Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published November 13th 2021
Bath places to stay, eat and see like House of Frankenstein
Bath is a city break with a difference - whether to live out your Bridgerton fantasy, enjoy one of the best Christmas markets in the UK or revel in the gothic horror romance of Frankenstein at a new museum. We take a look at where to stay, eat and see in the gorgeous South West city.
Contemporary comfort in historic building at Hotel Indigo
I stayed in the heart of the city at Hotel Indigo Bath. It's set within a Georgian terrace which belies the hotel inside. You go through a discreet entrance to find a mix of sleek contemporary style in historic surroundings, along with helpful staff at the reception.
Due to its very central position in the heart of Bath at the corner of South Parade and Pierrepont Street, the hotel is just a few steps away from the main attractions and shops. This location really is superb and an easy walk from Bath Spa Train Station.
Right opposite the hotel is Manvers Street Car Park, a 24-hour outdoor pay and display car park, which makes it easy to unload your baggage from there. Parking is charged between 8am and 8pm and goes up to £15 a day.
Like other similar Hotel Indigos, it's got a vibrant modernistic feel to it. The theme of this hotel is around architects and novelists who made Bath famous for its storytelling and social scene. That includes 'Romance & Mischief' rooms and 'Literary Hideaway' ones.
My room had playing cards images dotted around the room while the prim Georgian portrait paintings were sprayed with neon paints to add that 21st Century Banksy feel. I'm not sure which theme this fit into but it was fun enough.
The spa-inspired bathroom has a wonderful monsoon shower and plenty of lighting - great for those of us putting on makeup. There's a big comfy bed desk, 40" flat-screen TV and little treats by the kettle and Nespresso coffee machine.
There are 166 guest rooms ranging from standard to premier and suites over a series of floors, which manage to feel spacious in this honey-coloured Georgian building. The hotel only opened its doors in September 2020 after a multi-million-pound major restoration project, so it feels very fresh and new.
In addition to the hotel is No 5 Pierrepont St, a private house offering eight en-suite guest rooms, a meeting room/lounge, and a private courtyard.
All in all, this is a boutique hotel that feels like it's wrapping you in a bubble of luxury. Room rates are from £149 through the Hotel Indigo website here.
Next to the Hotel Indigo Bath entrance on the ground floor you'll find the restaurant.
Part of the hotel, The Elder restaurant and bar are independently run and owned by restaurateur Mike Robinson with Gavin Edney as Executive Chef. This is where breakfast is served, and hotel guests can book a table for lunch or dinner or have a drink and snack at the bar during the day and evening.
When it comes to breakfast, there is a good range of the usual English breakfast but also other lighter offerings.
But it is dinner service that impresses the most. The food under the stewardship of Edney is absolutely delicious.
The starter of Baked Fowey river mussels with Falmouth Bay seaweed loaf was one of the best I've had in a long time. Succulent mussels in a creamy sauce with a crunchy topping. Not a scrap was left.
My husband opted for Whipped chicken liver parfait which came with large figs, balsamic and a granola circle over the top and was equally delighted, finding the addition of crunchy granola a revelation.
The Chicken liver parfait starter at The Elder in Bath
Moving on to mains, from a choice of five including Red-legged partridge and Whole Looe harbour lemon sole, I plumped for Nose-to-tail wild fallow deer from the Bathurst estate.
The deer was cooked lightly to bring out its full flavour alongside dots of creamed celeriac, salsify and a scattering of blackberries in a meaty gravy. Even better was the Hunters pie that came in a mini-dish alongside it and was rich and earthy with a soft potato topping that was just ideal for a wintry evening.
My husband opted for the Slow-cooked cheek and treacle cured butler steak of Hereford beef and enjoyed its good quality ingredients with crispy spaetzle, caramelised honey, swede and a large beef fat carrot.
Desserts maintained the standard set so far and had just three sweet options, but all of them sounded spoon-lickingly tempting. We turned down the Lime meringue pie with coconut and rum sorbet in favour of the other options.
The Wild damson souffle had a shortbread resting on top and came with a unique bay leaf ice cream. While the Blackberry tart with vanilla cream, salted almonds and blackberry sorbet was as beautifully artistic to look at as it was delicious to eat.
The artistic looking Blackberry tart at The Elder, Bath
Both the puddings impressed as did the whole meal and experience. The waiter was attentive and efficient while the menu was thoughtful and used well-sourced produce. That is partly due to The Elder having an in-house butchery plus a huntsman and chefs who focus on a 'field to plate' philosophy for diners.
The Elder stands out for not just serving excellent food but having impeccable service to match and the dinner was a real highlight of our stay in Bath.
It's priced slightly higher than high street restaurants but you get much better quality food. Starters are £12 - £13 each, mains between £24 and £32 each and desserts are £10 - £12.
Set within a tall Georgian house, each room charts the life of Mary Shelley, along with her husband, the rogue and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley - their life was as interesting as the monster she created and its riveting stuff done in a fun way.
Large glass cylinders with fake brains and body parts greet you alongside movie posters and the soap opera like tale of this young inspirational woman.
On the lower levels of the museum, you'll see how she came to write probably the most famous and best gothic novel of all time. While the upper floors look at how Frankenstein's monster has become immersed in popular culture from films to toys, cartoons, and more.
The chance to see a recreation of Frankenstein's monster in the museum
At the very top, there's the option of paying extra to do a specially themed escape room or there is a small cinema showing a silent movie version of Frankenstein as part of the museum price.
For anyone brave enough, the cellar has a hands-on experience to wander around that is on the scarier side with surprises and an eerie atmosphere that will make you jump. Not for the faint-hearted but that is the only section that is scary and the rest of the museum is fun and child-friendly. I loved it and it made me realise how talented and under-acclaimed Mary Shelley was during her lifetime.
Other regency attractions in Bath similar to Bridgerton
Getting out and about in Bath, there is so much to see that is reminiscent of Netflix's Bridgerton series. Even if you are just taking a stroll through the Georgian shopping area and past the Roman Baths, or enjoying the river walk.
Right next door to the House of Frankenstein in Gay Street is the Jane Austen Museum, who spent time in this city and is said to have got ideas for her famous novels.
It's a stunning city but any Bridgerton fan will definitely want to visit The Pump Room Restaurant at The Roman Baths in Stall Street for that feeling of taking tea in a decadent atmosphere, along with The Assembly Rooms in Bennett Street to see the original ballrooms.
The stunning Assembly Rooms that look like a scene in Bridgerton
The Bath Assembly Rooms, owned by the National Trust, are simply stunning and romantic with glorious chandeliers and balconies overlooking the huge dancefloor where lovers would have whispered in each other's ears while doing the latest dance routine.
I felt swept away in the beauty of this historic building and it definitely transports you back to another age. It was free to visit too.
Me making the most of the dance floor at The Assembly Rooms in Bath
This side of town is also where you will find lots of independent cafes and shops like Thoughtful Bakery, so it is worth spending time perusing the winding alleys here too.
Another stop-off should be Sally Lunn's Bunn Shop for old-fashioned refreshments at 4 North Parade Passage, based in one of Bath's oldest houses.
For something more modern, there is The Hideout Bar. A delightful small cave-like bar with an outdoor terrace at 1 Lilliput Court. You don't have to make a booking as it is walk-in only and does fantastic cocktails.
Hotel Indigo Bath, South Parade, Bath, BA2 4AB. Call 01225 460441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Book through the Hotel Indigo website here. . Alison was a guest of Hotel Indigo Bath, which is located just 10 miles from M4 Junction 18 and the A46, and only 19 miles from Bristol International Airport. Bath railway station is only 0.2 miles from the hotel.