For Aryan’s first birthday, we enjoyed a weekend getaway to the picturesque city of Bath. Just under two hours from Southampton, Bath had been trending on our bucket list for a while.
We set off for Bath on a rainy Friday following a long, tiring week at work. Just before stepping out of the house, I wearily told Nizar, ‘I don’t know if I am up for this’. As soon as we arrived at our Air Bnb, I swiftly changed my mind. Situated atop a hill, adorned with flowers and fairylights, the house beckoned welcomingly. Usually I am in a lets-do-everything mode when exploring a new place but this time, with a baby in tow, my agenda was to chill out. All I wanted was to unwind and enjoy a slow weekend with my boys.
We spent some time exploring the Air Bnb, marveling the cosy aesthetics, then dove straight into the lush covers. With the radio on, the whole weekend ahead, and the delicious comfort of lamp-lit stillness radiating through the beautiful Georgian townhouse, (Aryan was knocked out by the car ride by then), I fell asleep with a full face of makeup – a total no-no for a creature of habit like me. Fair to say I felt so relaxed, I readily relinquished all my rituals.
Next morning, we walked the odd 18 minutes to the city centre. Two things struck us immediately: how many, many independent shops there are in Bath and how omnipresent the touristy buzz is. Bath is among the most beloved of English cities and essentially a UNESCO-listed photo-op. Full of delightful nooks and crannies that transport you to another time, the historic allure of the city is unmissable.
We brunched at the pink walled Good Day Café then strolled around the city with Google Map as our guide. We visited the Roman Baths and admired the temple remains. We dropped by the famous Bath Bun shops and devoured fudge and icecream. Then we took a boat ride over River Avon, taking advantage of the nice summer weather, a rarity in Britain. It was Aryan’s first boat ride where he got his fill of big birds – seagulls, swans and even a stork. Dinner was at an Italian restaurant called Joya where Aryan gobbled up my spaghetti Bolognese.
Next day we took the birthday boy to a boisterous brunch place called the Boston Tea Party, suggested by our Air BnB host. Highly recommend if you are in the area! We then strolled around the city centre, soaking up the lazy Sunday feels and sipping hot coffee. We left for Southampton in the afternoon and made it in time to do some meal prepping for the week ahead.
We didn’t go down the traditional first birthday party route but I can tell you this – all three of us had tons of fun, despite a bout of intense teething involving high temperatures and 3 am Calpol topups. Nizar and I needed some time away from the daily grind and to enjoy a chore-free weekend. I am content with the decision we made for Aryan’s first birthday and I hope when he grows up, he will appreciate and cherish these special memories we made.