I adore Bath for many, many reasons. Firstly, it’s the home of the absolutely wonderful Magalleria – stockists extraordinaire – as well as Mr B’s – one of the UK most delightful book stores. There are Jane Austen connections aplenty (even if her relationship with the city was a touch tempestuous), healing waters, afternoon tea destinations worth travelling for (case in point, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa) and a rather inspiring local creative community – we’ve stumbled upon more than a few contributors in this town, making Society Cafe and Colonna & Small’s our temporary offices on multiple occasions (coffee lovers take note).
When you love a city this intensely you find yourself venturing there repeatedly – which means you’re often in search of rather inviting places to rest your head. And our latest find is a grand one indeed, especially if you have a fondness for fine fare, cocktails with character and a location that is as central as can be. Found, as the name suggest, right beside the magnificent Bath Abbey (when England’s first King was crowned … fun fact) and a mere amble from those much-adored Roman Baths, you walk into this stone structure to find a hotel positively brimming with art and personality.
Built from three converted Georgian townhouses, The Abbey Hotel is filled with works from the private collection of its previous owners; picture a vibrant combination of Picasso prints, vintage maps and contemporary wonders. These are most striking in the appropriately named ArtBar, with boats covetable lighting features and a cocktail list you’ll find yourself all to keen to make your way through. Here the inventive tipples taste as delicious as they look; delightful, creative indulgences that will not cost you much more than your cognitive facilities (temporarily).
Artistic flourishes elevate the hotel’s 62 rooms and while these are perfectly cosy it’s the restaurant, Allium, that is the true standout. Modern artworks are ever present but there is also an Old World richness to the space thanks to the bold colours and dramatic wooden tables. This is the domain of chef Rupert Taylor and his dishes are perfectly British and suitably magical. Flavours are inventively balanced and at times a touch unexpected, the hearty winter dinner I feasted upon (featuring venison, parsnip puree and beetroot carpaccio) remaining surprisingly light and deliciously moorish. The experience is enhanced further by Allium’s wine list. You’ll inevitably fall asleep feeling totally sated and wake thrilled to discover that breakfast awaits.
Should you require a spot of post-feasting pampering pay a visit to No 15 Great Pulteney – the hotel’s sister property that’s equally art-besotted – and spend an afternoon in their spa, before proceeding to the lesser-explored Holburne Museum and then wander along the canal to keep those holiday vibes flowing. Do this and I’m sure you’ll soon agree that Bath is utterly worthy of adoration.
To discover more, pay a visit to the hotel’s website by clicking here.