The Pump Room and Thermae Spa

/ posted in: travel

Tea at the Pump Room was the first thing that we decided that we had to do on the Smut Tour.  After all, if you are going to do a tour of England to see everything you’ve read about in Regency Romances, you HAVE to go to the Pump Room.

The building was built at the end of the 1700s and was a gathering place for members of high society.  It is discussed in Jane Austin’s books and any other Regency book that takes place in Bath.

We had the champagne tea which was completely wasted on us because we don’t like champagne but it was part of the Spas Ancient and Modern Package that we had.

The food was ok. The sandwiches were sandwiches. It is hard to make those exciting. The scones were very good and inspired me to make some when I got home. The desserts were good but so sweet that it actually hurt your teeth to eat them. I didn’t think I’d actually ever use those words but I could only take a few bites of each. The tea was incredibly good though. I’m not a huge tea fan. It mostly tastes like weakly flavored hot water to me. We had the pump room blend and it was amazing. We had to figure out how to work it since it came with filters and things. We are so American. I also now know that I take two lumps in my tea in case I’m ever transported to a Victorian drawing room and need to have an answer to that question.

There was a pianist playing when we were there. His playlist included a lot of Elton John and the Muppet Show theme.

There is a fountain in an alcove where you can drink the famous spa water.

In my Bill Bryson audiotour of the Roman Baths next door he said that whoever decided to drink this water was a bad person. I’ve been to other spa towns like French Lick Indiana where the water is mostly sulfur so I was prepared to be very brave when trying the water.

It tastes like water. Supposedly it has 43 minerals and all kinds of stuff in it but it tastes like normal hot water. I was sort of disappointed.

 


That night we went to the Thermae Spa.  It is a new spa that lets you bathe in the thermal water that Bath is famous for.  Our package was for 2 hours.  When you get there you are given slippers, a towel, and a robe.  One floor is a bunch of cubicles where you change into a bathing suit and then stash your stuff in lockers.

Downstairs is the Minerva pool.  It is a warm pool with a small lazy river and massage jets.  Everyone gets a blue pool noodle to float around with.  After walking all over London and dragging around suitcases it was nice to just float in warm water for a while.

Upstairs there is an amazing steam room.  It is an open room with four round glass steam pods in it.
Each one was about 10 feet in diameter.  Each room has a different aromatherapy scent in it.  There are concrete benches around the walls of the steam pods.  These are the hottest steam rooms I’ve ever been in.  Sometimes the concrete was almost too hot to sit on.  I loved it.  Outside the steam pods there was a waterfall shower to cool off.  I would soak in pools for a while and then come here to warm up.  My mother doesn’t like steam rooms so she avoided it.

On the roof of the building in an outdoor pool.  This was the most crowded when we were here.  I didn’t like it as much so we went back to the Minerva pool.

This was a great way to spend a few hours relaxing in the middle of a vacation.