As the proud owner of a five-month old puppy (Instagram here just in case you haven’t met Pepi yet), I am deliberately neglecting the air miles and focusing more on staycations over the next few months. Deep within the rolling green hills of Somerset, Bath has been firmly on my to-do list for a long time now, and so I felt it was a great time to book a winter trip to the historic city through Expedia; one night in a dog-friendly hotel with Pepi in tow.
One thing I should note is that, like London, there are a number of hotels in Bath that won’t accept pets as guests and so picking the right hotel is key. After narrowing down the search with this compulsory parameter, the next factor (naturally) was price. The Expedia app allows you to filter this, while also offering a members discount if you book through the app. We drew up a shortlist of three hotels but in the end settled on the Roseate Villa; a converted townhouse just five minutes’ walk from the city center.
The guesthouse itself was a home away from home, with the welcoming lobby leading up to a beautiful dual staircase that snaked its way to the top floor. Breakfast was served in the front room with plenty of freshly prepared options, and each room is cosy and a great place to retire to after a day out in the cold. As it was a brief city break, we also really appreciated the fact that it was a very short walk to all of the main sights. Most importantly however, it was dog friendly with Henrietta Park conveniently across the road for that early morning walk.
Walking through the city, it became clear very quickly that Bath is a very accessible place. Within half an hour you can cover most of the main sights and there is an almost village-feel to this city with it’s narrow cobbled streets and tall walls. Being Christmas, it was surprisingly busy for a Monday afternoon, but there was a great festive atmosphere as we worked our way around the cathedral through the numerous Christmas stalls. I highly recommend exploring these streets before the end of the year if you can, even if it is just to see the sights and smell the unmistakable smells of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. They markets are also right next to the Roman baths, so you can easily do all of this in one afternoon if you prefer a slightly more relaxed itinerary.
As the evening drew in and the temperature dropped, it was time to hunt for some food; dog-friendly, of course. There are a number of gastropubs on the edge of town which all looked very cosy, but we opted to stay a bit closer to home and make our way to Hall and Woodhouse in the north of the city. Set in the former Bonham’s auction house, this monolithic bar/restaurant is a fantastic place to grab a drink and a bite to eat. Greeted by a winding copper staircase and giant palm tree as you enter, it’s best to make your way to the The Pantry & The Common Room if you have a pooch in tow. Everything on the menu looked incredible, but I can most definitely say that the burger did not disappoint and the chocolate brownie dessert hit the spot when washed down with some rum.
With full bellies and rested legs, we made the short walk back to the Roseate Villa through the city; once again admiring the twinkling lights and cobbled streets. It had been an excellent 24 hours in the Roman city and we had seen so much; yet there was so much more to go back for. The next trip is being pencilled in for spring next year as we speak; perhaps a picnic in one of the numerous parks or a trip down the river.