Blooming Beautiful Bath

In celebration of Mike’s Birthday I decided to book a night for the two of us in Bath. Mike had not been to the city since he was very young and it has been a fair few years since I had been myself, so it felt like the perfect get-away from London.

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I am so glad we made the trip because I had completely forgotten what an absolutely beautiful city Bath is! No wonder the whole city is a listed world heritage site. Everywhere you go is just drop dead gorgeous.

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The whole setting was made even nicer by some lovely warm weather and all the spring blossoms that had came out in time for our arrival!

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We took an early train from London on Saturday morning and arrived by midday in Bath. We walked to our lovely hotel, Villa at Henrietta Park, and checked in.

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This small boutique hotel was perfect for our stay in Bath. It is located in the centre of Bath, just around the corner from the iconic Pulteney Bridge, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle that you are able to relax.

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The rooms are very nicely decorated and the beds are huge. You can’t wait to dive in!

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After checking in and dropping off our coats – it was so warm outside we didn’t need them – we headed to an Italian restaurant, Sotto Sotto, for lunch.

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When looking for places to eat in Bath, Sotto Sotto consistently came out as a top recommendation, so I knew it was a place we could not miss out on.

Luckily it didn’t disappoint! Delicious, simple Italian food as good as they make in Italy. They even had gluten free pasta for me!

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The staff were so accommodating, we even got a few recommendations for our trip to Italy in the Spring!

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If you are ever in Bath, make sure to put Sotto Sotto on your list, just be sure to book in advance, they generally get booked up quite quickly!

After finishing our meal we headed out into the sunshine to check out the sites. We popped in and out of the shops.

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Bath has some great vintage shops and boutiques.

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We made our way to the Royal Crescent, a row of thirty terraced houses laid out in an arch.

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It is famous for being one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the UK.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these as your home?

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We then spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Bath’s beautiful parks, including Green Park and Sydney gardens.

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As well as stopping into Sally Lunn’s for a Bath bun in the late afternoon.
It felt almost rude to consider going to Bath without a visiting to Sally Lunn’s, which is a bit of a Bath institution. Although it is a little bit of a tourist trap, it is still worth a trip to get your delicious bun to take away.

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After resting our tired feet back at the hotel watching an episode of The Replacement (I would strongly recommend this BBC mini series if you have not watched it before!), we wandered into town for some pre-dinner drinks at Opium Bar. Tucked away under a bridge, this intimate and quirky bar serves up some mean cocktails.


For dinner, we went to a Spanish restaurant next door to Sotto Sotto, La Perla (not to be mistaken with the lingerie brand!).

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Set underground, like Sotto Sotto, the setting was lovely and intimate and the food was tasty. We particularly liked the scallops and squid!

Although both restaurants were lovely, if we had to choose a winner between the two, it would be without a doubt Sotto Sotto.

The next morning, we woke up to another beautiful sunny day in Bath.

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We had heard good things about a hipster brunch joint, Hunter & Sons, so decided to skip breakfast at the hotel and head back into the city centre.

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We were greeted with delicious coffee and perfectly cooked eggs, what more could you ask for?

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As it was a Sunday morning and the city was still relatively quiet, after brunch Mike and I took a climb up one of the many hills surrounding the city centre to Lansdown Crescent and Hedgemead Park to get a view of city below.

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The streets were just as charming outside of the city centre as they were inside of it.

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Before catching our train back to London, we made sure to take back some sweets as souvenirs. Stopping in at Maison Georges Larnicol for some chocolates. A French chocolatier in the middle of Bath.

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The chocolates are sold by weight, so you get to pick and choose from numerous types and flavours of chocolates. They were delicious and reminded me of the amazing chocolatier we went to in Amboise twelve months earlier.

They also have an amazing selection of Easter eggs to choose from.

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A perfect weekend trip from London. We had such a lovely stay in this beautiful city, and I can’t wait to go back again soon!

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Steph xo

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Girls Weekend in Amsterdam

A couple of weekends ago, Maria and I went to Amsterdam to visit our university friend, Carolyn, who moved to the Netherlands from London last summer.

We had a wonderful weekend, albeit a rainy one, wandering around the beautiful Amsterdam canals and catching up over long meals!

