HAY opens in Bath – we plan a day out in the city

We have exciting news. Tomorrow HAY opens its first UK shop in the beautiful city of Bath. Taking over a former bank inside a striking Georgian building at 36-38 Milsom Street – at the heart of designer shopping area, the Milsom Quarter – the shop opens its ground floor initially and will slowly unveil the rest of the floors as the renovation completes. Anyone who has visited the brand’s flasgship store HAY HOUSE in Copenhagen will know that one of its specialities is choosing locations of architectural merit and creating within them shops you want to live in. We’re excited to have our Kilims and Moroccan rugs represented in the store. As usual, these will sit alongside beautiful contemporary furniture and accessories from the brand that most recently introduced Sebastian Wrong to its creative team for the WRONG for HAY collection, and brought the work of Nathalie du Pasquier back to prominence.

Our guide to a day out in Bath

In celebration of the new HAY shop, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the historic Georgian town, we’re highlighting our favourite things to do in central Bath. Just 1 hour and 30 minutes train ride from London Paddington, it’s the perfect day trip for one or for a family. And where better to start than the spa….

Bathe in the rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa

No good guide to Bath is complete without a nod to the Thermae Bath Spa on Hot Bath Street. The historic spa, which has been expertly combined with a new contemporary building by Grimshaw Architects, opened its doors in 2006 and has, we hear, been full ever since. Book a slot before you go! The experience of bathing high up in the rooftop pool overlooking the most stunning Georgian architecture in Britain’s only naturally warm and minerally rich pool, is not to be missed. There are also plenty of spa treatments to choose from, if you want the full-on pampering effect. All of which takes you neatly to lunch…

Dine out at Milsom Place

The spa is just five minutes from the city centre as well as chic shopping centre Milson Place – which is just around the corner from HAY, handily enough. There are a few lunching options here, including our favourites Cote Brasserie and Jamie’s Italian.

Shop around Milsom Quarter…

HAY shares Milsom Street with great vintage clothing shop Vintage to Vogue. This is run by Imren Lowin – ex-London College of Fashion – with her husband John, who specialises in restoring vintage luggage and leather goods. Tweeds, woollens, frocks and gentlemen’s finery from Dior, Gieves and Hawkes and Ossie Clarke (to name a few brands) – it’s all hand picked by the duo.

Also worth checking out is the new Anthropologie, around the corner on New Bond Street.

…and Bartlett Street

Just north of Milsom Street, Bartlett Street is home to Bartlett Street Antiques Centre – great for jewellery, crafts and original art – as well as independent gallery Edgar Modern, which is currently showing the work of Carl Melegari.

Toast and independent fashion and furniture concept store The Loft are also on this street – and the latter also has in-house Cafe Lucca if you need to refuel.  Either that, or try Beas Vintage Tea Rooms a tiny bit further north on Saville Row.

…then back over to Argyle Street

Back down by Milsom Street, just across the river between Putney Bridge and Laura Place, is Argyle Street and one of The Telegraph’s top 50 boutiques, Found. Find a cute and creative mix of contemporary fashion, homewares and gifts here, from brands such as Kenzo, Comme Des Garcons and Karen Walker. The eclectic collection is dotted between utilitarian clothes rails and traditional antique shop cabinets in an environment that’s easy to linger in.

Complete your shopping trip at the Christmas Market

The Christmas market takes place between Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths (27 November – 14 December), so this recommendation means you can take in two major tourism sites whilst getting your Christmas shopping underway. Contemporary and vintage crafts, gifts, and handmade decorations are presented alongside artisan food and drink, all from a vast collection of British makers and producers – with the majority of stallholders hailing from Bath and the South West.

Bolthole just outside the city

We billed this as a day trip, but if you are tempted to take things a bit further then we recommend The Pig Hotel (last seen on Erin O’Connor’s Instagram), set just outside Bath and surrounded by the rolling green of Somerset. The 29 room hotel has gorgeous unfussy interiors with huge four poster beds, velvet sofas, wood burning stoves and views of the local deer. The restaurant serves home-grown and locally-sourced food and there’s even a spa in the two potting sheds outside. This is nowhere near as rustic as it sounds!

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