Tea at the Regency tea room
Teas to die for:
Sally Lunn’s: Bath’s oldest house (c.1482) still turns out some of the most delicious, diet-busting delicacies. Go for afternoon tea, a candlelit dinner (the night we ate there the special was a filling lamb rump served on trenches of bread– but we managed to save room for the delectable treacle pie and just a bite of their refreshing lemon-lime ice cream cake) or just pop in for the Sally Lunn Bun, (similar to a brioche) a long standing Bathonian fave. Before leaving, peek into the cellar kitchen and see where the young Huguenot baker created her first Bath bun.
Another not-to-be-missed spot for lunch or tea is the Regency Tea Room, on the second floor of the Jane Austen Centre. My sis had the full “Tea with Mr. Darcy” and could barely finish a healthy slab of chocolate cake after wolfing down tea sammies, scones served with jam and not one but two lil’ pots overflowing with clotted cream. For some bizarre reason, I was off sweets that day, so chose ‘Mr. Bennet’s Rich Tasty Toasty.” I don’t know who Mr. Bennet is but he sure can work magic with West country ham and farmhouse cheddar. The charming waitresses in their period serving girl costumes greatly add to the whole experience.
Sated, we moseyed down the steep stairs just in time for a highly entertaining talk by one of the knowledgeable docents, who painted a very honest picture of Jane’s unhappy stay in Bath. After browsing the permanent exhibit filled with clothing, jewelry and furniture from the period, sprinkled with illuminating quotes from Jane’s writings, we felt a much deeper understanding of the author, plus it makes for a fascinating afternoon, whether you’re a Janeites (as fans of the writer are called) or not.
Other good eateries:
No wonder the Pump room was considered the social heart of Bath for more than two centuries. It’s so civilized to be able to enjoy your meal in a gorgeous interior, under a huge crystal chandelier, surrounded by fresh flower arrangements and live music by the Pump Room jazz trio. I don’t care what Jane thought, we would have loved Bath in the18th century. We actually drank a glass (ok, just a sip) of the spa water gurgling up from the healing waters below. Warm and mildly odiferous, it contains 43 minerals which certainly gave us a healthful glow!
Tip: They offer a perfect girls day out package, which includes 2 hour session at Thermae Bath Spa, a ticket to the Roman Baths and a 3 course lunch in the Pump Room.
Enjoy sophisticated dining in a relaxed atmosphere at the Olive Tree restaurant located in the refurbished basements meandering under the four Georgian townhouses that make up the sleekly stylish Queensberry Hotel. Chef Nick Brody’s eclectic flavor combinations using locally sourced farm fresh ingredients rule. The food is not only tasty, but beautifully presented, exemplified by my Risotto of Portland Crab accompanied by a Courgette Flower stuffed with seafood sasuage-almost too pretty to eat.
The semi-sweet Cheddar Strawberry Charlotte with Strawberry Sorbet left me with plenty to dream about.
We loved the lobby’s sophisticated aubergine color palette, chunky sofas and oversized canvases, so we snuck a peak at the guest rooms and they soooo work for our next stay.
Unfortunately we ran out of meals and couldn’t partake at Jamie’s (as in Oliver) Italian, a new restaurant located in a gorgeous old building filled with gorgeous young people who appeared to be loving the simple rustic food. We did manage a walk-thru and the oversized planks laden with primo looking antipasto left us drooling for more.