It doesn’t take much convincing for me to visit Bath, and being just 90 minutes from London by train it’s a no brainer for those days when you want to explore further afield. Each time I visit, I’m mesmerised by how pretty the city is – it never ceases to amaze me. If you’re imagining Jane Austen-esque streets, then you’d be right – especially if you make a break from the centre and head towards the iconic Royal Crescent (worth a visit to see one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Bath). It’s also a rather good city to visit if you fancy lightening your purse a little, with a plethora of shops on hand to help you. If you’re heading to Bath (or at least thinking about a trip), here’s my guide to get you started. Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip without visiting a Trouva boutique or three…
First stop: coffee at Colonna & Smalls
Because you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, you’re probably going to need a caffeine fix to get you going, right? Well, that’s where Colonna & Smalls comes to the rescue. Situated on Chapel Row, this speciality coffee shop is a must for caffeine lovers and those in need of a quick refuel. The shop’s coffee offering changes weekly and features coffees from a variety of countries, allowing you to be as adventurous as you dare. The menu can be a little daunting to begin with, but don’t worry, there are a few rather charming members of staff who’ll be happy to explain it all to you.
Lose yourself in Homefront Interiors
Head in the direction of the Royal Crescent and wander down Margaret’s Buildings, a quaint street filled with a few speciality shops, and you’ll come across Homefront Interiors, a must-visit destination for artisanal homeware and knick-knacks. Owner Vanessa Clark is passionate about sourcing handmade products and vintage finds, made both locally and further afield. From bold cushions and neutral ceramics to rustic frames and straw baskets, Homefront Interiors is filled with treasures for the home and then a few little gifts for yourself, of course. With plenty to see in this small shop, you’ll have to spend a good while just making sure you’ve seen absolutely everything it has to offer before making those crucial purchases.
Swoon over Article
It would be criminal to walk past Article without having a mooch around inside. At the top of the delightfully cobbled Bartlett Street lies this very pretty independent, which will no doubt stop you in your tracks before you even go inside with its plant filled windowsill and wheelbarrow full of fresh and wild flowers. Step inside and I guarantee most your time will be spent examining each shelf. With expertly-curated products ranging from handmade beeswax candles and beautiful ceramics to gorgeous stationery and Compagnie de Provence balms, Article has a little something for everyone (and it doesn’t break the bank either). The boutique also has its own ‘scent studio’ which offers locally-grown and rare varieties of plants and blooms. And if you’re in the market for a new candle, they make their own in-store, with their own unique blend of essential oils.
Visit The Holburne Museum
Take a stroll down the envy-inducing Great Pulteney Street towards the Holburne Museum for a spot of culture and art. The museum is housed within a beautiful Grade I listed building and home to a vast collection of fine and decorative art. There are both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions to see – a must for any art lover.
Grab a bite at The Fine Cheese Co Cafe
Bath certainly isn’t short of places to eat but finding somewhere that will do a nice nibble quickly isn’t always easy. We stumbled across The Fine Cheese Co. cafe, were drawn in by its pretty blue facade and sold by their lunch menu. Hearty salads and tasty sandwiches did just the trick but you can indulge in a cheese platter or two if you so please (they are after all known for their fromage!) – pay a visit to the cheese shop next door and leave with a little wheel of heaven.
Shop with a conscience at Bibico
Located just a stone’s throw away from Article on Bartlett Street lies sustainable clothing company Bibico, the place for thoughtful fashion thinkers and shoppers. The boutique shuns the notion of fast fashion and instead focuses on sustainability, with clothing made from natural fabrics, all ethically sourced. With simple silhouettes and plenty of neutrals, Bibico is the ideal place for anyone wanting to add consciously-made, easy-to-wear staple pieces to their wardrobe.
Finish with a piece of cake at Pickled Greens
A sweet treat is always justified after walking up and down Bath’s cobbled streets and there’s no place better than Pickled Greens. We popped inside for afternoon pick-me-ups, which came in the form of coffee cake and lemon and elderflower cake, which were both extremely tasty and highly recommended. You deserve it after all.
Claire is a photographer and travel blogger, find her on Instagram at @clairemenary.
What’s your favourite day-trip destination? Tell us in the comments below.