Rubbing shoulders with Jane Austen and Mary Shelley

LOCATION:  Bath, Somerset, England
WEATHER:  Sunny in the AM with some clouds in PM.  High 61

The highlight today was breakfast at the Pump Room.  It is part of the Roman baths dating back from 42 AD.  In the 1700s, they became popular as meeting places to “take” the restorative waters.  The Pump Room (pumping the water) was one such place.  Now it is a fancy restaurant for morning breakfast and afternoon English tea. 

Tip for anyone visiting Bath — This is what we did…..We had the breakfast (delicious cheese scones and coffee)  for about $10 each.  With that, we could walk around and see part of the ancient baths.  This is far cheaper (and less crowded) than purchasing the bath tour.   So, while we were waiting for our breakfast, we got our money’s worth of views.

We could even taste the water!

The setting is very elegant, with a pianist playing the grand piano.  We learned that Jane Austen came here often for afternoon tea. 

Several people ordered one of these cakes…

or scones like ours….

We also learned that Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) once lived in this very spot.  Interestingly, the City of Bath now has its electricity grid underground here, so it provides electric “volts” to the citizens of Bath.

This guy, Beau Nash, was the “marketing director” for Bath in the 1700s. He transformed bath from a town where the royalty came for therapeutic bath to a city bustling with middle-class residents who enjoyed the baths as social events.

We then did a Hop On/Hop Off bus tour.   There are actually 2 tours, both included in one ticket.  The first one is a Skyline Tour, taking us high up around Bath, which is buillt kind of in a bowl.  Beautiful views.

Then, a second bus tour around the city.  This is one of the streets that has that “Bath Georgian look”.

This is the former home of Jane Austen…

And, this is the church where Jane Austen’s father was a preacher

After the bus tours, we had lunch in a cozy pub, built in the 1700s.

We walked around the old town.  This is the oldest restaurant in town, and these Sally Lunn buns are now popular everywhere.

Near our AirB&B flat, we spotted this interesting gin distillery.  It was not open, but the owner heard us outside and opened up – just for us! 

We tasted some of her gins and bought a very small bottle.

DINNER:  Needing to use up the package of penne pasta I bought, I made a simple pasta dish.  For the sauce I used a container of tomato sauce with mascaparone and added sauteed mushrooms, onions, and small dices of leftover cooked bacon and chicken.  I couldn’t find Parmesan cheese, so I put dollops of goat cheese on top.  Pretty decent! 

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