A crafty trip to Bath, UK
This post contains gifted experiences marked by a *, although I was under no obligation to include them in this guide and all opinions are my own!
Fancy a trip to Bath's Indies, craft spots and best gelato? Beautiful Bath is well known for is gorgeous Georgian architecture, links to Jane Austen and (bonus) being only 1.5hrs from London by train, it's long been a heritage hotspot and destination for overseas travellers too. But if you are looking to add to your trip with a few crafty treats (who isn't?!) and want to support Bath's independent makers and shops too, I've put together a suggested itinerary below for 48 hours in Bath!
Use this as a starting point, or pick and choose a few of the sights, it's totally up to you! This is of course not as exhaustive guide, but you can find loads more info at Visit Bath, www.visitbath.co.uk, who kindly gifted me parts of this trip!
Morning shopping at Wool Bathwww.woolbath.co.uk
First thing's first, you'll want your yarn hit Wool Bath is one of the friendliest and helpful wool shops I've had the pleasure of popping into (and there have been a few..). If you are into indie dyed yarn, then have an entire wall dedicated to the good stuff, including yarn from local dyers! More of an acrylic girl or guy? They've got that too, plus tools, books, loads of samples for inspiration and a range of courses you can book on to to brush up on your skills. Oh, and a super cute dog and staff who are more than happy to wind skeins for you to take away! Also check out: the fabric and quilting shop opposite, Country Threads.
Glass Blowing at Bath Aqua Glass*
A definite crowd pleaser and fun group activity, be sure to visit Bath Aqua Glass in the heart of the Artisan Quarter to blow your own bauble, and watch a demonstration of this age-old craft. The way the glassblowers work the molten medium is fascinating in it's own right, and if you blow a bauble today you can come back and collect it tomorrow! If you don't fancy making your own, there's also a shop filled with treasures to browse.
Get your interiors fix at Graham and Green*www.grahamandgreen.co.uk
This gorgeous Indie store is practically opposite Bath Aqua, so it would be rude not to pop in on your way past now, wouldn't it? The whole store is packed with relaxed luxe pieces, combining British charm and elegant French furniture, with a whole host of other electic influences thrown in. I was particularly taken with the rug selection and seriously considered if I could bring one of each cushion home with me on the train.
Lunch at Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen*www.acornrestaurant.co.uk
All that crafting is exhausting, make sure you pause and refill at Acorn. I can't rave enough about their donkey carrots (carrots deemed suitable only for donkeys by the rest of the food world, due to their size and looks!). The restaurant describes itself as pushing the boundaries of vegetarian cuisine. Now, I'm not a veggie but I can tell you that every dish tasted sublime. Enjoy too their calm interiors, cosy setting and attention to detail with tableware and artisan-made crockery.
A Gelato Stop at Swoon*www.swoononaspoon.co.uk
It is a fact universally acknowledged, that every good day out must include gelato/ice cream/a frozen pudding of some kind (delete as appropriate). Thankfully, you can stay in Bath for this hit of the Italian good stuff from Swoon. Just look at my happy preggo face to know how good it is. They also offer vegan and GF options, and regularly feature guest gelato combos. If you happen to see a Bath Bun X Swoon guest gelato on the menu when you visit, you can thank me for that suggestion .
Treat yourself at Grace and Ted*
Wipe down those gelato hands, we're popping over the road to handle some seriously swoon worthy fashion finds at Grace and Ted next. An indie specialising in the resale of pre-owned designer clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women, it's a veritable treasure trove of goodies waiting to be discovered. If you are a UK size 4 with a slightly larger budget than me, please buy these beautiful shoes
Wine, Dine and snooze at the Abbey Hotel*www.abbeyhotelbath.co.uk
Alright pals, we've packed a lot in today, it's time to put your feet up and enjoy some dinner, drinks and seriously good Zs at The Abbey Hotel. Recently renovated, the restaurant at Koffmann & Mr White's and the ArtBar next door are boasting gorgeous interiors and delicious food. (The loos are pretty fancy too - see the pic ). I can also personally praise the mocktails the bar staff were only too happy to whip up for me in the ArtBar after dinner. Very *nearly* as good as the real thing!
Early morning sightseeing
Here's my biggest tip for you - want to take in the sights of Bath without the crowds? Pop put for a pre-breakfast stroll before the city starts filling up again with day trippers. Pulteney Weir and Bath Abbey are on the Abbey Hotel's doorstep (hence the name ). Enjoy a crowd-free stroll for half an hour before refuelling for day 2.
Spend the morning in Topping Books*www.toppingbooks.co.uk
Depending on if your cocktails last night were the real deal or not, you may be in need of a slower start to your second day! I can't think of a better place to while away the morning than Topping Books. With over 45,000 titles, free tea and coffee and the most helpful and knowledgeable staff, actually it's hard NOT to spend hours in there. Swinging from ladders pretending you are in Beauty and the Beast is not necessarily encouraged, but no one frowned upon it when our group did Don't miss: head to the back left of the shop for the craft and interiors books.
Flower Ribbon Headdress Workshop at VV Rouleaux*www.vvrouleaux.com
Post refreshing walk, brekkie and tea and books, we're ready for some crafting again! The highlight of my trip to Bath was definitely this gifted workshop at VV Rouleaux. We were shown how to make ribbon flowers, and attach them with feathers, wire and florist's tape to headbands. I had the BEST time creating a Carmen Miranda/Frieda Kahlo-inspired fruit and flower number, then wearing it around Bath for the rest of the day (much to the dismaying glances of the other more serious travel bloggers on our trip ). If you don't have time for a workshop, be sure to pop in and browse the rows of ribbons, braids, trimmings, fluff, and other pretties.
Lunch at Beckford Bottle Shop*
Your stomach's not wrong, it's time for more food. My foodie highlight of my whole trip to Bath, I have NO hesitation in recommending Beckford Bottle Shop for lunch. Their description of themselves as offering 'inventive small plates' doesn't really do justice to the mouthwatering delights they serve up. A group of 2-3 could order 5-6 plates and be gloriously full for the rest of the day. I also appreciated the range of pasteurised blue and soft cheeses they were able to offer me, catering for my pregnancy food requirements. Don't Miss: the gorgeous snug downstairs, especially if visiting in Autumn or Winter. Choose from one of the 250 bottles of wine they have in store and while away a happy afternoon on the crushed orange sofas with the wood fire roaring.
Final pit stop at Good Day Cafe*www.gooddaycoffee.co.uk
Thought you'd had enough food and drink for the day? You were wrong. You need to pop to Good Day Cafe if not only to get some Instagrammable snaps in their Plant on Pink interiors. I had a chai latte and a slice of banana bread in a take away box to enjoy on the train on the way home, and it was possibly the best decision I made all weekend
I hope you have enjoyed my guide to Bath's lesser know independents and makers! I'm sure there's still so much for me to explore, and I'd love to hear your recommendations for makers and crafting spots too! Let me know what you think in the comments or head to @lottieandalbert to watch my stories highlights (inc videos) from this trip too! Thanks again to Visit Bath for a wonderful gifted press trip and the 48 hours I spent in this beautiful City!