She Noted: When In Bath

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of 17th Century Amsterdam.pngI’m playing catch up on my year with this blog. Never a dull moment when you come around to your resolution just a little late. The boat though, is never missed and I vow to chart this year’s adventures even if they may have happened in January. Ok, especially if they happened in January – because I never need an excuse to pen down my love affair with the beautiful city of Bath.

I wrung in the New Year in style. My family, by which I refer to my Grandma, Grandpa and Mum in this instance (who I grew up living with) have a tradition well-honoured by time. Each New Year’s Day, we’ll celebrate with a cosy pub lunch in the wilds of Oxfordshire. You get your fill of good food and have a little toast – it’s all total merriment and joviality. Not to mention, this sort of gathering sets you up beautifully for the rest of the day.

I’d had a good long think about how I wanted to spend the 1st day of January and who I wanted to spend it with. After next to no deliberation, I settled on treating mother dearest to a Christmas add-on, with love. Bath well and truly has my heart, as a city, I feel it marries together Oxford with London, Edinburgh and the Cotswolds – which is rather magical when you think about it. Not only is it especially literary, but, it’s also soaked in the regency – with enough cobbles and boutiques to keep any true connoisseur happy.

Speaking of hidden gems, I booked us in for a sleepover at Harrington’s Hotel. This townhouse address was tucked away very conveniently, down a little side road with Jolly’s department store a mere stone’s throw away. We’re talking prime location. Filled to the brim with quirky eccentricities and tell-tale britishness, this boutique residence was perfect and not too fussy. Our room was cosy and properly up in the eaves. Overnight, we ordered a room service supper of DELICIOUS homemade soup, warm ciabatta with real butter and two truly scrumptious bakewell slices.

Convival supper sorted, we watched Mrs Doubtfire – which, seeing this again aged 23, was all the more profound and informing. I wouldn’t really call myself a child of divorce, even though my parents just so happen to be divorced. Both have always been around and balanced it all out beautifully. That closing scene certainly resonated and I felt that so many years since the initial release of the film, the message held strong.

Oh, my dear Katie. You know, some parents, when they’re angry, they get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear.
Profundity aside, always let the advise of Mrs Doubtfire warm the cockles of your heart and soul. It’s literally like she’s tucking you in with a kiss to the forehead. Whatever that means.
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The following day mum and I set ourselves up with a hearty breakfast of local goodies served down in a rather jolly drawing room. We were welcomed at the table by a rather dapper, well-turned out gentleman Frenchie. I feel he should be called Ernest. Ernest very much deserved his own spot in this blog.
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Lest we never forget that in 2016 I had a fringe, here’s a lovely photo from that summer of myself outside one of the loveliest places on this earth. As a historian (lesser known feather to my cap), I adore anywhere quintessential and Hands Georgian Tea Rooms (1 Abbey Street, Bath) truly transports you to this genteel other-world…

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If you’re looking for an authentic treat, take tea here. I delight in sugar lumps (who doesn’t?!) and am partial to a well-made scone (there’s a knack to it so you don’t just get a mouthful of bicarb) – and they were out in force here. Bake rate? The scone was perfectly formed, sized and had this delectability. Good cream ratio, I was a happy bunny. Revisiting this spot was definitely a good call.
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There’s a joy to blue and white china, especially when you pair it with mismatched vintage plates and one of those miniature jam jars with a delightful old time label. Having shopped our feet off, taking the moment to pause and be mindful – gently pouring tea from a silver pot, watching it run through the strainer and tinkling a teaspoon about had such value. Every day ought to end with tea really and the ritual of it all is a real treat.
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Our table had an overly indulgent view of the porcelain cabinet – speaking as a girl with an absolute penchant for porcelain. I kid you not, later this year I shall be giving an actual talk on the consumption of porcelain in the 17th and 18th century at my grandmother’s W.I. – an auspicious date for the diary.
Usually, we have this habit of visiting the Jane Austen centre, which I suppose could be another write-up entirely. This time round though, we contented ourselves just by absorbing lovely, lovely Bath. Just perfect for a little indulgence.

Final Thoughts

Today, it’s my mum’s 50th birthday. So, this little piece is very much dedicated to her. Always a delight and forever a giggle, I’m perfectly blessed by having the pleasure of being best friends with my mumsy.

With Love,

Chloë

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