Thursday, 25 February 2016

Mother’s Day in Bath – 2016

“A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other. ” 
Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

It’s not long now until Mother’s Day, and if you’re looking for somewhere to come and treat your mum and thank her for simply being her wonderful self, then you can’t go too far wrong with Bath.

Bath has plenty of charming teashops and top class restaurants to visit, as well as an impressive mix of high-end shops and unique boutiques. In fact Bath has a vast plethora of traditional Mother’s Day favourites. But which to choose? These are our top picks for how to spend a wonderful Mother’s Day in Bath.

Number one on the list has to be some pamper time. What could be more relaxing than a dip in the glorious rooftop pool at Bath’s grand Thermae Spa? Followed of course by a facial, a massage and some time in the sauna. Perfect.

Another highlight of a visit to Bath for many is taking afternoon tea at the famous Pump Rooms. The luxurious Georgian d├ęcor is a sight to behold, and the live music provided by the Pump Room Trio does wonders for the overall atmosphere. Relax and have a good catch up with your mum over scones, cakes and several cups of tea. On Sundays bookings can be made for breakfast or for lunch, but just be aware that in the afternoon a queuing system is in place. So you might prefer to try one of Bath’s other gems such as The Regency Tea Rooms (40 Gay Street) or Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms (6-8 Saville Row). Again booking is advisable.

When it comes to entertainment you can’t go far wrong with a performance from the famous improv group, Austentatious. When they premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 they were reviewed by Edinburgh Festivals as “one of this year’s best fringe shows…you definitely don’t want to miss this Regency treat”. Happily they’ll be back in Bath for one show only at half past four on March the 6th at the Guildhall. A great choice for any fans of period drama, or anyone who likes a good giggle. 

Again on the literary line comes this slightly more unusual idea. Bath’s Egg theatre will be hosting a Bardic pub quiz all about William Shakespeare. It will be filled with “music rounds, film rounds, picture rounds, live performance and not a little silliness.” You can be sure that this is not going to be your average quiz. It all starts at 7:30pm, is £3 a head and teams can be a maximum of four people.   

Of course you might choose to take simply things as they come and just go with the flow. Wander around the city, soak up the atmosphere, and (we hope) the sun. Then come back to Dukes Hotel for a wonderful nights sleep, followed the next day by the very best of breakfasts. What more could a mother want?

Friday, 19 February 2016

Museums To Visit In Bath - Opening Times and Entry Fees

It’s so incredibly frustrating when you only have a limited time in which to explore a city, going to a museum, gallery or restaurant, only to discover upon arrival that it’s shut. If only you’d known in advance you could have planned to do something else.

In an effort to avoid situations like these, and to save you from having to visit vast numbers of different museum websites, we’ve decided to compile a list of the opening days and times for some of Bath’s top museums here. There are plenty to choose from!

No.1 Royal Crescent
See behind the scenes of a Georgian house as it would have been decorated between 1776-1796.  The house is filled with beautiful period furniture, paintings, objects and antique curios from the era, as well as very friendly and knowledgeable room guides!

Opening times:            Tuesday- Sunday 
12noon -5:30pm
                                    Last entry on all days at 4:30pm

Admission Price:        £10 adults, £7 concessions

The Roman Baths
Take a tour around some of the best-preserved Roman remains in Britain. Taste the waters (though be warned; they’re quite strong!) and find out about how it was that Bath first came to be. It’s a fascinating insight into Roman times and a must-see on a visit to Bath

Opening times:            January-February 
March – June
                                    Last entry on all days at 5:00pm

Admission Price:        £15 adults, £13.25 concessions

The Bath Fashion Museum
Try on a corset and find out about fashion through the ages. Bath Fashion Museum is just below the famous Assembly Rooms as well which are definitely worth seeing. 

Opening times:            January-February 
March – October
                                    Last entry on all days is one hour before closing time

Admission Price:        £8.75 adults, £7.75 concessions

Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Visit the house where William Herschel discovered Uranus and learn about his other unknown talents. A good mix of history and science.

Opening times:           Weekdays
Weekends and Bank Holidays
                                    Last entry on all days at 4:15pm

Admission Price:        £6.50 adults, £5.50 seniors, £3.50 students

The Jane Austen Centre 
Learn about the famous author, try on period costume and explore the world in which she lived in this interactive exhibition. A must for any literature fans.

Opening times:            All days (except Saturday) until 4th April
Sundays until 4th April
                                    Last entry on all days is one hour before closing.
Extended hours from April 4th onwards.

Admission Price:        £11 adults, £9.50 seniors, £8.50 students

The American Museum
The only museum of American decorative and folk art outside of the USA. Learn about the lives of the Native Americans, find out how the US came to be, and much more besides. This is the sort of museum you can easily spend a whole afternoon at.

Opening times:            Sadly closed until Sunday 19th March and then:
                                    12noon-5pm (5:30pm for the grounds)
Closed Mondays

Admission Price:        £11 adults, £9.50 concessions

The Postal Museum
The first letter with a Penny Black stamp was sent from Bath in 1840. This neat little museum pays homage to this fact by providing an in depth overview of all things postal, right from the late bronze age up until the present day. 

