Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Little Bit of Luxury in Bath

There won't be many posts on this blog that allude to 'luxury' but I couldn't omit to tell you about a lovely and rather luxe place I discovered courtesy of my employer last weekend. I'm lucky enough to be part of an amazing parenting organisation and once a year we get together in various corners of the country for a bit of a weekend jolly. As we're pretty much all home workers, it's a rare chance to catch up with our colleagues in the flesh, meet new colleagues we've only communicated with over Skype or email, and generally make up for all those water cooler moments and office gossip that we rarely get to share with each other in the normal course of our day to day jobs. 

This year the venue for our annual hook-up was - rather conveniently - Bath. It being just down the road, I do go to Bath quite frequently but my trips are usually confined to a scoot round Royal Victoria Bath with the kids. So I was quite happy that not only would I not have to navigate a long train journey on a Friday night, but I might actually get to wander the picturesque streets of Bath at my leisure, take in the odd shop or two, and enjoy lots of unhurried coffee breaks along the way.
The Beautiful Rennie House
I did indeed get to do all of the above, but the highlight of the weekend was staying at the beautiful Rennie House, a Georgian townhouse based just minutes' from the centre of Bath. This place really encapsulates the essence of Bath - stylish, historic and bursting with charm. It's a really handsome building on a raised promenade with views across the Bath rooftops. Once you get inside, it's all muted Farrow & Ball paints, quirky wallpapers and vintage furniture with a few unexpected touches thrown in for good measure, like the photographic Paris wallpaper emblazoned on a wall in one of the bathrooms which I fell in love with. In fact I came away with major interior design inspiration after my stay, though a lot of the refined touches that characterise Rennie House might not look quite so grand in my 1920s semi!

There are 7 bedrooms in total. I bagged the cute attic single in the eaves of the house but most of the rooms are doubles. There are plenty of bathrooms to go round including a very luxe-y master, complete with a vast, stand-alone bath. Communal living space comes in the shape of a beautiful, light-filled sitting room which huge picture windows, squishy sofas and wall-mounted chandeliers. At the bottom of the house is a cosy kitchen diner with about the best-stocked kitchen I've ever come across. We're talking TWO dishwashers, a massive fridge freezer and the full compliment of every possible piece of crockery, glassware and general kitchen paraphernalia you might need. There's a small courtyard garden and private parking, too.
The light-filled sitting room
Since I've never before stayed somewhere like Rennie House, or rented out a big property with friends I'm perhaps not best placed to quantify its value for money. In high season (based on bookings taken in 2013) a 2 night break comes in at £1850, which on doing the maths comes out at £142 per person (based on full 13 person occupancy). Taking into account we're talking Bath/tourist prices, and we're talking about a luxurious property in the heart of the city, this seems pretty darned reasonable to me.

My cute and cosy bedroom
Rennie House would make a lovely setting for a family get-together, a hen weekend or special birthday celebration. It's a real retreat but close enough to the action when you want to dip into it. To be honest, we barely left the house, so comfortable and relaxing is this place; a real treat for our gang of slightly frazzled, busy working mums. We just about managed to find the energy for a spot of shopping during our stay, but the other big highlight for me was holing up in the cosy upstairs cafe of the amazing Bertinet Bakery, drinking coffee and scoffing our own body weight in meringues and chocolate brownies. Don't miss this cute little cafe if you're in Bath anytime soon (which also serves as a bakery and stocks a mouth-watering selection of bread and cakes to take away.)

If you can get a gang together or have a special occasion coming up that you want to celebrate in style, I'd wholeheartedly recommend Rennie House. I'm hoping I'll be back sometime soon...

(PS - I was too busy being relaxed to take many photos while at Rennie House and those I did take don't really do it justice - the Rennie House website has a much better picture gallery!)

To find out more about Rennie House, including details of rates and availability by visit the website here.
And if you'd like to visit Bertinet Bakery take a look at the website here.


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