grand fireplaces coupled with delicious food make it a lovely place to enjoy in the evening.

The highlight of the day was a little paddle boarding adventure with Original Wild. As someone dangerously accident-prone, I was slightly concerned about how this may turn out but luckily, I managed to stay on the board rather than underneath it, and happily paddled away into the sunset!

The paddleboarding session started right at the wake of the golden hour, when the buildings and bridges surrounding the river turned the prettiest shades of yellow. At only £15/hour, it’s a real treat!

UNEXPECTEDYLY AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION

Last but not least – the accommodation! Now, this really took me back as we stayed at The Quads – one of the student accommodation blocks at the University of Bath. Catering to first-year undergrads, the dorms turn into a hotel during the summer months, with rooms starting at just  £50/night!

I was very lucky back in my undergrad days, as my dorms were brand new, however, I still remember the horrors of visiting the accommodation of my not-so-lucky friends, (think windows missing glass and rooms that haven’t seen a lick of paint since the 60s). As I quickly found out, The Quad complex couldn’t be further away from the gory images.

A modern contrast to historical Bath, the complex is only four years old. Each room is complete with a TV (which immediately made me question my accommodation choices back in my student days), mood lights (I mean…) and a private ensuite bathroom (a luxury I never had the chance to experience as a student!).

Not only that, The Quad complex is part-catered (a stark contrast to my memories of microwaved pizza from Tescos). There’s also Limetree – a lovely canteen space just a few minutes down the road. The food there is just wonderful, and the cafe caters to those who rent a room over the summer.

READY TO DISCOVER THE UNEXPECTED?

With Bath only 90min away from London by train via Great Western Railway, and a short drive away from Bristol, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t explore what this gorgeous city has to offer. If you do end up visiting, I’d love for you to let me know what you got up to in the comments!

The post Exploring the Unexpected Side of Bath appeared first on A Girl Who Travels | Female Travel Blog.

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Call me a hedonist, but we all deserve to spoil ourselves once in a while. In fact, I’m a huge believer that adding a bit of quality ‘me time’ to your daily routine is an essential part of self-love. And there’s nothing that says self-love quite like amazing food!

I love catching up with friends over a meal – it’s such a great way to slow down time and enjoy the moment, something that’s easy to forget when you live in a busy city like London. Sometimes, a luxury is just that – sharing a meal with the people who matter the most. But if we can add a bit of fanfare to the occasion then it’s a win-win!

Having moved to London two and a half years ago, I soon learned that dining out (or grabbing one too many cheeky glasses of prosecco) can quickly add up to a small fortune, but there are many ways we can all enjoy a bit of affordable luxury in the capital.

Bookatable’s Feast on London, which I’ve been raving to my friends about for days, is a perfect way to do just that. With too-good-to-be-true deals at London’s hot spots, including Michelin star restaurants, is far from a guilty pleasure.

We’re talking £34 for a 2-course lunch and a Bellini at Aqua Shard, and a £42 three course meal at the stunning, Michelin star Celeste – not your average deal!

After a week of jetting around between Warsaw, London and Amsterdam and a rather stressful weekend, I decided to start my Monday with a bit of a bang and booked my friend and I for a dinner at the Ritz (because, when you choose to make your Monday extra special it should be all or nothing, am I right?!). Dining at one of London’s most iconic dining rooms came at only £62.50 for a three course meal and a (heavenly tasting, may I add) cocktail. Those of you who live in or visited London and appreciate the incredible value The Ritz has to add to any dining experience will understand what an amazing deal this is!

As you walk through the revolving door at 150 Piccadilly, you’re greeted by sparkling chandeliers, fresh flowers and piano music sipping through the marble corridors –  just a small pre-taste of The Ritz’ staple glamour. The dining room, dating back to Renaissance and very much true to its 18th-century decor with giant mirrors dominating the wall and a stunning painted ceiling, overlooks Green Park.

But there’s much more to the Ritz experience than what meets the eye – their food is sourced from high quality, organic ingredients from around the country, from Cornish moors to South West Scotland.

My friend and I felt ultimately spoilt as our first meal arrived, served under a porcelain cloche for an added theatrical effect. We chose Norfolk Quail with sweetcorn and verjus and Smoked Eel served with Beetroot and horseradish – both tasted absolutely heavenly and looked almost too perfect to eat! This was swiftly followed by the immaculately presented main – Bresse Duck with apricot, walnut, and fennel, and finished off with a Chocolate Souffle and Poached Rhubarb Mousse for dessert.

If you too want to spoil yourself and sign up for an evening of ultimate indulgence, visit Bookatable’s Feast on London  – the deals are on until 30 April so be sure to hurry!  

The post Feast on London at The Ritz: The Ultimate Dinner Indulgence appeared first on A Girl Who Travels | Female Travel Blog.

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