Opening times:            Monday-Saturday
                                    11am-5pm (last entry at 4pm)
Closed Sundays
Admission Price:        £4.50 adults, £3.50 concessions

The Museum of Bath Architecture 
It may not sound like a museum for anyone except building fanatics or professional builders, but actually finding out that there are a whole heap of political reasons behind why Bath’s buildings look the way they do is pretty interesting! 

Opening times:            Tuesday- Friday 
10:30am -5pm
                                    Closed Mondays

Admission Price:        £5.50 adults, £4.50 concessions

Friday, 12 February 2016

A Romantic Weekend in Bath

Valentines Day is just around the corner and Bath is getting ready for a few days of dedicated romance. Bath is a pretty romantic city whatever time of year it is you visit. With its beautiful Palladian architecture, stunning vistas and impressive weir, it’s easy to feel that you’ve travelled to another world completely where stress is a thing of the past. Bath truly is a city of relaxation and romance. With that in mind, these are Dukes Hotel’s list of top romantic activities to include on a romantic break in Bath.

Firstly, take a relaxing stroll through the impressive grounds of Prior Park. It has it’s own iconic Palladian bridge and is the perfect spot for romantic declarations (Visit England have listed it as one of their best places to propose). If it’s fairly warm, take a picnic (Marks and Spencer do some great picnic baskets so there’s no need to worry about having to pack your own) and have lunch in the beautiful surroundings.

Next, indulge in a joint pampering session at Bath’s luxury Thermae Spa. We can recommend the Thermae Together package which includes a four hour spa session, complimentary towels, robes and slippers, two meals in the Springs Cafe Restaurant, and a choice of a joint facial, joint massage, or joint Watsu treatment. The views from the main bath span across the whole city and are absolutely stunning!

As for evening entertainment, you have some great choices. On Saturday 13th February, Komedia will be hosting its famous Krater Comedy Night followed by it’s Motorcity event where you can dance until the early hours to the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks. On Sunday 14th Gaz Brookfield will be playing at the Chapel Arts Centre. Having performed over 200 gigs in one year alone he is a top performer and promises to put on an excellent show. 

When it comes to dinner then the Roman Baths Kitchen is a good place to book a table. For the 13th and 14th of February they are offering combined packages of an afternoon exploring the Roman Baths by torchlight, followed later by a three course dinner. The restaurant is perfectly placed for watching the world go by as it is just opposite the Baths themselves and next to Bath’s famous Abbey (which is always extra impressive when up-lit at night).

If you’d rather go for something more intimate for dinner, or for drinks after dinner, then OPA is a fantastic Greek meze and cocktail bar which is only five minutes walk from Dukes Hotel. It’s full of atmosphere but is at the same time a truly intimate setting with cosy vaulted cellars, plush drapery and sofas, and a balcony overlooking the river.   

These are just a few of our top picks for a romantic weekend in Bath. But, as always, whatever kind of weekend you’d like to create when you come to Bath, please don’t hesitate to ask the team here at Dukes Hotel for help or advice; our mission is to make your time in Bath the best it can possibly be in every way.    

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Stay in Bath for Bath’s Digital Festival

We’ve spoken about a few of the festivals that will be coming to Bath soon - the Bath Literature Festival, the Bath Bach Festival, Bath’s International Festival of Music. They’ve all been very much about kicking back and relaxing on a visit to Bath.

However, one that we haven’t managed to mention yet is perhaps not the first thing that you would think of when you think of festivals and Bath. For all the business women and men out there, this week’s blog is taking a look at what to expect from Bath’s Digital Festival, which will be taking place in the city between the 11th and 19th of February.  

We thought it was about time that we had a look at what a stay in Bath had to offer anyone on a business trip; Dukes Hotel isn’t just a great bed and breakfast to stay in if you’re coming for a holiday in Bath. We’re also a great choice for anyone who is staying in Bath for work. (After all, who says that business trips can’t also involve a little bit of relaxation and luxury? What better way to celebrate a day of hard work than a chilled glass of wine before bed in a beautiful suite at Dukes?)

The digital festival is a relatively new one – it only began it Bath in 2012, but it’s already recognised as one of the leading tech and creative hubs in the UK. The festival’s aim is to educate and inspire people from all backgrounds, no matter how familiar or unfamiliar they may be when it comes to the world of technology, and also to showcase some of the industries and innovations that make the digital sector today such an exciting and important place to explore. 

This festival has quite a few must-attend events for anyone seeking to establish themselves in business in our increasingly digital age.

On Friday 12th February between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. there will be a Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager bootcamp that will help any kind of company, no matter what area of business they may be in, to really establish themselves as an online presence.

On several dates throughout the festival there will be free intellectual property advice clinics which will can guide you through patents for trademarks and designs, IP search and strategy, and IP litigation.

The SPARKies Tech Awards Evening on Wednesday 17th will also be a good event to attend in order to network with the very best digital and tech companies and individuals. The awards will cover categories such as Founder of the Year, Best Start Up, and there will be a People’s Choice award.

The festival promises to be a jam-packed week full of great insights. Last year’s festival had over 71 talks, 25 events, 11 hands-on workshops, and more than 2,000 attendees!

So if you’re interested in business, or any aspect of the digital world, the 11th-19th of February is a good time to pay us a visit at Dukes Hotel in Bath. We can promise you a home away from home, a breakfast to rival anything you’ve had before, and, of course, wi-fi!