It feels as though it's been a while since I last wrote up a travel diary, though thankfully the streak has been joyfully ended now that the festive season is upon us! To welcome in the new month, I spent a couple of days with my mother in the beautiful spa town of Bath as one of our annual traditions. After a relaxed journey to the sound of an old instrumental Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas album, we arrived at the Abbey Hotel around the mid-afternoon to find the Apres Ski Bar in full swing outside and streams of people swarming through the entrance area in party hats to reach a Christmas meal/party. I've always said Bath is a city you want to be in come December and this lively welcome very much reminded me why!
Being a freshly renovated and popular hotel in Bath, I was keen to see what had changed since my last visit. It turns out a lot can change in a year! The entire hotel has received a modern update and one that very much makes you feel as though you're staying in a gallery thanks to the 'eclectic collection of art works' seen throughout. On the one hand, I missed some of the more traditional design features I had enjoyed during my last visit, however on the other there's no denying the location has been rejuvenated - particularly the stunning bar area (see Part Two). I adored the polished but cosy decor of the Premium room we had the pleasure of staying in and considering the time of year; it was a stroke of luck to be surrounded by such festive red and burgundy shades!
After unpacking our bags and throwing back the complimentary bottles of water, we headed out to discover Bath's beautiful Christmas markets. With a backdrop of Bath Abbey, the markets are in a prime location and are absolutely not to be missed if you find yourself in the town come December. However, it was seriously unlikely for me to reach the Christmas markets without first being distracted by something that sparkled - consider the season and it may help you understand why it took a few hours for us to reach the traditional wooden chalets! After indulging in some shopping at Anthropologie (check out that gorgeous window display), we stumbled across a wonderfully quirky jewellery stall in Bath's Guildhall Market. British bunting lined the ceiling and old jazz music played softly throughout the historic market; it was impossible not to feel as though you'd been transported to a previous era. One thing is for certain, the compact jewellery store was a total dream to photograph!
The Christmas markets were very similar to those you would find in other cities across England; personable and gift-focussed. Though in all honesty, most of the time my attention went entirely on Bath Abbey; the architecture of that church never fails to take my breath away - it dwarfs everything in a 500m radius! Anyway, I like to think I'm pretty good when it comes to planning, though you can go ahead and guess my mum didn't think so when we realised I'd selected a visit date that saw the Christmas markets close at 7pm. Oops! Though, thankfully we'd managed to soak up plenty of the illuminated chalets by that point... and besides, it was nothing that couldn't be fixed by fudge!
A friend had let me know beforehand about the delicious handmade treats for sale at The Fudge Factory, a shop located just metres away from Bath Abbey. I don't need to be told twice to buy fudge! We took a few chunks of goodness away with us, though my favourite was undoubtedly the white chocolate fudge slice - heaven! In fact, it was so good that after photographing it (see Part Two), I ate the entire chunk in bed that night. I would say I clearly don't make the best decisions when staying in different places, but if overdosing on fudge is wrong, I don't want to be right...
I hope you've enjoyed Part One of my travel diary on the beautiful city of Bath, Part Two will be up at some point during the first half of this upcoming week. In the meantime, if you're considering planning a festive trip to Bath, check out some further information on their Christmas Markets and start daydreaming!