Walking through the elegant town of Bath, England on a sunny day can instantly lift the spirits; sandy coloured Georgian buildings gleam against a fresh blue sky and leafy green parks sit just outside the city centre. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, the city incorporates a harmonious mix of old and new and because of its many historical features and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s one of the nicest cities to visit in the South West.
There are a myriad of activities to entertain, inform and amuse, from visiting the Roman Baths, to taking a canal cruise down the River Avon or simply undertaking some serious shopping in the many independent boutique stores. But this guide isn’t here to focus on what you can do in the city – it’s more about what you can eat. We’ve helpfully gathered together a collection of some of the many fine eateries in and around the city for you to salivate over. Bon appétit!
Tea Shops – A Taste of England
In true complimentary style, throughout Bath you will find a selection of quintessentially British tearooms, serving traditional English breakfasts, sandwiches and of course, tea and homemade cakes.
Hands Tea Room:
The Hands Tearoom (1 Abbey Street, Bath) is a pleasantly light and airy tea shop situated close to Bath Abbey. Originally a dairy in 1850, the friendly staff serve a delectable medley of traditional breakfasts and lunches, alongside delicious homemade cakes and teas. For a truly British treat, help yourself to a pot of tea and a freshly baked scone with butter for only £3 ($4.70).
The Jane Austen Centre Regency Tea Room:
Literary buffs will enjoy The Jane Austen Centre Regency Tea Room (40 Gay Street, Bath) up on the second floor of the Jane Austen Centre, situated 5 minutes away from the Roman Baths. The famous author lived in the city during the early nineteenth century and it was the setting for two out of six of her novels. The permanent exhibit charges an entrance fee, but the teashop is free to enter and boasts 15 different varieties of loose tea, plus a selection of cakes, sandwiches and soups. To lunch in style, the ‘Tea With Mr Darcy’ option includes a selection of finger sandwiches, a warm scone served with Dorset clotted cream, locally sourced seasonal & strawberry jam, a selection of cakes and a tea or coffee of your choice for £12.50 (about $19.50).
The Bath Bun:
Anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre can retreat to the The Bath Bun (2 Abbey Green, Bath), where the owners have tried to recreate a more genteel age with staff members dressing in period costumes and serving tea and homemade cakes on decorative china cups and saucers. Their namesake, the Bath Bun, is a very sweet but delicious treat that is thought to date back from the 1760s, the modern version of which you can also sample here.
Dining – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in Bath
The Jazz Cafe:
For breakfast, The Jazz Café (1 Kingsmead Street, Bath) is a family-run licensed café that will soon quell rumbling tummies with its Big Breakfast, so named for its magnificent double portions, and all for only £8.50 ($13). Lighter options include omelettes, jacket potatoes and toasted sandwiches, ciabattas and pittas with a choice of fillings from £5.25 ($8).
Hunger pangs felt in the early afternoon can be cured with a trip to Café Retro (18 York Street, Bath), an independent foodie establishment that’s been recommended by Lonely Planet and was declared a local hotspot by Rough Guides in 2012. It’s the perfect place for a tired backpacker to relax for an hour or two, use the free WiFi and peruse the regular lunchtime menu which offers a small selection of sandwiches, hot paninis, chargrilled burgers served with salad and French fries starting from £4.40 ($7) along with additional side orders and snacks.
The Lime Lounge:
To round off the evening, dinner at The Lime Lounge (11 Margarets Buildings, Off Brock Lane, Bath) is a must, and with a 4½ out of 5 star rating on TripAdvisor to boot, it’s proved to be immensely popular with fellow travellers. Inside, a cosy and relaxed atmosphere awaits hungry patrons and a quick glance at the Lounge’s evening menu presents some truly mouth watering dishes, including a red wine, rosemary and redcurrant braised shank of Chew Valley lamb served with rosti potato for only £15.95 ($25). If you’re on a budget, it’s worth checking out their special 2-4-1 main meal deals available Mon-Wed.
And so concludes our full flavoured guide to the many delectable delights that Bath has to offer and we hope that you enjoy them thoroughly (though you may find you need to be wheeled back to your hotel afterwards).