A trip to Bath and the West Country
We recently had 4 nights in Bath and Somerset, and stayed for the first 2 nights at a pretty 10 bedroom hotel, Bath Lodge Castle, on a Groupon deal. It was easy to find because it was on the main A36 about 8 miles from Bath. Despite being on a busy road, the double glazing was very good and we were not kept awake with traffic noise. The room and bathroom were attractive with a large comfortable bed, nice views, bathrobes, and plenty of hanging room for your clothes. However there were a few niggles – no waste bin in the bedroom, and a noisy and inefficient Dolce Gusto machine instead of a kettle. The coffee tasted just like regular instant and it would not boil hot enough for the tea provided. The bathroom had nice toiletries (Penhaligan) but they were tied to the wall. There were no shower caps or body lotion and the shower just dribbled on you. The dining room was attractive with vintage china and pleasant views. Our meal was two courses with a glass of wine. Because we had told them in advance that we were both vegetarian the hotel was kind enough to let us choose from the main menu, which had five vegetarian main courses rather than the more restricted Groupon menu. Tom had a tasty but small starter: beetroot, honey, walnuts and goats cheese in a filo basket; and a mushroom and potato curry for his main. Again quite tasty, but no naan, pappadoms or chutney, so rather parsimonious. I had wild mushrooms a la crème on bread with wilted spinach. It was okay but there were no other veg with it. I had crème brulee for dessert. Again this was nice but very small, and no shortbread with it. We were disappointed to find that if you booked on a Groupon voucher you were not entitled to a cooked breakfast unless you paid a further £8.95 per person. Even then, you could only have continental. This was not made clear on the booking site nor on the confirmation email. To be fair, the continental breakfast was good with a decent selection of cereals, a fresh fruit salad, fresh rolls, pastries and cheese. Eating in Bath itself is easy for vegetarians. There are some dedicated vegetarian places to try, and most of the general restaurants had a good selection because vegetarianism is trendy in that area. Perhaps that is due to the influence of the vegetarian mecca of Glastonbury? En route we stopped off at the Gloucester Services, which are related to Tebay. It had even better choice for veggies than its northern cousin and a wonderful farm shop served by the Parsnipship. After 2 days we moved on to stay with friends. Again we had some lovely meals, including a surprisingly adventurous vegetarian meal in a country pub and one evening in Glastonbury itself, which has a very wide choice. Definitely a good area for vegetarian travel!
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