The Comfort of Bath, England

Ahh…..Bath, England. I have talked to many about England and Bath always comes up in conversation. It’s a quaint town that has a lot of history from the Romans to World War II and University Life. By train, Bath is about 1 1/2 hours from London. It’s a breath of fresh air to go from a super metropolis into a small college town where you walk and see boutique shops and old bookstores.

As you stroll around Bath, you will see top of the line shops such as Dooney & Burke to “mom and pop” shops.

The words that swish in my mind when thinking about Bath are: COMFORT, FAMILIARITY, TRADITIONAL, HISTORY, NATURES, CUTE, FRIEND, CONVERSATION & of course BEER! Some of the best times that I had for having a true British experience were here in BATH.

I was able to take a picture and put some sepia tone to it. Look at the beautiful “proper pub” sign of “The Raven”. Love the archway, the hanging flower pot, the parked bicycle and of course the car in the middle.  Of course I am a sucker for cobble stoned streets as well!

If you pay close attention to detail, hopefully you will spot this type of window. I saw it everywhere in the Cotswalds and in Bath. This is unique to England and is worth appreciating. It has inspired me to try installing these types of windows when I have a future house. It distorts the window so that you can’t seen in the window completely. I could tell that this type of glass has a history. I’m definitely going to research more about it. If anyone happens to know what they call this style of window, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Source: Beer Lens

The picture above reminds me of my experiences going to the different pubs in England. A true British experience is to go to the local pubs of towns and cities. Bath is especially famous for their locally brewed beers. Bath Ale holds its clout amongst beer drinkers in England. I met several British beer enthusiasts that told me that when driving in various parts of England, people like to visit local places that promote the local beer. This makes PERFECT SENSE to me! I lived in Japan where Japanese always travel to various towns and cities and rave about local foods and drinks. I would often hear quotes like “Oh! You are going to Hokkaido, you must try Hokkaido Ramen!” or “Daigo, make sure you try the anko nabe (monk/angler fish stew), especially since it is winter.” The British prize their local products and people. I appreciate this.

 (Image 1)

Source: Bathales.com

Going out with our British friends and getting the “proper tour” of “proper pubs” felt like a right of passage and an entitlement. It was a joyous occasion. Nick properly sat us down and had us progress from the lighter Bath Ales to the darker Bath Ales. I loved that the British have 1/2 pints. Something you don’t see in the U.S. We’re all about the big size. Why not the 1/2 pint? It makes perfect sense if you want to try different beers out.

I appreciated glancing at window displays. I loved seeing local butchers. These butchers have probably been here for many years and it is most likely family owned. You can trace back some histories through some of these local shops. I truly appreciate the Europeans for supporting locally owned businesses. Shopping daily and even two to three days at a time keeps produce and meat fresh. You get to establish a close relationship with the local shop owners and have a pretty good idea of where your food is coming from and how fresh it is. The bond that happens at these times of purchases bring about a stronger sense of community. That is one of the “heart & soul” feels about the local town of Bath.

Here is a photo of a local seafood shop. The British are notorious for their seafood. People forget that they are an island.

Nick’s attempt to get more pounds as we do our “proper pub crawl” through the streets of Bath. You can hear laughing, clinking of glasses, some conversations about football and people enjoying themselves. We enjoyed watching Nick at this low to the ground ATM.

You can’t leave England without having a “pasty”. LESSON #1: When ordering a pasty, pronounce the “pa” part as you would in the word “path.” Otherwise if you order the “pasty” by pronouncing the “pa” as you would in the word “paste”, then you are ordering female breasts. This is one of those words you need to be careful with. A “pasty” is a flaky pie type pastry that is filled with meat, potatoes and veggies. There are other varieties to choose from. Cross culturally speaking, it is very similar to an Argentine empanada. Great to eat if you are on a budget in England. Cheaper if you order the “pasty” as a “take away”.

A beautiful square filled with people drinking their morning tea and indulging in conversations. This square is close to the Roman Baths and the Bath Abbey.

From the top of the museum looking down into the ancient Roman Baths. I think every hour, they have people who dress up in Roman attire re-enact something from the time period. I remember it being on the more serious side.

Bath, England has a few war memorial sites around. A lot of men from Bath lost their lives serving in WWI and WWII. The Lion Statue sits as a reminder of loyalty, courage and bravery.

I enjoyed the perfectly planted flowers as we winded our ways around a Picadilly circle area and into a park. The patches of vibrant color cut through the foggy and dreary day.

Gina and I had a lovely time visiting Nick and Anna. They were fabulous hosts of Bath and shared a warm and friendly side of British hospitality that we will never forget. Thanks for the “gorgeous” time in Bath.

Works Cited:

“Bath Ales | Beer Lens | Photos of Beer, Pubs and Breweries from around the World.”Beer Lens. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://beerlens.com/tag/bath-ales/&gt;.

Bath Ale. Digital image. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://beerlens.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/IMG_1104a-990.jpg&gt;.

“Bath Ales.” Welcome to. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bathales.com/&gt;.

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