This month LFF’s London escapes in the city in search of a stylish getaway on the doorstep on the big smoke
The art of total relaxation is a state that became a nigh-on-impossible feat when I moved to London four years ago. It’s the fear of missing out that is to blame; when I lie in on a Saturday morning after a busy week of work a dirty sense of guilt sets in – only intensified by my Instagram feed, clogged with smug early risers eating exquisitely plated Turkish eggs at another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pop up bruncherie. If you too are suffering from a case of FOMO, then may I suggest you do as my boyfriend and I did last month and harness the weekend to escape the city, in search of a little tranquillity.
Just a 1:30 journey from Paddington station and we found ourselves in the elegant Georgian the city of Bath.
|Image c/o Accor Hotels|
Our home for the night in Bath city was The Francis Hotel - part of Accor's MGallery Collection. Located on Queens Square, the hotel can be accessed on foot or via taxi from Bath train station. The décor in the hotel presents a masterclass in the restoration of a period property; stylish modernisation but without the loss of character.
Originally designed as 7 fashionable townhouses, The Francis Hotel is a Grade 1 listed building. With this in mind, the architects behind the hotel's renovation utilised several interior design themes, marking the original boundary between each original 'house' with differing decor. Blue plaques also detail the original residents that lived in each building - a neat touch which appealed to my inner history geek.
Our room on the first floor was cosy, stylish, and full of charming touches - a welcome note on arrival, a complimentary scented candle and turn-down service [complete with freshly-baked madeleines!], which all made us feel throughly spoilt. Our criticism of the room was that it was quite dark and compact - I'd recommend booking a suite if you're looking to wow.
My boyfriend and I know Bath inside out - it's a Green family tradition to visit the city annually each Christmas, and Marcus did his Masters at the university - so we gave the obvious tourist attractions a miss. Instead we did our own culinary tour of the city, discovering some incredible foodie hotspots. I'd recommend Martini Italian restaurant [first-rate lobster spaghetti], The Green Rocket Cafe for vegetarian and vegan food [we are still talking about the raw vegan raspberry cheesecake!] and The White Hart Inn for alfresco dining and local, seasonal deliciousness [the menu of the day offers excellent value].
In the evening we headed back to our hotel room for some R&R; which included fluffy towelling bathrobes, a hot bath and a greedy post-witching hour room service order [smoked salmon sandwiches and a cheeseboard FTW!].
On a Sunday, breakfast at The Francis Hotel is served until noon - which enabled us to enjoy a few precious extra moments luxuriating in the marshmallow soft bed. Alongside a continental buffet breakfast, The Francis Hotel offer a cooked-to-order menu at no extra cost, so when we eventually made it to the John Wood dining room, myself and Marcus shared smoked salmon and scrambled egg toast, alongside American pancakes with fruit compote. Both were tasty - the smoked salmon was top-notch - and the free Sunday supplements to read over breakfast were an LFF-approved touch.
I can't begin to tell you how relaxed I felt having escaped London - albeit briefly. If you're looking for stylish getaway within travelling distance of the city, The Francis Hotel certainly provides the fitting backdrop for an elegant getaway.
La Fashion Folie was a guest of the The Francis Hotel - a big thank you to Accor hotels for their hospitality!