Tag Archives: Bath

The Bath Priory Hotel- My Visit

While attending a course last year in the art of entremet, I treated myself to staying in the Bath Priory Hotel, instead of our usual rental apartment.  My reasons? I felt like a little pampering. And always like to try somewhere new. I love to travel, but am not a big fan of travelling by myself. Primarily because I’m such a chatterbox I find it hard to resist turning to the person beside me and starting a conversation! My better half would be joining me after a few days, but for a while I was flying solo.

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Staying and Eating in Bath

Bath is such a beautiful city.  Famous for it’s architecture, and it’s Roman Bath Experiences, we were visiting (again) to do a bread making course. On previous visits we have struggled to get accommodation that is reasonable, in a good location, with parking.  This quartet of requirements are next to near impossible.

Bath

The beautiful iconic stone bathed in evening sunlight

Leave the car at home you say? Where will I put my shopping I say! This time, as both of us were planning on staying, we thought we’d try to get a one bed apartment.  Hotels, probably due to Cheltenham being on, were very expensive. But in reality, it’s an expensive city to buy or rent a house in, and I think that hotel prices generally reflect this.  The house below I though looked a little like the one Anne Rice from New Orleans lives in… Especially when I saw the hearse across the road! Bread

Bread

Traffic wasn’t that bad!

In the end I found a very nicely put together site called Bath Holiday Rentals.  From the moment I emailed they couldn’t have been nicer.  I’ve had various disasters trying to book accommodation abroad over the years, and, to be honest, have struggled especially in the UK.  We booked a teeny one bed apartment in Alfred Street, which, as I found out, was literally one road up from the bakery- SCORE!!

It meant we could have a wander around Bath city in the morning, and then drop any purchases off before class.  The only downside to staying so close is that you don’t get as much exercise, so we “forced” ourselves to walk down through the shops each morning and evening.  And what an array of shops and restaurants there are!

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I thought at first glance it was a cheese shop— it was SOAP!

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Some beautiful crockery, I could have spent a fortune- but contented myself by just looking

My favourites are always going to be shops with any sort of crockery of cooking equipment, with bookshops a very close second.  All of which are plentiful in Bath. The view from the apartment made a me feel a little like Mary Poppins, and although we are complete country folk, and, to be honest, I was dreading the noise of staying in a city.  It was so peaceful, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to people watch out the window!

Bread

The view from the bedroom window

It was also really great to have a well stocked kitchen (the welcome pack was also a really nice touch). 

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The Very well furnished kitchen

It was lovely to have a dishwasher too, makes the holiday experience easier!

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“Cliff” looking out the window

The Italian Job – Day 3

Day three will be ingrained in my memory for more than any of the delicious pizza. it’s just so sticky. And really for me, with my complete aversion to anything sticky (note- anyone spills juice on the floor in my house- kids run for cover- they KNOW) it was a real mental challenge.

Italian Bread Making

Rolling out Pizza

At this stage I’d like to say that mixing the ingredients and the doughs is second nature- but sadly not.  But it is getting easier as the muscle memory is starting to kick in.  And they we started mixing the ciabatta (slipper) dough. Not the oldest of breads, which is unusual, I feel for something Italian (as everything there- so they’ll tell you- is over 2000 years old!), ciabatta was first baked in Verona, in 1976.

Ciabatta is something I’ve only made in my trusty Kenwood, it always makes a mess too.  I think I might try it by hand.  But only on a good day when I’m not under pressure.  As really ciabatta should be the Italian for patience.

Some Bread for the display

Some Bread for the display

We made other Italian bread too- and I especially liked the “inclusion” breads where we added two different types of pesto- walnut & rocket was really good. But by now, my favourite time of the day is when we all sit down and eat our lunch together.  And by day 3 we know each other quite well- so there’s a fair bit of slagging.

But it’s a great way to reinforce together what we’ve learnt.  It’s a change of pace from the frantic running around checking rising, turning dough, and keeping under the radar from those French Masters eyes!

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Lunchtime

Things I learnt today:

Ciabatta dough is stickier than you could ever imagine

Walnuts can be nice in pesto (who’d have thought?)

Follow the method religiously and you (hopefully) won’t fail!

 

Tomorrow is, well, I’ve no idea- I’m dreaming of doughnuts- so you never know!