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Bath has the best hot spots for socialising with colleagues or relaxing on long-awaited lunch breaks not far from its main business district. Don’t forget your laptop when you travel because there isn’t anywhere more scenic or fascinating for you to work away from home.
Beckford’s Tower is a 19th century folly and museum collection built in 1827 by Henry Edmund Goodridge which offers superb cityscape views 120 feet above the ground. This neo-classical tower was originally purposed for William Beckford, a wealthy eccentric who was assumed, at one stage in his life, to be the richest commoner in England. The grand building is famous for being the only surviving example of Beckford’s great architectural achievements and you can explore it for yourself when you visit this well-loved area of Somerset.
Created for Beckford as a study retreat, this is a fantastic opportunity to gain inspiration when travelling for business. Inside you’ll find one of the greatest collections of books, furniture, and art ever known to Georgian England as well as an extensive museum collection displaying exhibits portraying Beckford’s life as a writer and collector. Climb 154 steps up the restored tower into the belvedere to experience breath-taking panoramic views across the Victorian Lansdown Cemetery just as Beckford did himself almost 200 years ago!
After Beckford’s death in 1844, part of the Tower’s grounds were donated to the local parish and later used as a cemetery in 1848. This became known as Lansdown Cemetery, the final resting place of Beckford as well as several other notable people from Bath including: the Holburne family (who founded the Holburne Museum), Henry Goodridge, Sarah Grand and Field Marshall William Rowan. Be warned – the Tower is only open to the public certain dates during the year so be sure to check them before you visit.
This place has a great story and good views. I think it is ideal if you build a visit into a walk - there's a nice pub nearby too!
The majestic Holburne Museum in Bath houses an array of fascinating art exhibitions in an impressively authentic setting. Beautiful gardens outside the building showcase a snippet of the museums splendour and history. Originally, the building was constructed as a hotel but is now home to a collection of decorative fine art open to the public on a daily basis.
Located not far from Bath’s business district, the museum is the perfect stop off for lunch break adventures or after work entertainment. Inside you’ll find awe-inspiring pieces of art which vary from Renaissance gems to Gainsborough masterpieces; constantly changing temporary exhibitions also allow guests, no matter how regular, to keep discovering something new. Upstairs there are themes of 18th century culture which adorn the walls in the form of porcelain, paintings and sculpture. Silver and china are elegantly laid out under a twinkling crystal chandelier in what used to be a glamorous ballroom, sat just across the hallway from the impressive collections of Sir William Holburne – the museum’s founder.
On the top floor of the museum, explore pieces from the Golden Age of British painting with examples of work by William Hoare and Thomas Gainsborough. Their striking staple paintings are hung alongside beautiful canvases by Zoffany, Ramsay and Stubbs amongst many others. When you need a pit stop, visit the museum’s very own Garden Café which opens onto the historic Sydney Gardens and offers guests the perfect place to relax after hours of exploring. Enjoy annually a comprehensive programme of temporary exhibitions, music performances, creative workshops, family events, talks and lectures.
Museum of Bath at Work
Discover over 2000 years of Bath’s working history at the Museum of Bath at Work, stretching across a variety of time periods from Roman tourism and Victorian engineering up to modern high technology. For those travelling on business this is certainly an interesting insight into Bath’s work heritage which can be compared to our more contemporary working world.
The notable centrepiece of the museum is a reconstructed Victorian soft drinks factory set up by Victorian entrepreneur Jonathan Bowler in 1864, complete with office, workshop and bottling plant, spanning an entire floor. When the firm closed in 1969, the original building was cleared of its interior which included almost one million movable objects, these were then used to rebuild the firm inside the museum. Other fascinating exhibits that can be explored here include: a reconstructed Bath Stone mine, an ironmonger’s shop, a cabinet maker’s workshop, a 1914 Horstmann car and a unique self-winding clock dating back to 1866. You’ll also find an extensive archive of film, photography, artefacts and sound recordings which relate to the commercial development of the city we know today.
The museum also has a self-service café, a shop, temporary exhibition space and a child’s play area so there’s something for everyone when you come to visit. Audio guides are available too for those seeking further detail about the intriguing exhibits. Displays cover four floors and showcase a variety of interactive exhibits and artefacts enabling visitors to fully immerse themselves in the world of work. When you get peckish, there is a self-service café located in the main display hall on the second floor which serves drinks and snacks to keep you fuelled for the rest of your exploration!
Georgian Pump Room Restaurant
Ah, what a splendid atmosphere. The ambiance of the restaurant is a superb place for a calm and relaxing lunchtime. Eating to the accompaniment of tasteful music, our guests particularly enjoyed listening to the pianist... we could have lingered longer!
When work gets too much and you need a break, or if you want a unique backdrop to socialise with colleagues, then head to the Georgian Pump Room Restaurant, a popular choice amongst locals that is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea daily. Enjoy food and drink in what is certainly a lavish setting, as the restaurant is equipped with gorgeous Corinthian columns, a twinkling chandelier and a spa fountain. These exquisite objects embody what was once the heart of the Georgian social scene, a time when those from high society would journey to the city for the waters which they believed would relieve all their discomforts and illnesses.
Whilst it was the Romans who would bathe in the natural thermal waters of Bath, it was the Georgians who began to drink it in the late 17th century. The Georgians would travel far and wide to get here in order to take the waters, and you can still do this today. You can find the Pump Room Restaurant, arguably one of the city’s most magnificent dining establishments, adjacent to the wonderfully historic Roman Baths. A typical quintessentially British tradition to partake in when visiting Bath is Afternoon Tea, and you can experience a delicious one here in this elegant, sophisticated setting. Choose from a selection of teas, coffees, cakes, sandwiches, pastries and champagne whilst listening to the beautiful sounds of the pianist who provides relaxing music within the establishment daily.
Witness a fountain flowing with the warm spa water now famously used to heat the Roman Baths and Pump Room in the winter months. You also have the opportunity to taste the water but beware, it contains 43 minerals so it has quite an extraordinary taste to it! The water is 50p per glass or free to Pump Room customers, Roman Bath ticket holders and Discovery Card holders.