Although we were in Bath, England for one day, two nights, one evening and one morning let’s just pretend that we were there for one day because it makes this post a lot more practical. For instance I don’t recommend sitting next to the Abbey for 20 minutes debating what to have for lunch. Marcus will just never understand how sometimes I just don’t feel like a certain kind of food. So onward great adventurers (I’ve named you my dear readers) to our perfect (slightly fictional*) day in Bath.
We got up and out early (before 9 AM), probably due to jet lag although I’m still not quite sure how that makes sense (9 AM in England is 2 AM in Denver). We arrived to a nearly deserted City Centre allowing Marcus to take photos of the front of the Bath Abbey without all the other tourists half heads and reflectively white legs mucking things up. We also had the privilege of listening to what must be the local busker guild deciding who was assigned to which corner for the day.
With initial morning photos out of the way we went straight for the main attraction right at opening time. The Roman Baths. At first I was nervous that it was all hype and that The Roman Baths would, well, suck. My fears were enhanced by discovering that the “Roman” statues I was looking at were made in the 1894 for tourists and were not, in fact, Roman.
Thankfully I was very wrong. We were there so early it wasn’t initially clear that tourists were allowed to actually go right near the actual Roman bath area. I also didn’t realize until I was there that the vast amount of the ruins and museum is underground (because the modern ground level is much higher). We meandered around for a good couple of hours, it was good to be there early because by the time we left it was feeling a bit crowded. You have the opportunity to drink the water at the end and we did..while in Roman Baths… it tasted like blood, at least to me. Secret vampire water? Perhaps.
That leads us to LUNCH! After the Yelp/Urban Spoon consultation of the decade (which isn’t part of the PERFECT day) we ended up at a tasty spot with outdoor seating (since it was a perfect day it was obviously sunny and warm enough to sit outside) called Market. I had bruchetta and grilled chicken strips and Marcus had a burger. I know my food was good and I assume Marcus’ was too.
The next adventure of the day was to go on a free tour walking of Bath. That’s right FREE, like they won’t even take tips, free. All we had to do to partake in the tour was show up in front of the sign near the entrance to The Roman Baths by 2 PM (or 10:30 AM). The tour was 2 hours long and we saw many of the major sites of Bath including the Royal Crescent and The Circus. All while learning about history, my favorite thing to do on vacation.
With the tour over at 4 it was a little early to grab dinner but that’s never stopped us before. Thanks to another Yelp recommendation (I see why people use this) for “British Pub Food” we headed of the The Raven, ready to be perplexed by British cuisine.
First though we had to be perplexed even how to obtain British food. Attention Americans: There will be no sign that says “Order Here” just go to the bar and tell the bartender what food you want, you’ll get an identifying device (sometimes) and then you can find a seat. (Noodles & Co. did not invent this after all) Finding a seat posed a new problem. The Raven is rather small and extremely popular. After standing awkwardly at the bar for 15 or so minutes, during which no one got up and left, I decided to try my luck. I knew that in Germany if someone is at a table but they aren’t using all the spots it is appropriate to ask if it is free (which is to say, can I sit here?) so I just went for it (All of Europe is the same, right?). Whether I was committing a faux pas or not a really nice couple allowed us to sit with them and we ended up talking for a good hour or so with them, turns out they love the US and we are from there, so we had that in common already.
During our visit with our new friends our food arrived and OMG, I think I might be British. I had the Raven Ale Pie and because I was too consumed with stuffing my face and celebrating the fact that I got MY VERY OWN dish of gravy there is no photo but the good people of Yelp have posted pictures of its glory and while normally I’d just steal them the memory of the deliciousness is making me feel rather holy so just click if you need visual proof. Marcus got the Deerstalker Pie which is a big duh for anyone who knows him. It was wonderful too. Oh did I mention potatoes? I love potatoes, especially those of the mashed variety. Did I finish them all? I really tried but I had to leave 2-3 bites in the plate (I really should start carrying a cooler for leftover emergencies). I would go back to Bath just to eat the Raven Ale Pie again.
During epic-stuff-face-fest our new friends left to meet some old friends and we were joined (so it wasn’t a faux pas) by a pair of young fellas on a drinking quest. I never quite got all of the rules but they had a grid with letters and they had to drink ales/beers that started with the letters perhaps to make a beer Bingo. It’s still unclear but they were also very pleasantly buzzed and we were feeling satisfied with ourselves for making international friends.
With food babies ingested, not to mention a little drunk from the cider, we headed back to our accommodations, quite pleased, with our perfect day in Bath.
Other things that happened but don’t make the cut for the perfect day:
- Fashion Museum: It was surprisingly interesting, even for a gal not that into fashion. definitely a good inside activity for bad weather days.
- 1 Royal Crescent: A Georgian home, where you’ll learn how men pooped in dining rooms during meals. Interesting but I think I’m a bit of a historical house snob so I didn’t LOVE it.
- Bath Abbey: Technically “free” but with a good guilt you into donating entrance. I was not wowed with what was inside (spend your time looking at the free outside). I wanted to make it on the tour up the bell tower but missed so with better planning it could have had more potential.
- The Mint Room: Indian food near our hotel. Good, really good but not Raven Ale Pie, good.
*While we may have not done things in this exact order, we did do all of them. One could do all of this in a day if that’s all the time one has.*