I love Bath – it’s such a pretty place, steeped in history and full of gorgeous shops!
I spent a long weekend there a few years ago for a hen do – a trip to the rooftop thermae spa, comfy beds in a glorious old Georgian townhouse and endless cocktails, everything a girls weekend should be! That was all I really knew about Bath (other than school book Roman history) but now I live so close, I am beginning to discover more about it.
In terms of food – there are plenty of chains around – catering no doubt to tourists from all over the world – but there are some great indie places if you look for them. For a weekday lunch (don’t try at the weekend or half term) I recommend a trip to Sally Lunn’s Tea Room. This place is absolutely a tourist hot spot but I really enjoyed my trip solely for the history! Sally Lunn was a Huguenot baker who developed the ‘bath bun’ which is kind of like a big brioche. The building is one of the oldest in Bath and the tea rooms are split over three floors with a very strange little museum in the basement which actually houses the original kitchen.
The food is tasty but by no means gourmet – choose to eat here to enjoy the history and atmosphere rather than for a fine dining experience. That said, everything is made in-house and the quality is high. The daytime menu includes soups and a range of sweet and savoury topped buns. There are also bigger more substantial ‘trencher’ dishes (with the traditional bread plate).
My advice – go for the traditional bun and a pot of tea for two. We had the traditional ham & piccalilli and the welsh rarebit special with cheese, mushrooms, smoked bacon and homemade chutney. The buns themselves (or as I’d call them ‘cobs’) taste like a big light and fluffy brioche, really tasty. Everything is homemade and both the piccalilli and chutney were really delicious. However, the salad was a bit of nothing and the prices are a little more than usual lunch prices (£7-9 on average).
There are plenty of tea blends to choose from too, no doubt set up for tourists but equally lovely for us too. We went with the Sally Lunn’s blend, made from a mix of Indian, Ceylon and African teas. It was delicious, not too strong but with a slightly more perfumed flavour than English Breakfast.
Visit Sally Lunn’s for yourself: