Today Kevin and I headed into Bath and got wet. A few years back, Bath & North East Somerset Council decided to revive the idea of “taking the waters”. With backing from lottery funding and private investors they built a brand new spa, using the same hot springs as the original Roman baths. The resulting spa, Thermae, opened in 2006 and is now a popular local attraction.
Kevin and I signed up for the Twilight for Two package. Thankfully it does not involve any sparkly vampires. What you get is 3 hours in the spa, including a restaurant meal. None of the massages, beauty treatments and so on are included, but you do get to use the pools and steam rooms.
There are three main levels to the spa. The lowest level (the Minerva Pool) is an indoor pool fed by spa water. It’s not that hot — just pleasantly warm — but that means you can stay in it for a long time. Water depth is about 5′, and there are floats available for those who need them. A small section is put aside for jacuzzi-type bubbles, and that’s always busy.
The middle level contains four steam rooms. They are not as hot as a proper Finnish sauna, but they are warm enough to drive you out after a while. Each one has a different aromatherapy mix. The idea appears to be that you sample each one in turn, showering off in between.
Finally there is the roof pool, and if you time things right you can be there to watch the sun go down over the city. The pool is open to the air, and at this time of year its quite chilly out of the water, but still pleasantly warm in it.
The choice of meals in the restaurant is quite limited, but the food was far better than I expected given the captive audience. Kevin had prawn noodles and I had grilled haloumi. The house white (heavily oaked Chardonnay) was very drinkable.
I should note also that the changing rooms are mixed gender, with individual cubicles. So are the toilets, though some of the cubicles in them are female-only. To my knowledge, no one has complained that this makes the place unsafe for women, and indeed large numbers of women were happily using it.
All in all we have a lovely, relaxing three hours. I have no idea if it was good for our health, but it was very good for our spirits. And we were done in time to go and see Joe Abercrombie at Toppings. It was a fine day.