It’s impossible not to love Bath. The city evokes Jane Austen romance, Roman ruins, and Georgian architecture like no other place in England. On all my trips to Bath I’ve been so busy admiring the outsides of buildings I haven’t spent much time inside them. But now that I’m back as a guest of Visit Bath, I’m ready to discover the best independent shops in Bath. And restaurants, too.

Bath Abbey

Abbey Hotel

I meet my group at Abbey Hotel, where we’re staying the night. We catch up over coffees in the cafe on the ground floor before checking into our rooms.

Mine has a view of the city, and apart from some noise, it’s a great place to stay in the heart of Bath.

Abbey Hotel Bath

Restaurants in Bath

But we’re not staying in the hotel for long. We have an ambitious itinerary for our trip because Bath has so many independent makers, creators, and chefs doing inventive things in beautiful spaces.

Good Day Cafe in Bath

Oak Restaurant in Bath

One of them is Oak Restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant in Bath I’ve been to before and have been wanting to try again for years.

We head over to enjoy a tasting menu with a wine pairing. Everything from donkey carrots with parsley and almonds to mushroom parfait with celeriac and chicory goes down a treat.

The space itself is intimate and bright, and the restaurant is housed in one of Bath’s oldest buildings. The whole experience is a great introduction to Bath’s creative culinary scene.

Oak Restaurant in Bath


And that’s to say nothing of Swoon, where we go for gelato in the afternoon. This place makes its own sorbets, cakes, and gelatos on site, many of which contain local ingredients.

I really like the unique range of flavors they’ve come up with, and that they rotate them regularly. Carrot cake gelato, anyone?

Swoon Gelato in Bath

Le Vignoble

Later in the day it’s wine o’clock at Le Vignoble. This place has tables surrounded by self-service wine dispensers, making tasting both fun and adventurous.

We settle into a long table at a banquette and sample their house wines along with sinfully rich cheese and charcuterie platters.

Le Vignoble in Bath

Koffmann & Mr White’s

It’s hard to imagine I’ll have room for dinner after all the food I’ve eaten. But by the time I sit down at Koffmann & Mr White’s, the English and French brasserie in Abbey Hotel, I’m feeling peckish.

Koffmann & Mr White's in Bath

The salad starter lacks flavor, but the polenta is rich and filling. I also love the dining room’s green walls and the fact that we eat by candlelight.

Koffmann & Mr White's Restaurant in Bath

I’m back in the restaurant the following morning for breakfast, where the candles have given way to natural light. A delicious meal of poached eggs and smoked salmon on toast is a great way to start the day.

The Beckford Bottle Shop

And lunch is the ideal way to continue it. The Beckford Bottle Shop is a small plates restaurant in Bath with over 250 wines lining the walls. Set in a historic row of shops, the restaurant has great ambiance and stylish decor.

We feast on everything from British cheeses to skate wing with brown shrimp and sea herbs.

My favorite dish is the kohlrabi salad with hazelnuts and apple dressing. It’s a crisp, refreshing number that cuts through the heavier elements of the meal.

The Beckford Bottle Shop in Bath

Good Day Cafe

We save dessert for later, as we’re off to Good Day Cafe, a pretty-in-pink place on a narrow street in the city center.

The cakes are as beautiful as they are delicious, and the beetroot lattes come in millennial pink. There’s even a wall with pictures of local dogs. Adorable.

Good Day Cafe in Bath

Independent Shops in Bath

But our time in Bath isn’t just about eating. There are a lot of independent shops in Bath, and between restaurants we get a chance to explore them.

V V Rouleaux Independent Shop in Bath

Bath Aqua Glass

We start at Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass, where the shop gives way to a glass blowing studio. We watch a demonstration, then try our hands at making our own bauble.

It’s not as easy as it looks, but it’s fun to see the finished products the following day when they’re ready to take home.

Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass in Bath

Graham & Green Shop in Bath

After glassblowing, we walk down a street full of golden Bath stone buildings to get to Graham & Green. I’m excited to visit this furniture shop in Bath’s artisan quarter, not least because I recently bought a chair from their online store.

Seeing Graham & Green’s bright and eclectic collection in person tempts me to fill my flat with it. It’s one of my favorite independent shops in Bath.

Graham and Green Independent Shop in Bath

Grace & Ted Shop in Bath

From furniture, we move to clothing shops. Grace & Ted specializes in the resale of pre-owned designer clothing and accessories.

We browse the racks of dresses, shoes, and handbags, looking for unique pieces and one-of-a-kinds as we learn about the shop’s philosophy of encouraging people to invest in quality clothing.

Grace and Ted Independent Shop in Bath

V V Rouleaux Shop in Bath

The next day it’s time for us to create our own accessories. V V Rouleaux is a modern haberdashery selling couture trimmings, colorful ribbons, and fashionable hats.

The shop has an atelier in the back where we make our own flower ribbon headdresses (in my case, with a lot of help from the workshop leaders).

It’s fun to channel our own creativity after seeing so much of it in the independent shops in Bath. V V Rouleaux has a sister shop in Marylebone, and it makes me want to go there when I get back to London.

V V Rouleaux Independent Shop in Bath

Topping & Company Booksellers

From fashion we move to literature. Topping & Company Booksellers is an independent bookshop in Bath with over 45,000 titles ranging from poetry to cooking, fiction, and design.

I love the way they serve complimentary tea, coffee, and water to anyone browsing in the shop, and when I hear about their regular events it makes me want to come back for one soon.

Topping & Company Booksellers in Bath

Chanii B Shop in Bath

The last of the independent shops we visit in Bath is Chanii B. International shoe designer Chantal Pilon welcomes us to the shop, which is full of her colorful limited-edition designs.

She tells us she’s worked for big brands in the past, but ventured out on her own seven years ago to make the unique designs her brand is now known for.

Chanii B Independent Shop in Bath

Independent Bath

After drooling over heels, boots, and flats, I walk to Bath Spa station to take the train back to London.

I’m carrying my glass bauble and other goodies I acquired along the way, and I’m also bringing home the knowledge that there’s more to Bath than Georgian facades and glowing stone exteriors.

I look forward to exploring more independent shops in Bath on my next visit. And restaurants, too.

This is an advertising feature with Visit Bath.

Find this post helpful? Buy me a coffee!

New here? Join thousands of others and subscribe to the A Lady in London blog via email.

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. At no cost to you, I earn a small commission when you click on them and make a purchase. It doesn’t affect the way you shop, and it’s a great way to support the A Lady in London blog.

2 Comments on Lady’s Guide to the Best Independent Shops and Restaurants in Bath

  1. I love Bath indeed! So many places to discover, from historic to unusual ones. Thanks for sharing your favorite picks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.