Bath, Som­er­set

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City breaks re­ally are a marvel­lous idea – all the restau­rants, all the shops, all the things to see and do you could want, and usu­ally just a mere train ride away. But what if that ur­ban respite came with a dose of coun­try charm, the friend­li­ness of a farm­house and the easy com­fort as­so­ci­ated with a ru­ral re­treat? That was the think­ing be­hind our sis­ter mag­a­zine Coun­try Liv­ing’s first ho­tel, which opened this sum­mer in Bath (the sec­ond has just opened in Har­ro­gate, too), with the ethos of be­ing some­where you would ‘es­cape your ev­ery­day’.

And right from the mo­ment you catch sight of it, perched atop a hill over­look­ing the city, a Ge­or­gian man­sion glow­ing with that de­li­cious soft am­ber that Bath stone seems to ra­di­ate, it feels like you’re some­where you can leave daily life be­hind. The vibe is a bit Neptune meets Soho House, all plump, high-backed arm­chairs in peacock blue or um­ber vel­vet, rich indigo or calm­ing sage green walls, Bronte by Moon plaid throws and fa­mil­iar, wel­com­ing Cor­nish­ware mugs. The menu is or­ganic, sea­sonal and lo­cally sourced, the buf­fet breakfast abun­dantly plen­ti­ful and the din­ner a list of Bri­tish clas­sics given hedgerow twists.

But my favourite spot is the bar. En­cased in mar­ble with chic char­treuse tiles and over­look­ing the gen­tly slop­ing gar­dens, sip­ping a G&T from a fish bowl glass, twi­light be­gin­ning to set­tle out­side, it’s here you get a sense of the ho­tel’s ca­sual seren­ity. Of course, it helps if you’ve spent the day in the hot wa­ters of the Ther­mae Bath Spa in town (dis­counts are avail­able through the ho­tel when you book your stay), and feasted on the af­ter­noon tea, per­haps fol­lowed by a nap. You’ll find it hard not to be to­tally re­laxed here. A real home away from home.


Clock­wise from top left: en­joy Bri­tish pro­duce in the el­e­gant Gar­den Room; a warm wel­come awaits; the beau­ti­ful Grade Ii-listed build­ing; Pip’s favourite spot, the chic and invit­ing bar; bed­rooms com­bine coun­try charm with mod­ern lux­u­ries

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