Showing posts with label VisitEngland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VisitEngland. Show all posts

Saturday, July 09, 2016


The city of Bath made a literal splash with us as we arrived amidst a feather-light drizzle. It was difficult to see much in the dark but The Edgar Townhouse (64 Great Pulteney Street, Bath, Somerset BA2 4DN, tel: +44 (0)1225 420619) proved warm and cheerful once we entered the boutique hotel's warm, homely premise. Designated as a Grade I listed building and in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Edgar is located in Central Bath; close to all the major attractions, shops and restaurants.

After a speedy check-in process in the well-furnished and cosy lounge, we lugged our luggage up to our respective bedrooms. Mine was done up in less than fifty shades of grey, complete with a sleek white-tiled shower and wash room. Besides the comfy bed with a whimsical throw cushion, the linear, minimalist room included a writing table and heart-shaped mirror.
After a quick breather to refresh ourselves, we trudged out to grab a bite for dinner. Since it was rainy and chilly, going for Indian food seemed ideal. That was how we ended up at Rajpoot, a multiple award-winning Indian restaurant.
The flight of steps taking us down into the resto barely prepared us for the intricate warren of private dining rooms and alcoves within. It was akin to being transported straight to Incredible India thanks to the profusion of ornate lantern lights, Indian motifs and wall murals, artworks and collectibles.
Redolent with exotic and fragrant spices, our selection of chicken tandoori, several different curries, king prawn biriyani and Indian roti were out of this world. Some of the specialities packed enough hotness to warm our hearts and stomachs.

Needless to say, we slept like logs that night...well, at least I did. A cheery blue sky with wisps of white clouds greeted me when I looked out of my room window the next morning. After packing quickly, I made my way downstairs for breakfast in the light-filled dining room.
Besides cereals, bread and fruits, the affable team on duty served cooked breakfast upon request. I opted for smoked salmon with scrambled egg and fried mushroom which as expected turned out delicious. It was with much reluctance, we had to depart from this serene and tasteful haven for we had to visit some of Bath's famous attractions.
View of the weirs in the city centre of Bath
It was a lovely day as we strolled briskly towards the city centre. There were so many breath-taking, picturesque vistas Jennifer and myself dawdled ever so often to take quick snapshots of them. We couldn't help it as we wanted to remember as much as possible from this sojourn.
One of the key highlights which gave Bath its name is the Roman Bath which was founded upon natural hot springs with the steaming water playing a key role throughout its history. Lying in the heart of the city, The Roman Baths were constructed around 70 AD as a grand bathing and socialising complex; one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world.
The domed building where the ticketing and reception areas are sited alone is fantastical and awe-inspiring. Loads of visitors trudge through the Roman Baths daily but the sprawling attraction is so huge, you'd hardly notice the crush of people constantly streaming in and out.

The ancient ruins depict Bath’s spa culture 2,000 years ago when the Romans once bathed in the natural thermal spa water. Despite signs posted reminding visitors not to dip into the water, many sneakily broke the rule just to feel its warmth. If you observe closely, the rising steam is evident from the pool surface.
After the whirlwind tour, it was time to head over to Royal Hotel (Manvers St, Bath BA1 1JP, tel: +44 1225463134) for lunch. The city is immensely walkable but Jennifer and myself had to depart for Heathrow Airport to catch our flight home so we had no choice but to make haste.
First opened in 1846, the classic hotel has a French-style brasserie known as Brasserie Brunel (named in tribute to architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel) where we had our farewell lunch.
Since it was Easter Sunday, the menu featured 'back to basic' fare: roast chicken and fish & chips. Maybe we felt too down in the dumps to really appreciate the lunch. Sigh.
The hotel is strategically located across from the Bath Spa train station (pix below). We were to catch the train heading to London Paddington Station so we made good time before settling down for that 90-minute journey back to London. 
Once we reached Paddington Station, we simply kept our eyes peeled for directional signs indicating where to board the Heathrow Express. Everything was seamless and hassle-free - a relief for us travellers who had heavy luggage in tow.
All in all, it was an exhilarating experience having the fortuitous chance to discover and enjoy Great Value Britain. From the time we landed up at Heathrow to the time we depart, we have had countless #OMGB moments to cherish. I'd like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Visit Britain for the unforgettable travel experiences!
Travelling from Malaysia to the UK on a budget? Discover Great Value Britain with some great tips from or visit CIT Malaysia to plan your VisitBritain itinerary.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


There's so much more to Great Value Britain than just London. Having grown up reading Enid Blyton's stories, the English countryside came alive for us when we set foot in The Cotswolds. Rolling hillsides known as 'wolds', quaint English villages, picturesque river valleys and woodlands dot the pastoral landscape which sent us shutterbugs into a snap-happy frenzy!

