Friday, 26 December 2014

Bring in the New Year with a Viennese Concert and a Luxury Break in Bath

Start as you mean to go on. And what could be better than starting the year with a luxury break in Bath and a spectacular New Year’s Concert.

Begun in 1939, the original Viennese New Year’s Concert has become famous around the world. Over the years its popularity and reputation has grown to such an extent that it has counted such prodigious guests among its audiences as members of royalty and famous names such as the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Now the demand to see the concert is so great that tickets need to be pre-registered for a year in advance and the concert’s worldwide broadcast figures in 2012 reached an estimated 50 million across 73 countries.  An impressive achievement, but nothing compares to hearing music live.

So naturally we in Bath are delighted to be welcoming back our own Viennese concert on New Year’s Day. For twenty-one years now the Bath Forum has played host to this gem of a classical music extravaganza and this year promises to be another afternoon of delights. The renowned London Gala Orchestra will be performing a collection of polkas, waltzes and arias and accompanying skilled soprano Helen Massey and tenor Andrew Wicks. All this as well as traditional favourites such as the Blue Danube, a rousing rendition of the Radetzky March and, of course, a traditional Scottish piper as a finale.   

At Dukes Hotel we are certainly looking forward to the celebrations. We’re lucky to be on Great Pulteney Street which is just a five minute level walk into town so our luxury guest house is the perfect place to stay during your break in Bath. Convenience comes with a city centre location, whilst also being a relaxing escape, and a good distance from any clubs and the late night revelers.

On the big night from our windows you’ll be able to see the fireworks as they go up but with the added bonus of being near a roaring fire and all the luxury and comfort that Dukes is eager to provide. We strive to offer a real Regency experience in the comfort of a grand period townhouses.

In the morning, after a refreshing night’s sleep in one of our sumptuous Georgian bedrooms, a delicious breakfast awaits. Before you head out to explore Bath you’ll be able to choose from our succulent breakfast menu which our chef will prepare to your exact specifications. Pick from our cooked to order selections including smoked salmon, locally made sausages and finest black pudding. In our continental options we offer a range of chilled yoghurts, pastries and fresh fruit. Or, even better, try a little of everything.

An escape to see the New Year Viennese Spectacular is a must for anyone with a passion for classical music and is a great way to bring the New Year in style in the beautiful city of Bath. Tickets can be purchased online from Bath Box Office, or by phone via 01225 463362. 

However you’re spending your New Year, we hope we can welcome you to Dukes Hotel for a stay in Bath soon.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Taking A Short City Break in Bath - The Birth of The Weekend Getaway

Going away for the weekend to a beautiful city like Bath is one of life’s little highlights; something to look forward to whilst you’re stuck at work all week or battling through a mountain of housework. A short city break is the perfect thing to look forward to – a new horizon to help you get you through it all. It hasn’t always been this way though. In fact, our Grade I listed guesthouse was completed only shortly before the fashion for weekend getaways really took off. 

Bath has always been a popular tourist destination, thanks to its healing waters and historic spa town status, but it wasn’t until 1840 that Bath became a popular location for a weekend escape. Before 1840, the city played host to those visitors who would rent apartments and stay for weeks on end in order to enjoy the season of dancing and social occasions that Bath was renowned for. Travelling by horse and carriage (as was the only available means of transport at that point), along miles of dusty roads, took a long time so it wasn’t practical to come for a holiday of less than a week. And, only the aristocracy and landed gentry could afford the time and expense.

However, in 1840 Bath Spa railway station was completed. It’s thanks to the railway network that a far wider proportion of the population could now travel in safety, and more often, all for relatively little expense – certainly far less than previously. Doctors began to prescribe “a change of air” for increasing numbers of patients’ health, now that it was a viable option, and spa towns and seaside resorts saw visitor numbers boom as their advice was taken. Suddenly a whole world of possibilities was opened up to the general public and they took advantage of the chance for a relaxing short break in an exciting new town.

Bath was a popular choice. Its impressive Georgian architecture in clean white stone, its many beautiful formal gardens and its rich Roman history drew visitors from across the country. In addition to all that the city itself had to offer, Bath was also an ideal base from which to visit surrounding places such as Stonehenge or Weston-super-Mare.

In 1987 the city became a world heritage site and today it welcomes over a million staying visitors and over 3.8 million day visitors annually. They flock to experience the culture and history, as well as to enjoy more modern recreational activities such as watching the rugby or spending a luxury weekend in the Thermae Spa. 

