Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Welcome to Bath

Whenever I get back from a trip, people always ask, "Which place was your favorite??"  While it is always nearly impossible to choice a favorite, I would have to say that Bath was my favorite stop on our Scotland, England and Wales adventure.  Bath has a feel all it's own that is very different then the other places we visited.  It was classy and charming, fun and exciting, small and sweet.  I would definitely recommend an outing to Bath if you ever find yourself in England.

We began our time in this one of a kind town by visiting the famous Roman Baths.  During the Roman occupation of Britain, increasingly grand temples and bathing complexes were built. The bath complex in Bath was founded in 75 AD. The healing powers of the goddess Minerva and the mineral-rich water from the spring attracted visitors from across the Roman Empire. 
 The fundamental part of the Roman Baths is the sacred spring. Hot water at a temperature of 860°F rises here at the rate of 240,000 gallons every day and has been doing so for thousands of years. To the ancients, this remarkable phenomenon could only be the work of the gods.

The Sacred Spring

There is an amazing museum connected with the Baths, it was just added in 2011 and cost 5.5 million pounds to build, it is incredibly detailed and extensive.  With the most up to date technology in exhibitions, the museum is filled with tons of different types of ancient Roman artifacts found in and around the baths.  Silly me didn't take any pictures in the museum, I was too excited to get out to the baths themselves.  I sat on the edge of the pool and soaked in the atmosphere, and marveled at how green the bath water is!

After having a splendid time at the baths and adjoining museum, we headed to the well known Grand Pump Room for lunch.  This restaurant is gorgeous and very high class, it is one of city's most elegante places to enjoy stylish, modern British Cuisine.  The atmosphere is breathtaking with the corinthian columns, domed ceiling, ornate glass chandeliers, and live classical music.  Jane Austin wrote about the famous Pump Room in her two novels, Northanger Abby and Persuasion, it was a known meeting place for the upper class during Austin's time period.

Our meal was amazing, every course was unique and delicious.  Upon arrival, we were all given a glass of ice water, and a (blue) glass of the warm, magical and healing bath water from the sacred spring.  I tentatively smelled it before taking a sip, it smelled of... dirty nastiness.  I really didn't want to take a sip, but how could I travel all the way to Bath, England and not partake of the mystical spa water?  I took the tiniest sip and immediately regretted my decision.  It was by far the grossest thing I have ever tasted in my entire life.  So if you happen to have the chance to drink some... just know you have been warned!

After lunch it was time to check into our hotel.  Out of the many hotels we stayed in, the Francis Hotel comes in second, with the Savoy in London taking the number one spot.  This hotel is whimsical, beautiful and all kinds of comfortable.  It reminded me a lot of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.  CLICK HERE to see my post about that hotel, so you can see why I found these two hotels so similar.

When you walk in, you find yourself in a small foyer with a black and white checkered floor.  To your right you have a beautiful, long lobby filled with the most inviting red and blue velvets couches and chairs.

I could not get enough of the wallpapers in every room of this hotel.  They were the most gorgeous wallpapers I have ever seen.

On the left hand side of the lobby is the bar, it compliments the lobby well with similar decor but with some subtle differences.

Then we headed up to our rooms, all the landings in the stair well were decorated in fun and different ways.  This one was my favorite, the silhouettes were made of a black velvet fabric, which added a whole new dimension to the space with it's texture.

This was my room.  Decorated in aqua and purple with strong black and white accents. 

My favorite detail of the room was the framed pastoral scene, hung right above the bed so that guests would have something peaceful and pleasant to look at as they drifted off to sleep.  So silly and whimsical, I just loved it to pieces.

The bathroom was just as fun.  It had a full length picture of the Roman Baths in the shower so I could feel like I had been transported back in time and was soaking in the healing, mineral waters.

In the mornings, we would head down to the dining room that was one floor below the main entrance.

For reals, I could not handle the beauty of the wallpapers!

Documenting the awesomeness of the dining room was a challenge.  It had so many crazy fun details, but they were so spread out that it was hard to capture the feeling of the room.  The mirror wall, pictured below, was one of my favorite parts of the room.

That night we dined in the hotel's restaurant that is located on the main floor, it's different then the dining room where we would eat breakfast.  I sadly didn't take any pictures of their restaurant, but it is very hip and swanky, with a classy hipster vibe to it.  I got this chocolate souffle for dessert and I wished it would never end, and that I could just keep eating it forever and ever.  It was delicious, perfectly gooey in the middle, surrounded by soft cake on the edges.  The perfect way to end such a fabulous day!

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