Summer in Bath is a wonderful thing – our lovely little city is small enough that we don’t have to endlessly swelter on public transport, and it’s full of gorgeous green spaces and al fresco dining spots (not to mention that legendary golden Bath stone that drinks up the sunshine and gives back double). It does get a little busy round here during the summer months, but frankly, that just reminds me how lucky I am to live somewhere people choose to visit for their holidays. And if you do find that the centre of town is unbearable during the weekends, then might I suggest you pack a little more into your weekday evenings instead?
Last week we did just that, with Visit Bath’s new Bath at Twilight initiative– a monthly late-night event that combines special offers from all sorts of local businesses, evening entertainment and a pop-up market. We had a fantastic evening and I have to say, I was really surprised by how much we managed to pack in after work – it was the perfect way to make the most of a lovely long summer evening. The next Bath at Twilight is on the 23rd of August, so plenty of time to plan your itinerary. For inspiration, here’s what we got up to…
|Cheers! The terrace at Le Vignoble is a lovely spot for a drink|
We started with an aperitif at Le Vignoble, a fabulous little wine bar in Milsom Place that lets you sample and choose your own drinks from nifty ‘wine vending machines’, with the aim of making wine as accessible and unintimidating as possible. You can read more about Le Vignoble in my recent blog post – they also have a great menu of simple and delicious nibbles, and crucially for this beautiful weather, tables outside on the upper level of Milsom Place, which is a lovely sunny, sheltered spot for sitting. They’re offering 20% off all wines by the glass on Bath at Twilight nights (click here for the full list of local business offers) so it’s the perfect way to kick off your evening.
|Buttery, garlicky steak at Framptons|
Having shaken off the working day with a relaxing glass of wine, we were starting to feel a little peckish, so our next stop was Framptons, who were offering a steak, fries and a drink for £15 a head. Framptons is a buzzing bar and restaurant overlooking Pulteney Bridge and the weir, with a great atmosphere and a delicious menu packed with great local produce. Our steaks were delicious (we paid a little extra to top them with melting garlic butter, which I highly recommend) and if you choose a beer or a glass of wine alongside, £15 is definitely a bit of a bargain.
We were tempted to stay for dessert, but decided we’d hit the Bath at Twilight market and see what goodies we might find there. Threaded through Union St, the market will feature different local businesses each time, but it’s a lovely opportunity to discover all sorts of new creatives, with plenty of fabulous food thrown in – we ended up buying a couple of gorgeously gooey brownie bites from The Pudding Wagon (my favourite was the peanut butter brownie, total chocolate heaven) and some Strawberry & Champagne Macarons from Dimkins Patisserie, which we ate sitting on a bench by the Abbey and listening to the buskers – perfect.
|A fabulous little selection of sweet treats|
Finally, with the sun setting and proper twilight kicking in, there was just one place to end our evening – at the Roman Baths, which are open late during the summer, giving the public a wonderful opportunity to see the baths by torchlight as dusk falls. Not only can you explore the museum without the daytime crowds, but there’s a champagne bar by the Great Bath (I can’t help feeling the Romans would heartily approve) so you can sit by those magical green waters and sip a glass of bubbly as the stars come out. If you’re a local, you can even get into the Roman Baths completely free with your Discovery Card – what’s not to like? We spent a good hour just sitting, sipping and chatting, and it was a wonderfully tranquil way to end the evening – we’ll definitely be visiting again.
|The Roman Baths by torchlight|
Whether you fancy some late-night shopping, going out for dinner or indulging in a little culture – or a bit of all three – I think Bath at Twilight is a lovely idea, particularly since it’s so well-suited for locals to enjoy as well as visitors. There’s a whole host of offers and special treats to seek out, from shops, bars and cafes as well as the Bath at Twilight market (click here for the full list), plus live music and other entertainment. Whatever you choose, make sure you finish the evening with a little toast at the Roman Baths – cheers Bath, you beauty.