Bath has been billed as the Heritage City you can do in a day - and with no kids in tow, a room in a swish hotel and tickets to the Thermae Bath Spa booked, we were determined to squeeze every drop out of our 24 hours.

Our first stop was the Bath Abbey Hotel, where we would be staying for the evening.

Situated in the city centre, this impressive hotel stands in a row of Georgian townhouses and is within five minutes' walk of Bath Abbey and the world famous Roman Baths.

The wide Georgian pavement outside the hotel hosts the Terrace Bar where we found guests and visitors relaxing on elegant furniture, enjoying leisurely glasses of wine while city life buzzed around them.

Inside the hotel we caught a glimpse of the beautiful Allium Restaurant where we would be eating that night.

We were also intrigued to hear there was an Apres Ski Bar - The Igloo - below the hotel, which was decorated to resemble an ice bar and apparently sold the best cocktails around...

Our contemporary and very comfortable room had all mod cons including a flat-screen TV and free WiFi, with views over to the River. And after dumping our bags we ventured out to explore.

Bath is a city of contrasts.

Revered by the Romans who named it Aquae Sulis, its healing spa waters were worshipped by the ancients and tourists still flock from across the world to visit the fascinating ancient Baths.

Alongside its Roman face, Bath's Georgian past is evident everywhere in its amazing architecture.

Towering townhouses stand sentinel, the most famous example being the Royal Crescent, a row of 30, exquisite terraced houses built in 1774 by the architect John Wood, the Younger.

Bath is also a mecca for shoppers and the city centre hosts all the top high street names alongside a treasure trove of boutiques and independent traders.

Add to that fabulous restaurants, parks, theatres and, well, it was going to be a pretty busy 24 hours!

Later that afternoon, weighted down with bags, footsore and hungry we came back to the Bath Abbey Hotel to shower, change and enjoy a much appreciated pre-dinner drink.

The hotel was busy with the excited buzz of a wedding party, but night had fallen and there was an intimate glow about the place which we loved.

The brasserie-style Allium restaurant serves modern British dishes and we took our time to peruse the menu over a vodka and tonic.

The following three courses passed in a haze of bliss and delightful conversation thanks to our Irish waiter Ross.

At his suggestion we started by sharing salt and peppered squid with homemade mayonnaise and Portland white crab meat with wasabi emulsion, meat radish, grapefruit and avocado.

We followed this rump of lamb with crushed peas, broad beans, Jersey Royals and loveage and slow cooked belly of pork with teriyaki vegetables, pak choi and a sweet ‘n’ sour sauce.

After a brief rest (and joining the rest of the restaurant in toasting the bride and groom who were enjoying their wedding breakfast behind a velvet curtain), we found just enough space to share the banana mille-fuille with peanut butter ice cream and chocolate caramel and the chocolate marquise with lemon curd, raspberries, popcorn and lemon ice cream.

Well it would have been rude not to...!

Perhaps not surprisingly, we decided to forgo the stairs and take the lift back to our room where we slept like babies.

The next morning, after a leisurely continental breakfast in bed, we packed our bags and bid a sad farewell to the Bath Abbey Hotel and its warm and friendly staff, promising to return.

Anxious to prolong our stay as long as we could we ventured to Therma Bath Spa, where we spent the morning languishing in the ancient spa waters just like the Romans and Celts did 2000 years before.

I doubt the ancients enjoyed the same level of luxury that we did though; After being steamed and sauna'd to our heart's content I enjoyed the Watsu treatment in the historic Hot Bath.

Watsu sees a specially trained therapist gently support, stretch and guide your body through a series of flowing movements in the warm, mineral rich waters.

Combining elements of shiatsu massage and acupressure "relaxing" doesn't even come close to how great I felt afterwards.

We left Bath having positively wallowed in history, relaxation and great food - and wishing we had another 24 hours.


Overnight stays from £125 per room per night based on two sharing a midweek stay on a B&B basis. or call 01225 805663. For treatments and prices at the Thermae Bath Spa visit or call 01225 33 1234.