It was my boyfriend’s 30th birthday on the Easter Weekend back in March, which of course meant taking advantage of the long weekend and going away to celebrate. We spent one night in Bath before going to Cardiff to watch the boxing match of the year: Anthony Joshua VS Joseph Parker.
Being Good Friday, we unfortunately got stuck in traffic for 5 hours so we didn’t get to do much except go for dinner by the time we arrived. However, even if that was all we had time to do for our whole trip, I would have been fine because the food was so good.
Set on the North Parade of Bath which resembles the likes of Kensington with its white townhouses and iron gates, La Perla Tapas forms one of the five restaurants along this pretty street. With each of these restaurants based underground, they’re all bound to provide a unique and intimate dining experience.
Whilst the restaurant being underground provided an amazing setting, I have to admit that walking down those stairs with heels on in the rain wasn’t so fun! Once I’d made it down injury free, we arrived to an intricate wine display. How wonderful?!
We then walked through to the restaurant and were kindly seated in the bar area which was the epitome of an authentic Spanish wine cellar.
After a sweet glass of red, we were taken to our table through the cosy vault of diners.
First to arrive were the scallops. If you read my post about my trip to Barcelona, you’ll understand why I had to choose these.
Seared to perfection, they had just the right amount of crisp on the outside, and were free of any rubbery texture. This is very hard to achieve, so was a very pleasant way to begin our dining experience. I’ve never tried scallops with truffled cauliflower cream either but it really worked, so will be hard to eat them without this now!
Then along came everything else minus our gambas (prawns).
We decided to start with the manchego cheese as it was the lightest option and it’s difficult to go wrong with this. The sweet taste complements the savoury taste of all the other dishes. You can’t have tapas and not have this with, or after your meal!
After a few bites of the creamy manchego, we moved onto the crayfish. As this was cold, we thought we’d ask for some bread to accompany it and treat it like a pâté. We had some manchego leftover so added this to the bread also. Sounds like an unusual pairing and we could have easily eaten the delicious crayfish without it, but I’m so glad we tried it.
We then moved onto the slow cooked garlic chicken. I tend to avoid ordering chicken when eating out as I have it quite often for dinner, however this was unreal. Served on a bed of wild mushroom puree, the chicken was mouth-wateringly moist. It reminded me of an extremely finer version of a chicken kiev because it was covered in breadcrumbs and was flavoured with garlic. What made it so unique nevertheless was the fact that it had the thinnest layer of breadcrumbs around it so wasn’t as heavy. 100% my favourite dish of the night.
Then along came the lamb chops. I’d read prior reviews which claimed that these were to die for so wanted to try them. I cannot fault the presentation and they looked super tasty, but I thought they tasted a bit dull and bland. Flavoured with honey sauce and tarragon, I just don’t think the flavours worked. I am probably not the best critic on this however as I’m not a massive fan of honey.
I am pleased to say that the prawns made up for our disappointment with the lamb. A tapas standard: king prawns cooked in garlic, chilli, olive oil and white wine. Nothing new or unique, but it doesn’t need jazzing up. Just fresh fish and the right measurement of each ingredient which La Perla nailed. The sauce was so good that we dipped whatever else was left into it!
Once we’d devoured our delicious dishes, our waiter pleasantly surprised us with a complimentary dessert with a candle in for my boyfriend. Wonderful service and really good value for money also.
Since we’d eaten so much and arrived so late due to traffic, we decided to call it a night and went back to our hotel to sleep. Besides, we had a busy next day ahead of us: seeking a good breakfast spot, sightseeing and then driving to Cardiff for the boxing match.
Before we knew it the next day had arrived which meant it was time to discover difference again, but this time for breakfast. That’s when we stumbled upon Hunter & Sons, a modern yet rustic cafe.
Being in the historic centre of Bath which is known for its old buildings, there were plenty of cafes that had more charm to them, but they all just looked a bit too touristy. As reflected through the name of my blog, I like to make it my mission to steer clear of the touristy/mainstream restaurants and find more independent hidden gems. As a result, I was drawn to Hunter & Sons because it was set away from the centre and had more of a fresh, quirky Shoreditch feel to it.
I’ve really gotten into oat milk recently so the fact that they stocked this drew me in even more. So, our first port of call was of course oat milk coffee.
Light and creamy – perfect! This may be to do with the fact that the coffee brands they stock tend to roast on the lighter side which enables a strong yet non-overpowering taste.
Before we had a chance to finish our lovely coffees, 3 bricks filled with salt, pepper and what appeared to be chilli flakes were brought to our table. Who needs salt and pepper pots right?!
Shortly after, our beautiful breakfast arrived. I don’t even need to say much because I think the picture is enough to reflect how good it was!
Yes, I went for the typical avocado on toast which you can argue is the same everywhere, but boy was it good. It’s so unusual for the bacon to be streaky and glazed/flavoured with anything. It was also nice to have two slices of bread as opposed to one as you normally receive in London restaurants. 10/10. I could happily eat this everyday and not get bored.
The full English was given a nice twist also served with healthy poached eggs and yellow tomatoes. As good as it was, Hunter & Sons has unfortunately closed down since I visited due to issues with business rates but I am thankful that we had the pleasure of visiting. I hope they re-open soon along with one in London!
Now that our stomachs had been filled, we had 2 hours of sightseeing to squeeze in before heading off to Wales. This meant that we had to be ruthless with what to see. We were a short walk away from the Roman Baths so headed straight there. This was definitely the right decision because being the most popular attraction in Bath, there was a 40 minute queue.
Quick tip: if you are visiting Bath and want to see the baths, make sure to book online at an allocated slot to avoid queuing like we did. It’s also worth noting that it was quite pricey to enter the baths, so be sure to have around £20pp spare. It was all worth it for the views in the end though…
We didn’t have time to walk around and listen to the audio tour or read the plaques, but I think just seeing this magical wonder is all you really need.
Directly adjacent is Bath Abbey which we were luckily able to get a quick snap outside of.
Could be Hogwarts right?! Was certainly a lot prettier than our next destination Pulteney Bridge. I thought we were looking at the Thames for a minute!
Despite the brown water from the River Avon, it’s still a remarkable sight. It is one of four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides. It didn’t even feel like you were on a bridge walking along it; just like a normal high street.
Three sights in under two hours with time to spare for a coffee before hitting the road. Thanks to Society Cafe for squeezing us in for our oat milk fix.
And there you have it, my bank holiday weekend in Bath. Definitely worth a trip with your partner, a group, or alone if you’re a foodie. One thing we didn’t have time for but was highly recommended to us was the rooftop jacuzzi at the Thermae Spa.
I would also recommend getting a train to Bath as the city is not built for cars. Whilst we managed to park, we had to pay everywhere and quite frankly, the city is so small that you can easily walk. Staying somewhere near the Roman Baths is ideal as this is right in the city centre.
I hope this post has given you an insight into what you can see and do in Bath. Found it helpful? Let me know in the comments below…