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Smith24 maestro Keith Oswin visited romantic Regency city Bath, where he stayed at the Queensberry Hotel – a genteel Georgian townhouse within walking distance of thermal spas, fine dining and bijou boutiques…

Postcard from Bath | Queensbury Hotel
It’s always nice to be shown to your room when you check in but few hotels provide an entourage. The two staff members who accompany me bodyguard-style through the Queensberry Hotel seemed somewhat excessive, until one confided that she had started working there two days ago and was still learning the layout. I could sympathise – this Georgian stay is a maze of corridors and staircases: one of these historic houses is labyrinthine enough, but the hotel comprises of four in a row. In the 1970s – when I was a student nearby – the hotel was a student hostel for girls, and the twists and turns that trouble today’s staff allowed ‘unofficial residents’ to sneak in and dodge matriarch Miss Downer’s lair (now the Residents’ Lounge).

New Year hotels | Queensberry HotelThe hotel’s a lot more refined these days; set in Jane Austen territory, it would suit that most literary Mr and Mrs Smith, Mr Darcy and Miss Bennett. The city sights are close by too: Bath’s Assembly Rooms are just 50 metres away – where formal dances far more proper than my college discos took place – and a signpost outside directs visitors towards the Museum of Fashion, the Circus and Royal Crescent, the Roman Baths and their more modern equivalent, the Thermae Bath Spa. The hotel has award-winning restaurant the Olive Tree – where chef Chris Cleghorn has crafted a highly inventive menu – but there are generous portions of gourmet English fare to be found close by. In my Back to the Future-inspired quest I visited the Chequers – once a renowned hostelry among students who lodged in the city centre, it’s equally welcoming in its current guise of gastropub. Alternatively, elegant eateries can be found in boutiquey Margaret Buildings, and the city’s replete with reliable chains: Jamie’s Italian, Cote and Loch Fyne.

Postcard from Bath | The Queensberry Hotel Bath’s a small city, so you can easily stroll back to the hotel while admiring the regal architecture. On returning, I took a restorative free cup of tea in the lounge and listened to other guests arriving. The two-strong welcome wagon greeted each like a long-lost friend, proving why the Queensberry is so popular: cosy, charming and good looking, it’s a quintessential English all-rounder.

If a Georgian-style getaway sounds like your cup of Earl Grey, why not take a look at our range of boutique hotels in Bath

*Copy written by Keith Oswin

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