With so many things to see and do in Bath, guests needed great accommodation to come back to. At Dukes Hotel we try to recreate some of that Regency splendor with our luxury bedrooms and period d├ęcor. Bath is a city to escape to and we aim to help you do just that. We’re just a five minute level walk from the centre – located on the historic Great Pulteney Street – so when you’re tired out from a day spent exploring, a revitalising glass of wine and a roaring fire are only a few steps away. With the thought of all the self indulgence, what could make the working week go quicker?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Stay in Bath and Wish Jane Austen Happy Birthday

Jane Austen is one of the most famous figures in history to have stayed in Bath. She visited often in her youth and lived in the city between 1801 and 1806. Bath plays a part in all of her novels and taking a tour of the city to do some location spotting is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

The city’s magnificent Georgian buildings, built from unique Bath Stone, are still as impressive today as they were when they were first completed around the time of the 18th century. If you are booking a stay in Bath, the city is a true Regency gem and it’s easy to imagine yourself in one of Austen’s novels as you take a stroll past the Royal Crescent or sip tea in the Pump Rooms.

If the weather is less clement and taking an exploratory wander about the town needs to wait until conditions are more favourable then that’s no problem either. Her connections to Bath live on not only in her novels but also through local attractions such as the Jane Austen Centre; a great place to visit if you’re a fan of her work or curious about her life.  

In addition to this, as well as hosting an annual Jane Austen Festival each September – where visitors from across the world can come to take part in costumed processions, book readings, and Regency balls – this year Bath plays host to an evening of celebrations on the night of her birthday, December 16th. 

Who could forget the iconic image of Colin Firth striding dripping wet across the grounds of Pemberley? But another heart-throb from the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Adrian Lukis, who played the devilish Mr Wickham, will be visiting Bath along with well-known actress Caroline Langrishe to discuss all things Austen. Also on offer will be seasonal music, the delightful singing of Rosie Lomas, and plenty of mince pies and mulled wine to enjoy in the atmospheric surroundings of the Masonic Hall. 

Just five minutes level walk away at Dukes Hotel we hope to be welcoming guests into yet more Regency luxury. Our boutique Grade I listed guesthouse sits within two conjoined Georgian townhouses on the historic Great Pulteney Street, so it’s the perfect place to stay to immerse yourself in the Regency atmosphere.  It’s close enough to the city centre to be in the heart of all that’s going on whilst also providing an idyllic peaceful escape to return to.

During a winter stay in Bath be sure to also pay a visit to the outdoor ice rink in Victoria Park and to catch the Christmas lights. There’s plenty to enjoy so we hope you can make the celebrations and that we will see you soon!

Follow the link for more information on Jane Austen’s birthday evening.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Breakfast......Our Most Important Meal of your Day !

Possibly the best thing about waking up at Dukes Hotel is knowing that you’ve been promised a luxury bed and breakfast. After a relaxing night’s sleep in one of our beautiful Regency rooms you can look forward to a truly delectable feast. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it deserves to be treated as such. So take a holiday from the hectic pace of everyday life with a stay at our boutique bed and breakfast in Bath. No more grabbing a slice of toast on the run, at Dukes Hotel you can take your time.

At Dukes, breakfast is an experience to be savoured. We’ve searched the length and breadth of the country to find the finest ingredients to make our menu the best it can be – and we’re pretty proud of what we’ve found. 

For example, it’s not everyday that you can come downstairs to be greeted with freshly cooked Stornoway black pudding from the Isle of Lewis. Made by the Charles Macleod family, it has been recognised as one of the world’s finest gourmet black puddings. 

If you’re after a traditional English breakfast then you won’t be disappointed either. Our dry cured bacon and our succulent pork sausages are from the wonderful local butchers at Terry and Son of Bath. They’re fresh, they’re local and they’re utterly delicious (the sausages and bacon, not the butchers...). 

Eggs to start your day are always a popular choice and you can have yours prepared just the way you like them by our dedicated in-house chef. Whether you’re after poached, fried, scrambled, soft boiled, an omelette, or even luxurious scrambled with slices of our Gloucestershire-smoked salmon, your wish is our command. 

In addition to our smoked salmon, we can offer a wide variety of dietary delights. There’s lemon and herb grilled kippers from Paignton in Devon, a delicious bowl of steaming Scottish porridge, and homemade pancakes with seasonal fruit compote and Canadian maple syrup, to name but a few.

Then of course there’re also the classic favourites of lightly buttered toast with a choice of rich jams, fresh fruit salad, chilled yoghurts and pastries freshly baked in-house that morning to choose from. 

To drink, we provide you with anything from chilled orange, apple or grapefruit juice to Twining’s herbal and English Breakfast teas, fresh cold milk and hot perculatated coffee. With so much to choose from you’ll be able to enjoy a different delicious breakfast every morning, whether your stay in Bath is just for a weekend or for a week. 

At Dukes Hotel we strive to go above and beyond to make every aspect of our guests’ bed and breakfast the best it can possibly be. So why not come and visit us at our atmospheric Georgian guesthouse and we’ll go out of our way to make your visit to Bath one your taste buds will never forget!