I am a lucky so-and-so. Not only do I have amazing friends but they buy me super amazing presents. I was thoroughly spoiled on my birthday last week but the fun didn't stop there! Char booked me in several months ago for a post-birthday mystery secret trip and Friday morning saw us zooming down the motorway on our way to destination unknown. I was very, very good and hadn't asked many questions at all (other than the obvious how long are we going for/what sort of clothes do I need to pack/are we running a marathon or doing anything that requires unusual supplies - I'm a stressy packer!) so it was a delicious surprise to find out that we were going to Bath!
And not just going to Bath, but going to Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights for the Reading Spa! I have been lusting after this for a long, long time but Bath is very far away from Liverpool and it's just a bit too indulgent to take myself there. If someone else wishes to take me there though, that's a totally different matter!
Oh my gosh, I had the best time ever. It's the most fabulous place:
I was plied with coffee and flapjack whilst I had a good chinwag with Libby about my taste in books, then she came back a short while later with this amazing selection. Books, books, books! It was an excellent sign that I'd already read several of her picks. I had the hardest time choosing between the rest of them though. It was such a treat to have books recommended to me by someone who was so passionate and interesting when she was talking about them. I almost felt a bit bad leaving some of them behind.
It took me an absolute age to whittle the selection down to this pile. I've already devoured The House by the Thames and if it sets the tone for the rest of them, I'm in for a very good time! It was utterly fascinating. I think I might do a review post when I've read them all...
We squeezed in a trip on the Friday evening to the Little Theatre Cinema (about a million times better than the soulless Odeon) to see The Place Beyond the Pines. It wasn't at all what I expected in terms of structure and tone but I definitely liked it. Even if I am that weird creature who doesn't get the appeal of either Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper.
Saturday was a day of walking round in the rain exploring the city and doing cultural things. We went to the Assembly Rooms, where Char got mistaken for a wedding guest as she was so beautifully frocked up.
And then to the adjoining Fashion Museum (well worth a visit) where I discovered that:
It's quite hard to take pictures of gorgeous frocks when they're behind stupid reflective display cases.
I really want to wear a sack back dress. Alas I was born 200 years too late and several social classes too low.
My favourite dress from their evening dress collection was a pink one. I know. I'm as surprised as you are.
And that I definitely want to bring bonnets back into fashion. They're the only hats that I actually suit!
I didn't quite do the true blogger thing of recording everything I ate because sometimes I feel like a weirdo pulling out an SLR to take a photo of my dinner. A camera phone snap is obviously more subtle but my phone is old and the camera is lame, so it makes life difficult. I braved the shame to take these though:
Sally Lunns. Because you can't go to Bath without eating a Sally Lunn bun. It's the law. Plus they have sugar lumps. Yayyyyy! I really like sugar lumps.
Despite the rain, I had a glorious time. It's been ages since I was last in Bath and it's such a perfect place for a weekend jaunt. Plus I still have the warm fuzzy feelings after the Reading Spa. All the books! It was a truly excellent birthday present and Char is a super duper pal.
I shall leave you with this: