The Olive Tree, Bath

Bath. It really is splendid. The miles of elegant stone terraces are for Bath what Persimmon is doing everywhere else. Well, that’s a touch unkind; Bath saw a great expansion of speculative building in the 18th century, much designed by John Wood the Elder, and the Younger, allowing the population to grow. The uniform frontages of the terraces are what is best know, including the beautiful Royal Crescent. Here though the term “Queen Anne fronts and Mary-Anne backs” refers to the rear of these splendid buildings – a real mixture of heights, styles and materials. Surely a building is seen from all sides?

The elegance of the buildings contributes to the house prices. Not London, or even Edinburgh, but definitely not cheap. Surrounding villages are more affordable and more like other rural, desirable parts of the country (they mean Yorkshire…Ed).

So, on a trip to see friends (see the entry on The Crown, Churchill) we find ourselves staying at the Queensberry Hotel again. Recently their excellent restaurant has won a Michelin Star, just reward for the consistent excellent food and service. It was all fine but, although the food was great, you could see why Clare Smyth at Core was a bit pissed off when she was awarded two Stars. The difference between the two restaurants was huge – compared with the Olive Branch, Clare deserves 27 stars.

The hotel has a slightly odd – and presumptious billing policy. A fixed price bed/dinner rate grows with restaurant service charge on the portion of the rate for the food, plus drinks (fair enough) but also a service charge on the room rate, of probably 10-12.5%. What’s going on – doesn’t a hotel rate include that? What’s next, a pillow charge? Nice hotel but something we’ve never seen before and, as you can judge by the blog, we’ve been around a bit. Still, didn’t (overly) spoil the trip – that was caused by something else. But that, as they say, is another story…

Restaurant The Olive Tree Bath

…and another thing. We had lunch in The Beckford Bottle Shop. Simple delicious and we’ll be visiting again.

…our bathroom at the Queensberry. We’ve got that basin now

…wonderful Bath

The Beckford Bottle Shop. We’ll be back


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