Hotel Indigo, Bath: What's the draw?
If you've never been to Bath, you should firstly read our handy guide. And then you should make a beeline for this beautiful city, which has an unmatched history that means it's always worth a weekend trip. Even if you've been before, there's enough to discover to make it well worth a return visit. That's even before we mention a buzzy European feel to its streets and squares, and a food scene that's up there with the best of them.
The Bath location of the small Hotel Indigo group is a beautiful townhouse-style hotel that encompasses all of this: excellent eating and drinking within its walls, and a close proximity to much of the city's best sights, restaurants and bars. Inside, it's packed with personality – with interior-design style that rests somewhere between steampunk chic and Edwardian dandy – while rooms are big and generous. We particularly liked a comfy armchair by the front-facing window that made for a gorgeous nook for a bit of reading and peoplewatching with a view.
Hotel Indigo, Bath: What to eat?
The restaurant here is by Mike Robinson, co-owner of The Harwood Arms in Fulham and also chef-patron of The Woodsman in Stratford-upon-Avon (also housed in a Hotel Indigo, but with its own character). Robinson has long been an exponent of British meat and game, and both his sensitivity with seasonal ingredients and his artful execution (with trappings of both fine-dining and more appoachable bistronomy-style food) makes him surely one of the most exciting chefs in the country. The much talked-about Dorset crab tart – served on a slick of beautiful lemon mayo and topped with lush, grassy chimichurri – is effortless in its simplicity, while a gently spiced muntjac deer tartare on a brown-butter crumpet and a fillet of black bream on crushed Jersey Royals and a full-flavoured tartare sauce vélouté were both simply wonderful.
Some great wines are available, many by the glass, like the from Krone 'Borealis', a chardonnay-dominated sparkling from Tulbagh in South Africa, full of honey and brown-bread richness, or a sauvignon blanc from Auntsfield Estate in Marlborough, all celery, grapefruit zest and underripe apricot, and a perfect foil for the fish.
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Hotel Indigo, Bath: what to do during your stay
If you're in the market for a good mixed drink, the subterranean Hideout bar and The Canary are both great options. And no trip to Bath would be complete without a look around the historic Roman Baths, which are well worth the entrance fee.
Rooms from £149; hotelindigo.com