So often I think Mr W and I get swept away in the excitement of foreign holidays that we forget what amazing places we have here in the UK. So recently we took a trip over the Severn Bridge from Wales into England and stayed in Bath for a couple of days.
Bath is a beautiful city and one of our favourite places to visit in the UK. Being a historic city and World Heritage Site it has many things to see and do, including visiting the Roman Baths, which are amazingly preserved, Bath Fashion Museum, Bath Abbey, The Jane Austen Centre and the Thermae Bath Spa.
This year we are making an oath to try some new experiences and try different accommodation options, so we were looking for a place to stay that was a little different to normal, and this is where Bath Boutique Stays came in.
Bath Boutique Stays offer a range of historic properties in the centre of Bath, and we were lucky to be invited to review an apartment in Jane Austen's former home in Sydney Place. Jane Austen, the well-known author of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility lived in this apartment from 1801 to 1805. Jane Austen's appeal has been said to be down to her witty ironic writing and her universal themes of love, money, power and status in her novels.
The apartment was made up of two spacious rooms (the parlour and a double bedroom) as well as a small utility room, kitchen and shower room with toilet.
‘It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.’ Sense and Sensibility
The lounge area, or parlour, as they called it in Jane Austen's time, was spacious and furnished with a mix of modern and traditional furnishings. Large leather Chesterfield sofas big enough to seat four each added a luxurious touch, and I loved the table made of glass resting on old-fashioned suitcases.
The high ceilings had lovely cornicing and the windows had wooden shutters to help keep the noise out at night and provide some privacy.
"Without music, life would be a blank to me". Emma
Across the road is the Holbourne Museum
I could really imagine her looking out of the window, drinking tea and thinking about the characters in her next book.
The bedroom again was spacious and also light and airy. A large comfy king size bed rested along one wall accompanied by two small bedside tables and opposite this wall, a fireplace and white washed wardrobe. A small thing, it would have been nice to have a chest of drawers for added storage.
The fire surround was smart and although not an original feature looked great in the room.
"Marriage is indeed a manoeuvring business". Mansfield Park
The wall safe looked like it was part of the original decor in this beautiful historic property.
The kitchen was compact and bijou but still contained all you needed to cook a meal, including a small fridge, cooker, microwave, toaster, kettle, cafetiere, cutlery and crockery. The utility room next door contained a small freezer and washing machine.
A nice touch was the welcome box of tea, proper coffee and little scrumptious treats (little flapjacks and shortbreads). In the fridge was a bottled of chilled water and fresh milk too. There is nothing nicer when you get to a property after a drive, that a sit down with a nice cup of tea and a snack and Bath Boutique Stays had obviously thought of this.
The bathroom was small, with a toilet, sink and shower but totally suitable for our needs and was very clean. A huge plus point here was the large Cowshed luxury toiletries. What a treat!
"Angry people are not always wise". Pride and Prejudice
The Jane Austen apartments are situated a ten-minute walk from the city centre and about the same to the Bath Spa train station. It is literally across the road from the Holbourne museum, Bath's first public art gallery.
Emma's garden apartment sleeps 2 whilst other apartments in this historic townhouse sleep up to 4, and the whole house can be hired out to sleep 14 - great for a family get together. We enjoyed our stay at Jane Austen's former home, and it was fun seeing the tourists stop and take a photo of the plaque outside that said this iconic novelist had lived there. The apartment is well situated and was a great base to explore Bath and an easy walk into the centre of the city.