Day 11 – Friday, October 7, 2022

A beautiful blue sky this morning and as we left the cottage the church bells were peeling. It reminded me of that episode in Midsomer Murders about the bell ringers. I mentioned this to the man who lives in no. 2 (and has lived here for 20 years – his father apparently owned the whole block before breaking it up into separate apartments/cottages) and asked him if it was bell-ringing practice. With a completely straight face he told me that the practice sessions were way more chaotic. Right you are…

Off to Bath this morning (via the Park and Ride). Just under 40km from Tetbury, we’ve visited here a few times before (the posts are here and here) and seen the touristy things so today’s trip had two purposes: to buy Grant a white shirt and bow tie for the gala nights on the cruise, and to have afternoon tea (for lunch) at The Pump Room. The former was executed remarkably quickly and remarkably cheaply. The latter we took our time over and was substantially more expensive – although it was a Father’s Day present for Grant from Sarah. (Thanks Sares…)

Jane Austen refers to The Pump Room in both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. In the novels it’s a place to take the waters, but also to promenade and catch up with friends. While Jane (and her characters) may have taken tea and eaten cakes, they wouldn’t have been eating scones such as those we enjoyed – baking powder not being invented in Jane’s day.

The setting was lovely, the food amazing and the scones light as a feather. And yes, in the pic above I do have the cream on before the jam – but only because it’s clotted cream and that’s like butter in my opinion. (When it’s normal whipped cream it goes on top of the jam…just saying…)

My favourite thing on the plate though was the little pea and ham tartlets…and the sandwiches.

After that we needed a walk, so walk we did… and Bath is a fabulous city to walk around and through. Don’t you just love the name of the bookshop in the pic below? Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.

Grant walked some more while I had a look through the Jane Austen Centre – where the employees are dressed as characters from Jane’s books. I was taken aback by Edward Ferrars on the front counter, but couldn’t resist a photo of Mr Bennett who is, after about 15 years in the job, apparently, the most photographed man in England. I should have bought the t-shirt in the gift shop, and I loved how the backs of the doors in the toilets had quotes from the books.

I also had to have a go at writing with a feather quill. How Jane wrote and rewrote using one of these is beyond me. Respect.

While we’d been in The Pump Room the sky had clouded over and now, as we walked back to the park and ride bus, it was drizzling. By the time we were back in Tetbury it was raining.

Dinner tonight was at Casa Cucina, a very popular Italian restaurant in Tetbury. I’m glad I booked as there was quite the queue for tables by the time we’d finished dinner.

I had pan-fried seabass with roasted new potatoes and broccoli and Grant had a seafood stew. To finish we shared some ice cream.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

24 thoughts

  1. Tea looks amazing!! Such an amazing setting. Supper doesn’t look too shabby either and of course the architecture and history of Bath adds to the charm of the day.

  2. Ohhh the food at the Pump Room looks so delicious! As does the architecture of the room you’re eating in! Sounds like a perfect day to me. I see there at the end you displaying your artistic talents that you say you don’t have too! Both dinners you had are making my mouth water and it’s not lunch time yet!

  3. Hi Jo – I loved my little stroll with you through Bath – and all the amazing places you find and the food you eat. Jane Austen would have been such a blast for you after all the book club stuff.

  4. That afternoon tea looks wonderful! What a pretty town. I wrote with a pen/ink well for fun when I was in high school and is is quite tedious.

  5. Yes, I agree, I have total respect at how Jan Austen wrote a book using an inked feather. The passion for writing outweighed the difficulties.

  6. Oh Jo, this was perfect to read today or any day for that matter. I love Bath and we always go there on our visits to Somerset to see our daughter and granddaughter. I enjoyed the Jane Austen Centre and bought myself a coaster of that t-shirt :). Your photos are beautiful and so real, can’t believe I’ll be back there in a few months 🙂

  7. Every time I see something about Bath, as in your posts and at times Deb’s I hear my English Grandmother saying “bAth” not “barth” as I might. I found this a lovely read and a link to my heritage…she was born in Warminster….
    Thank you for sharing your post for this week’s Wednesdays Words and Pics. The “good news” I mentioned in my intro this week is that we have found & secured a new place to live, where we hoped for, and next week’s post will explain more! Take care, and I hope to see you next week too. Denyse.

  8. Bath is one place I really want to visit. Hopefully soon. And tea at the Pump Room would be a dream come true. Your pictures are fabulous.

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