Saturday, 24 September 2016

Visit Bath and Visit The Great Bath Feast

Bath is just packed with independent cafes, award-winning restaurants, innovative cocktail bars and skilled bakers. It’s often quite hard to choose where to go out to eat when it comes to the evening because there are so many great options. So, considering how choc-a-block Bath is with talented chefs, we’re thoroughly looking forward to the upcoming Great Bath Feast. 

From Saturday the 1st of October to the 9th of October The Great Bath Feast will be giving visitors and locals “the chance to taste new flavours, explore new skills and enjoy new culinary experiences. From independent restaurants, pubs and cafes to local food producers, Bath’s businesses will come together to create a week of gastronomic delights.”

Having seen the programme, we wholeheartedly agree. These are a few of our favourite Great Bath Feast events.   

On October 1st a Japanese Sake tasting evening (in case it’s not something you’ve heard of before; Sake = rice wine) called ‘Flavours of Japan’ will start the feast with style at the Holburne Museum – so nice and near Dukes! A range of sweet, sparkling and aged Sakes will be showcased and Yo! Sushi will be provided delicious bites to go alongside.

From October 1st to October 7th the Pump Room will be taking part in National Champagne Week, so a special champagne bar and terrace will be open offering a range of Champagnes from Lanson – an incredible historic Champagne producer, and a special Champagne tasting duo with complimentary nibbles. For those looking for an even more luxury experience, on October 7th a lavish Champagne cocktail reception followed by a sumptuous four-course dinner (each course paired with a glass of Champagne from the Lanson collection) will be taking place. Though places do need to be booked to avoid disappointment.  

The Great Bath Feast also offers a range of workshops and classes to take part in that look fantastic. On Wednesday the 5th a Mezze evening workshop will be teaching participants how to make the zesty dips and aromatic mini dishes of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Though it’s a tough choice between the Mezze workshop and the chocolate workshop at Newton Farm Foods with artisan chocolatier Nick Shearn, who’ll be teaching guests how to pipe designs, fill truffles and make ganache. The event includes a welcome drink, an explanation of the different types of chocolate and the chocolate-making process, demonstrations, hands-on masterclass, and all chocolate created is yours to take home.

Plus, throughout the whole of the Great Bath Feast the Abbey Churchyard will be hosting the ‘Bath Bites Food & Drink Fair’ which will include a mix of 12 different high-end vendors serving hot and cold food options, while nearby will be a Gin Palace (over 100 different brands to try!).  

Full details of what’s on during The Great Bath Feast and the details on booking tickets for events are at

October: what a time to visit Bath! It’s going to be excellent!  

Friday, 16 September 2016

Visit Bath - What’s On This Week?

Summer may be over (save for the odd heat wave here and there) but that doesn’t mean that the prime time to visit Bath is gone. Now is simply when Bath starts to shift its focus from walking tours and outdoor cinema to literary events and more music recitals, and, of course, the new rugby season. 

As such this week’s blog is a brief summary of some of the top events coming up over the next week. 

Whenever the subject of culture comes up it doesn’t take too long before Shakespeare also appears on the scene. This time is no exception, except that it is because its Shakespeare with a twist. To celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary a collection of witty music and skits, including songs and sketches by Victoria Wood, Alan Bennett, Maureen Lipman, Fry & Laurie, is being performed at Bath’s Theatre Royal from the 19th-24th September. It’s been described as Shakespeare meeting showbiz in a glittering cabaret style musical; one for both Shakespeare newcomers and devotees alike.

Next up are a few meet-the-author events being held by Bath’s independent booksellers, Topping & Company. 

On Monday 19th September Eimear McBride who won the Bailey’s prize for her best-selling novel A Girl is a Half Formed Thing will be in Bath to discuss her new novel The Lesser Bohemians which looks set to be a similar success.

Fans of Doctor Zhivago might like to go to Anna Pasternak’s talk the next night on Tuesday 20th September. Pasternak will be talking about her novel Lara, which tells the story of her great uncle Boris Pastnernak and his literary muse Olga Ivinskaya. The astonishing true story behind the tragedy which led to Pasternak’s masterpiece Doctor Zhivago will finally be told.

The event which is on the day after is for Formula One fans. F1 star Damon Hill will be telling the story of his rise to the top, looking at the golden era of the sport, and talking about taking on Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher in 1996. 

Another event coming up this week that we have to mention is the Harvest Moon Festival which will be taking place at the Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA) on Sunday 18th from 12pm-4pm. Traditionally in many Asian countries this mid-Autumn festival results in families getting together in the evening of the festival (which takes place on the 15th day of the eight month in the lunar calendar each year) having mooncakes and tea while the children play and compare lanterns. To echo this the MEAA has planned a fun-packed event, including craft activities inspired by the moon and storytelling by Martin Maudsley who will unveil a shimmering selection of magical moon myths from around the world.  

So what’s on in Bath this week? In short, plenty!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Highlights From The Jane Austen Festival

This year from the 9th – 18th September Bath is hosting the Jane Austen Festival. Founded in 2000 this will be the 16th Jane Austen Festival which Bath has seen, and as always the programme is filled with events for Jane Austen fans and fans of Bath alike. With this in mind, this week’s blog looks at a few of the different events which are going on as part of the festival that visitors both new and old to Bath might enjoy.  

After the grand promenade on Saturday 10th; always a sight to behold – hundreds of costumed Austen fans marching through the Georgian streets of Bath, there are hourly (from 12:15, tickets £3) shows of a short theatrical version of Pride and Prejudice being shown in the Octagon Room at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. In the tea room next door will be the festival fair where you can have your silhouette cut and your palm read.

Also on Saturday and then again on Sunday are half-hourly (from 1:30) 90-minute Austen themed comedy walks to go on. They meet outside of the Assembly Rooms and are conducted by the award-winning Natural Theatre Company. Expect duels, scandal and a good laugh for £16.50.  

There are plenty of events for those who are more interested in the history of Bath than in the novels which Jane wrote though.

On Sunday at 11:30am Dr Amy Frost is conducting a special tour of Beckford’s Tower (90 minutes, £8). On Thursday Bath Parade Guides are conducting a two-hour walking tour focusing on war and peace during the Regency and the impact it had on society (£9).

On Monday for those who’d like to go a little further afield there is a guided minibus tour to nearby Lacock, Castle Combe and Corsham which, as well as being used as film sets for Austen adaptations, have also been used for the likes of Cranford, Harry Potter, Poldark and Warhorse. They’re a beautiful visit in themselves too - Lacock village is all timber beamed houses, Tudor frontages and winding side streets. It begins at 2pm, lasts three and a half hours and tickets cost £30.  

There are plenty more walking tours and talks scheduled which look at topics ranging from the discomforts of 18th century Bath (for that read death, disaster and chamber pots), the historic lido Cleveland Pools, ghosts, gardens, clergymen, what Regency ladies kept in their reticules, how to dress, what to do in a whole range of social situations, and, for those who can’t wait, Christmas during the Regency.

Full details of the festival programme are available at  and tickets can be bought from in person from Bath Box Office located in Bath’s Vistitor Information Centre (by the Abbey), and also online here