Bath- a good city for a trip with baby?

Jamie's Italian, Bath- a chain, but very baby friendly

Jamie's Italian, Bath- a chain, but very baby friendly

This weekend my other half whisked J and I away for a romantic weekend for three in Bath. My first ever city break! While perfect “Romantic Weekend for Two” territory, I was slightly dubious about how suitable Bath, best known for tourist attractions and shopping, would be for a weekend away with J.

On the grown ups’ wish list of weekend activities were clothes shopping and some nice meals. I am pleased and surprised to report that we successfully achieved both those goals, although maybe not quite as smoothly and stylishly as we have done in the past!

Both activities involved a substantial amount of distraction by one or other adult while the other ate or shopped.  Most shops have a seat and mirrors, (H&M even has both together!) which obviously go a long way when entertaining a wee one. We threw in the odd coffee break for sofas to play on and members of the public to smile at and the baby remained relatively happy.

With cafes, restaurants etc. I’d always aimed to support one-off small businesses rather than chains in the past. I’m afraid to say that since J arrived, unless I already know of smaller establishments in any given town or city it has become a case of better-the-chain-you-know-has-a-baby-change-and-space-for-a-buggy.

This weekend was no exception. A friend recommended Thai Balcony and the food was amazing. It was actually fine with J but I’d probably recommend it more for a romantic weekend for two rather than three.

The floor of the ladies was big enough and clean enough to do a change on. Of course she chose to do her poo at the only place we went to all weekend without a baby change ! The staff were really friendly and seemed to love having a smiley baby there. I did notice when she started squealing at the end of the meal that a guy who appeared to be the manager hovered nearby after leaving the bill with us, poised for the card to be put down. Fair enough, he wasn’t at all rude about it.

More obviously practical, baby friendly eateries we went to over the weekend were Jamie’s Italian and Café Rouge. I know, very middle class and not that adventurous. Jamie’s Italian is surprisingly averagely priced among the Italian chains, though. Good food, a lift, space for the buggy, excellent highchairs and a very child friendly attitude.

There were a few other babies in Café Rouge too, as well as a baby change, space and friendly staff.

Our hotel restaurant, Olive Tree, is also open to the public. We treated ourselves to one evening meal there, but it would be less advisable with a baby. The staff seemed perfectly happy to J to be there and weren’t concerned when she squealed. The food was great too. However it just felt slightly more uncomfortable for us in the stylish, dimly lit, classy restaurant when J got more vocal! I’m not sure if there was a baby change either. We didn’t look as we knew we could go upstairs. I wouldn’t expect there to be one, but I could be wrong as they did have a highchair.

We weren’t shopping for J this weekend, but Bath does have some great little shops selling baby clothes.…

As well as the usual high street shops and baby specific chains like Gap Kids  (Baby Gap), Jojo Maman Bebe and Cath Kidston (which has a few baby clothes); there are also a few lovely smaller businesses. Father Christmas got J a gorgeous sleep suit from Up to Seven (hand made baby clothes) in December. Their stuff isn’t cheap, but it’s really nice for a very special treat. Funky Bambini also sells designer baby clothes. Not so much my scene, but it is in Bath.

J’s weekend wasn’t just about being dragged around shops. We took her to Aquaterra Leisure Centre for a swim. Nice and cheap with family changing rooms. She also very much enjoyed our walk in Parade Gardens too, complete with grass to play on and tourists to smile at.

On the surface of it Bath is not somewhere you’d automatically head for to entertain your baby, but we all had a great time.  As ever this is far from an exhaustive list of baby friendly places in Bath, it’s just the ones we found and how we found them with a baby…

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