Worth getting out of bed for
Pack a picnic and head to the green in front of Bath's Royal Crescent – or at the sprawling Royal Victoria Park nearby. On a sunny afternoon, the Parade Gardens are ideal for some river-side mooching; £1 gets you entry, a stripy deckchair and a patch of green green grass by the river. Open 10am–8pm on a summer's evening (or until 4pm during the winter months). Call 01225 394041 for information on concerts at the bandstand. For a dose of the heebie-jeebies, tread the ancient Roman Bath streets on a Ghost Walks of Bath tour (www.ghostwalksofbath.co.uk) or for something a bit sweeter, visit the oldest sweet shop in Britain: the Bath Sweet Shop (01225 428040) on North Parade Passage. Sherbet pips and aniseed balls in huge jars? What's not to love?
For more local activities (aside from Longleat itself), plus a guide to the Smith pick of the region's best restaurants and pubs, check out our online guide to Wiltshire and the Cotwolds, as well as our guides to Bath and Northeast Somerset. At fellow Smith hotel the Beckford Arms (+44 (0)1747 870385), Pravin Nayar has returned to the restaurant with a menu of old favourites: pork pies and zingy piccalilli, the house burger, Brixham fish 'n' chips, and suckling pig on the open fire. Bath city centre is stuffed with eateries. Vaults Restaurant & Bar (01225 442 265) underneath the Theatre Royal on Sawclose is great for a piece of afternoon amaretti chocolate cake, or for a supper of steamed mussels. Cavendish Restaurant (01225 787960) in the Dukes Hotel on Great Pultney Street is tipped as the 'best place to eat in Bath' by staff at the Bath Arms. The lemongrass fragrance wafting from Thai vegetarian restaurant Shangri-La (01225 338200) on George Street is too tempting to pass by. For a mod-Med menu and views across 'green Bath' beyond Pulteney Bridge, book a table at Browns Restaurant & Bar (01225 461199) on Orange Grove. Afternoon tea is served 2pm–5pm.
A precious rarity in Bath, Bamboo Bar (01225 462276) on Barton Court, Upper Borough Walls boasts a courtyard treasure. Hidden from the main street, it doesn't get too busy – offering lunchtime noodles under umbrellas, or evening tipples under heaters. Inside is an Oriental-themed bar. The Raven (01225 425045) on Queen Street is a messy, cosy pub, chock-full with rambling book shelves and mismatched chairs. Food is served 12pm–2.30pm and 6pm–8.30pm (Saturday: 12pm–8.30pm, Sunday: 12.30pm–4pm). The Salamander (01225 428889) on John Street, Queens Square, is a little pub with wood-panelled booths at the back, just perfect for fish and chips or a lunchtime steak sandwich. For a Manhatten or a Mint Julep, Central Bar (01225 333939) on Upper Borough Walls is a chilled cocktailerie, also offering paninis, salads and lashings of tagliatelle.
When in Bath, an afternoon visit to The Pump Room (01225 444477) in the Roman Baths on Stall Street is obligatory. To complete the Jane Austen experience of live strings, chandeliers, foxgloves and imperial columns, order the three tiers of afternoon tea for two. (Bookings are only taken Monday–Friday). For great coffee and rows and rows of handmade chocolates to pick from, Bar Chocolate next to Bang & Olufsen on Argyle Street is open 9am–6pm (11am–5pm Sundays). Try their choc-coated, sun-dried bananas. Riverside Café (01225 480532) below Pulteney Bridge is a great watery spot for lunch or a coffee overlooking the river. The House of Minerva (01225 464999) on Abbey Church Yard is the only licensed chocolate shop in the UK; they make chocolates in front of you, then serve it to you with champagne. Open 10.30am–6pm. See www.chocolatemaster.co.uk to find out about chocolate and champagne tastings. The pavement tables of Le Flamma (01225 443900) on George Street catch the last rays of evening sun, before the party moves inside to its leather and suede bar until 11pm (5pm on Sunday).
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A bottle of house wine with dinner
From the Guestbook…
We had a great stay at the Bath Arms. Although we enjoyed the meal in the restaurant on our first night, we enjoyed our meal in the bar on the second evening even more. The 28...more