Much as we were reluctant to leave the dreaming spires of Oxford, a short train ride on the Great Western Railway from Oxford Station whisked us off in a blink of an eye to Moreton-in-Marsh, one of the principal market towns in the northern Cotswolds, situated on the Fosse Way. 

Typical moody grey and rainy English weather heralded our arrival to the town but our spirits were quickly lifted by the sight of a florist shop filled with a profusion of beautiful blooms. From bulbous tulips and violets to roses and daffodils, our little group went gaga over the wide assortment of flowers in the shop. The owner was gracious enough to allow us to take some photos.
The charming little town grew up in the 13th century as a market town with a wide main street, narrow burgage (conditions under which land or property were held in return for service or rent) plots and back lanes. 



Most of the buildings in these counties were built using local honey-coloured limestone known as 'Drystone' (refer to pic of wall above). Many Drystone walls were built in the 18th & 19th centuries - the stones were skillfully stacked together without any cement!

Although Moreton-in-Marsh only had a main street, our brief walkabout revealed some charming shops stocked with interesting merchandise. 

After browsing through an old-fashioned toy shop (it looks like something out of an Enid Blyton's story books), we popped into Tilly’s Tea House (4 High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AF, tel: +44 1608 650000) – a beautiful Cotswolds tearoom for brunch.

I wish we had time and tummy space to try everything on the extensive menu but alas, it was impossible. Instead of lunch, I succumbed to Tilly's famed cream tea and it proved notable. The warm, buttery fruit scone with real clotted cream and strawberry jam was just divine!

After pinching a bite or two of my dining companions' sticky toffee pudding, Cornish pasty, salmon quiche and choc cake, I daresay they were the bee's knees too. No wonder the tearoom did roaring business as hungry visitors and locals came for their fill of cakes and to buy a selection of jams and chutneys.

Moments before our bus arrived for our next stopover which was Bourton-on-the-Water, we spotted The Cotswold Cheese Company across the road. Being the crazy foodies that we are, Jennifer and me couldn't resist dashing into the shop, just to feast our eyes on the vast selection of English cheeses and goodies in there.

We were reluctant to depart for the neighbouring village of Bourton-on-the-Water but pressed for time, we had to resist the urge to shop. Any misgivings were soon forgotten the minute we stepped off the bus as Bourton-on-the-Water was too pretty for words!
I won't bore you too much with long-winded descriptions...look at the scenic snapshots and you'd see the fairy tale setting of Bourton-on-the-Water. Bubbling brook, weeping willows by the river embankment, honey-coloured and ivy-wreathed stone houses and cosy little shops, trimmed hedges, little winding side's truly reminiscent of an Enid Blyton story!



We even joined visitors thronging a local flea market which had some worthy buys but bearing in mind our baggage restrictions, again we had to curb our shopping impulse. 
For shopaholics, I'd recommend lugging back these interesting handcrafted miniature English cottages and some wine-scented candles or buttery shortbread in commemorative tins.
Unfortunately for us, the occasional shower soon turned into a major downpour when we reached the train station. Since it was the Easter hols, we all had to huddle in a small shelter as the rain and wind battered down after we disembarked from our bus. Sigh...suffice to say we had never been more relieved to board our train from Moreton-in-Marsh back to Oxford and onwards to Bath.
Nevertheless, it was a splendid day well spent. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and given a chance, had no qualms about returning for a repeat visit to the Cotswolds.

Travelling from Malaysia to the UK on a budget? Discover GreatValueBritain now via or visit CIT Malaysia to plan your VisitBritain itinerary.
The city of BATH makes a splash with us before 
we bid farewell to Great Value Britain.

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