We arrived late on Friday night, so caught up over a cup of tea before hitting the hay, ready to wake up and take on Amsterdam the next morning.

Saturday was a rainy morning, but that wasn’t going to stop us from exploring! After a quick breakfast at home, where we tested out the local breakfast Hagelslag, basically chocolate sprinkles on toast (delicious!), we headed into the centre to the Van Gogh Museum.

Van Gog Museum Amsterdam

Although the museum is a bit busy, being very popular among tourists and locals alike, it is a must see spot for any visitor to the city. Just make sure to book in advance so you can skip the queue!

The museum is home to over 200 paintings and 500 drawings of Vincent van Gogh.

Van Gogh Museum Art

The whole place is a feast for the eyes. It is amazing how many pieces of work van Gogh  completed in his short life, which ended in tragic circumstances in 1890  at the age of just 37.

After touring the museum, we headed to lunch close by at a place called Blushing.

Blushing Amsterdam

A great cafe for a light meal if you are near the Museum Quarter. The restaurant is full of nutritious juices, salads and sandwiches.

Blushimg Amsterdam Lunch

Blushing Amsterdam Green Juice

The place is bustling and the staff are very friendly.

After lunch we walked to Van Stapele Koekmakerij for our dessert. Carolyn had been raving about this place, so we were glad it did not disappoint.

Amsterdam Famous Cookies

Van Stapele Koekmakerij is a famous and historic cookie shop  that has been based in Amsterdam for many years. It’s famous for making only one type of cookie, according to a recipe developed by Vera van Stapele and her team while attempting to create the ‘perfect cookie’.

Amsterdam Cookie

The end result is outstanding-  a double chocolate cookie with a creamy white chocolate gooey surprise at the centre. Yummy!

We couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Amsterdam eating cookie

Amsterdam cookies

Passing by the Amsterdam flower market (Bloemenmark), where you will find tulips and in every colour, we headed into the centre.

Amsterdam Tulip

The rest of the afternoon was spent dashing in and out of beautiful cafes, boutiques and vintage shops in the De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets).

Rainy Canal in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Shopping

Our favourite shops were Scotch & Soda, Marc O’Polo and Cinq Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Flowers

Amsterdam Boutique

This quaint area is one of the most beautiful in Amsterdam, running along Amsterdam’s grandest canals, including the Pinsengracht, Keizersgracht and the Herengracht.

Amsterdam Jorddan

In the sixteenth century, the Dutch government levied property taxes based on the width of each house, and the results were tall, skinny houses that line the city centre, giving Amsterdam its iconic look. The narrowest home is rumoured to be only around 80 cm wide!

Amsterdam Canal

Carolyn and Steph Amsterdam

There are also great food shops. Amsterdam is famous for its cheese!

Amsterdam Cheese Shop

For dinner, we went to a traditional French restaurant, Le Petit Latin. A simple menu, with only six starters and six mains that were read out to us by a lovely French maître d’.

The food was tasty and the wine was delicious!

French Dinner Amsterdam

French food

We ended our evening with another walk around the city centre. The canals are just as beautiful at night!

Canals at Night Amsterdam

The next day we slept in and went for lunch near Carolyn’s home at Dignita, definitely my favourite restaurant of the trip.

This hipster cafe, served up all the classics: poached eggs, avocado on toast, coconut yogurt and granola with great coffee to boot. There are plenty of gluten free options too!

Dignita Brunch Amsterdam

Coconut Dignita

With just a few hours left before we had to catch our flight back to London the girls headed to the Anne Frank Museum, while I decided to walk around the Jordaan.

Amsterdam Rainy Canal

The Jordaan was originally a working-class neighbourhood, a base for local craftsmen and artists, but it has become one of the most desirable areas in the Netherlands in more recent times. I can see why – the area is very charming!

Amsterdam Jorddan Canal wandering

It is home to many art galleries and markets, and is also dotted with speciality shops and restaurants.

Dutch Tulip Museum Amsterdam

Tulip Seeds

And just like that our Amsterdam weekend came to an end.

A lovely couple days in a beautiful city with some of my favourite people!

Steph xo