After a long working week my boyfriend and I met at London Paddington station on Friday night, ready to catch a train to Bath Spa. Our weekend away to Bath had been in the diary for a couple of months, and we couldn’t wait to get out of London for a chilled weekend with good food, new surroundings and a few little luxuries.
Our journey was perfectly simple. A direct train from London Paddington to Bath Spa took 1 hour and 30 minutes, which went by with no delays or stress – a great start. When we arrived at Bath Spa, The Francis Hotel was a 10 minute walk from the station (there really was no need for a taxi). So far so good.
The Francis Hotel is centrally located on Queen Square and is made up of a long row of individual Georgian houses. From the outside, the sandstone façade looks smart and typically Bath, whilst the Union Jack flag flying above the main entrance makes the establishment look beautifully British.
The Easiest of Check-Ins
We stepped through the original revolving doors and into the main reception area, which as cosy and inviting. A friendly receptionist checked us in and within a few minutes we had been handed our room keys and directed to the lift.
The room itself was not overly spacious but it was beautifully designed with plush furnishings and elegant features. Quirky details such as gold leaf mirrors and a retro telephone gave the room a nice bit of character and our welcome gift of strawberries and sponge cake bites made for a thoughtful touch. I also loved that there was a little bottle of fresh milk in the fridge to have with teas and coffees.
Complimentary still and sparkling water was placed by our bedside and the bathroom was well stocked with toiletries and bath robes. The best part of the room was easily the bed. With fluffy down pillows and crisp white sheets, it was exactly as a luxurious hotel bed should be.
A Weekend Breakfast
I absolutely love taking my time over a leisurely breakfast at the weekend so when it comes to hotels, a good breakfast buffet is always high on the priority list. With an expansive breakfast buffet and an inclusive a la carte menu, The Francis had it spot on. The a la carte menu included all the British breakfast classics such as the Full English, Eggs Benedict and porridge, all of which are inclusive in the price of your stay.
The Grand Gallery
The most impressive part of the hotel is its long and grand gallery that runs along the front of the hotel. Colour accents of pink and turquoise run as the general theme and luxe furnishings and local Bath details make it cosy, and inviting. The hotel’s much loved afternoon tea is a popular past time in the gallery and there is also a bar for evening drinks and night caps.
A huge benefit of staying at The Francis hotel is also that you’re on the doorstep of one of Bath’s best restaurants; Brasserie Blanc Bath. The hotel and restaurant share interconnecting doors so you don’t even have so step foot outside the hotel for a delicious French-bistro style meal. During our stay we enjoyed a wonderful 3-course meal at Brasserie Blanc and my expectations on food, service and setting were all totally exceeded.
My favourite course of the meal was surprisingly the starter, which was potted Cromer Crab served with warm sour dough bread on the side. The crab was incredibly rich, tasty and fresh and when spread on to the bread it was a comforting starter. I think I enjoyed it so much because it’s a dish I wouldn’t normally go for, but was strongly recommended by our fantastic waiter Rami.
My main course was one of the daily specials; baked cod with a sauce of butter, lemon jus, parsley, capers, shallots and lentils on a bed of creamy mashed potato. Scattered around the fish were small deep fried croutons which gave an indulgent crunch alongside the light and tasty fish. It was beautifully put together.
If chocolate souffle is on the menu, it’s not often I can resist it. The souffle was exactly as you dream them to be, baked on the outside, fluffy and gooey on the inside. Paired with pistachio ice cream and dusted with icing sugar, it was the perfect end to this cosy French bistro meal.
The best rate available at The Francis Hotel starts from £129 for a Classic Room on a bed and breakfast basis.