It was already dark and cold when I arrived in Bath on Friday evening. Thank goodness the hotel is a short walk away and I managed to find it easily. It's a good thing my friend Cesco was spending his final week in Bath before returning to Sicily and he became my guide in Bath.
We met for a walk around the city and to the Christmas market which was thronging with people. We tasted hot mulled wine and cider which was perfect for a wintry night! Then we met up with some friends for beer at the local pub.
My entire week was spent working, so Saturday was the only off-day for me. I woke up to a bright and sunny morning, had a full English breakfast and set off to meet Cesco for a walk by the canal. The air was chilly but I enjoyed the tranquil side of Bath that I never knew.
There are many quaint shops in Bath like this one here.
Waiting for Cesco outside the hotel.
We walked through the city, across the canal and up the hill.
Until we could see a panoramic view of Bath. Then we made our way down again. If we had continued walking up the hill, we would end up at the University of Bath.
This is the widest part of the canal where the river cruise starts. It is probably very popular with tourists during summer.
Some areas along the canal are simply breathtakingly beautiful.
I was doing some boat-spotting along the way. This is a lovely one.
This is all wrapped up and camouflaged against the background. It even has a trunk like an elephant!
Here's a love boat!
A cat sun bathing by the window.
I popped in this old pub to use the toilet. It is lovely, very old and cosy but it has a cash (ATM) machine inside!
A river boat chugging down the canal.
We walked along the canal for about an hour before turning back. If we had continued walking, it would probably lead us all the way to London!
We decided to stop by this boat cafe for a hot drink. The sign outside says "Open only during good weather." Here's Cesco ordering coffee.
The carrot cake was delicious. The coffee cake wasn't too bad either.
It was sunny but chilly, the hot tea was really comforting.
We parted ways when we got back to the city centre. I roamed around a little but soon grew tired of the crowd. It was the last weekend of the popular Christmas Market, so the entire city was just packed. I almost got lost on the way back to the hotel.
In the evening, I took a long uphill walk to Cesco's friend's house in London Road. I saw lots of lovely buildings along the way including this one (below) with a cat and milk bottles painted on the bright red door.
Cesco was treating us to dinner that night and was rushing around in the afternoon buying grocery. I met him while traveling in Italy. He was our guide in Lucca for several days and had cooked a nice meal for us there. In fact, he worked with Jamie Oliver when the later visited Sicily as part of his Italian cooking tour. So one can always expect a fantastic Italian meal from him!
When I arrived, two men were busy cutting and mixing stuff in the small kitchen. It was a funny sight. His friend Rob was making guagamole to bring to a party while Cesco was chopping up onions for bruschetta.
Cesco is quite a perfectionist when it comes to food. We had an aperitif of prosecco and mixed olives.
Then he started preparing squid stuffed with sun dried tomatoes and olives to be baked in the oven.
Meanwhile, we ate a first starter of gently fried calamari. It was yummy!
This is another starter - bruschetta.
The main course was pasta cooked with broccoli, anchovies and capers.
Here is another dish put together by him. Sliced orange garnished with spring onions, salt and pepper. It sounds unusual but it was fantatsic, I intend to recreate it sometime soon. The stuffed squid was an interesting new taste for me too. He also marinated some smoked haddock with tangerine juice. The salty fish infused with sweet tangy juice was really nice, especially when served with raw spinach.
Cesco and Kay from Japan.
It became very cold at night when I took a cab back to the hotel. The temperate dropped to minus 4 degree Celcius in the night and I woke up to a frosty morning. It was a chilly walk to the train station and I was glad I had a sunny day the day before.
Bye bye Bath!