D A Y O N E
If you’re a longterm reader, you’ll know I’m no stranger to Bath. For a couple of years, whilst Sarah was studying at Bath Spa, I’d frequent the city and stay with her. And on one other occasion, over ten years ago now, I visited with my Mum; passing our time in the Fashion Museum, wandering the many cobbled backstreets and in doing so, joyfully discovering a milkshake shop in the process. As we were staying nearby, Matt kindly indulged my whim to return.
Admittedly when on holiday, cities are not Matt’s first choice of place to visit. But then neither are counties more landlocked than Cornwall (which thinking about it, is most counties.) Still, when discussing where to go on holiday, we had agreed to try something a bit different; to “test the waters” shall we say. We’ve not really been away together all that much (besides Ireland and Penzance) so in a way this week was an experiment.
Matt’s sat next to me on the sofa as I write this and
From what I remember we both adored the autumnal scenery that day. The season is rarely so colour in Cornwall. Whether that’s down to the warmer temperatures, salt in the sea air or simply the variety of trees you get at the coast, I’m not certain. But seeing the sandstone of Castle Combe, mixed with rusty red and toffee tones was wonderful. How is it that a season of slow decay can be so wholly life-restoring?
Once we’d got our full of Castle Combe (frankly once you’ve wandered the round the village and had a drink in the pub, you’re pretty much good to go) we headed to Bath. Specifically, visiting Topping & Company Booksellers, because any independent bookshop that has wooden ladders and complimentary hot drinks is not to be passed up on. Again this was an Alex suggestion, but in the end, it was me who had to pull Matt away, as he’d stumbled on a couple of books he had to be persuaded to part with (at least till Christmas… although our bookshelf space is getting dangerously low!)
Out on the street again, we walked a little further; past the pump rooms, cathedral and into Queen Square. Stopping in this quadrangle of iron railings and to admire the view and talk awhile on a park bent; before finally, the evening’s chill set in and we headed to Bill’s for dinner. We probably should’ve chosen an independent establishment; somewhere exclusive to and indicative of Bath. But there’s just something so comforting and familiar about Bill’s. Again it’s a place I’ve spent many a cosy evening with both Sarah and my Mum – although not together!
And as on prior occasions, (for any interested foodies), I had the veggie mezze sharing platter and an amaretto sour; always my cocktail of choice, but Bill’s do an especially good one. I’m not certain what Matt had, but I imagine it was steak (cause y’know if steak’s on the menu). On the topic of food, I have a personal theory, that vividly remembering what you ate on holiday is the sign of holiday well-spent. For example, the night before when we’d just arrived and settled ourselves, we had couscous, with fried aubergine, spinach, raisins and goats cheese. It doesn’t sound like much but it was so good! I’d not cooked it before and since returning, I’ve been tried to recreate that first-night dinner many times, although never quite with the same success!