I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Published December 22nd 2021
Georgian spleandour for all visitors
Immerse yourself in the most famous address in the whole of Bath! Built between 1776-1796, No 1 and 1A, The Royal Crescent form the entire end of the world-famous Royal Crescent street, which overlooks a meadow and the city of Bath. The Crescent has always formed the heart of Georgian Bath and is beloved by locals, visitors and filmmakers alike! No 1 is currently a beautifully restored and curated museum and offers an immersive guide experience through the house, telling the history of this gorgeous building.
The interactive tour of the house takes visitors through the 4 floors of the museum. Every walk of life can be experienced by walking through sumptuously decorated bedrooms to the chilly yet functional kitchens in the basement. The size of the property is truly impressive and despite the many, many rooms on the tour, there are entire floors and suites of rooms that are not open to the public but form the inner workings of the museum.
The family dining room, set up for a Georgian Christmas
The detail and loving care that has gone into creating the rooms are incredible and every room contributes to the current '12 days of a Georgian Christmas' exhibition. Expect Christmas music, anecdotes about Bath at Christmas, and much, much more if you do visit. My favourite room was a lady's bedroom, complete with wig stands, a four-poster bed and a mechanical singing songbird. Fabulous!
The Georgians loved their houses to be impressive and grand, and the dimensions of each and every room reflect this. Especially impressive were the lounge, or 'retiring room' and the sweeping staircases. You could have easily fit an entire house into the stairwell of the first floor. In fact this may have been my favourite aspect of the entire museum. Most of the Crescent and indeed the rest of Georgian Bath buildings are all divided and carved up into flats and maisonettes. It was a joy to see a full, complete townhouse, as it would have looked in its heyday.
Fans of the massive Netflix hit Bridgerton may recognise certain rooms and corners of No.1. Whilst it is not stated, this lovely museum was actually the location of the Featherington household in the series. Many crucial events and characters trod these boards and the bright colours and gilded furniture may well be familiar to many. It is very easy to gaze out of the windows of this place and to imagine oneself back in Georgian times, either as a resident of the house upstairs, or a servant bust working below.
The sweeping curve of the Royal Crescent, as seen from the dining room
Everywhere you look, there are nods to the past of the city of Bath. In pride of place on the ground floor is a sedan, or 'Bath' chair - a sort of Georgian taxi once carried around the town by two porters. Such was the wealth and power of the residents in Bath, they could be transported from social event to social event, by humans! Seeing all of the wealth and splendour of historic Bath is superb, but I did wonder about the grim reality that there must have been for the servants and in particular, the servants who had to carry the sedan chairs!
In need of a bit of respite after the museum? Right next to No 1 is a wonderful shopping street called Margaret's buildings. Full of unusual shops and eateries, it is well worth a visit. There is all manner of hidden gems to discover there and I could easily spend an entire morning browsing. The street is built from the same honey-coloured Bath stone, so the transition from museum to shopping street does not feel too jarring. Indeed, it is almost like a pleasant transition.
The quirky, festive street just accross the way from No 1
My preferred place to visit after the museum would be Berdoulat. At the top end of Margarets Buildings, it is a mix of bakery, wine seller, coffee house and art gallery. In this sense, it is very Georgian and offers a luxurious and beautiful shopping experience. Two floors of sumptuous gifts await you there and just strolling along the upstairs gallery made me feel like I was living a Georgian dream! Happy daydreaming, folks!
The upstairs balcony at Berdoulat, looking in to the shop floor below.