I had a big birthday recently. A big one. Huge. I’d prefer not to discuss numbers but let’s say it begins with a 4 and ends in 0.
My husband has been struck down with this self same affliction and as we are both one foot closer to the grave (I swear this blog post gets more positive, hang in there, stay with me), we decided we’d do a little jaunt away somewhere. Ditch the kids and ride off into the sunset, just the two of us oldies.
But where could we go that we would both enjoy? Hmmmmm what a puzzler. I scratched my head and pretended to think long and hard about it when my whole soul was silently screaming Bath! Bath! Bath! I knew I just had to visit Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights……and well…..if I’m happy then my husband is happy. Capiche?
I’m not really a selfish pig, we would do lots of sight seeing and eating and drinking so everyone’s a winner.
I desperately wanted to do the book spa experience but ever the procrastinator I left it too late to book and they were fully booked up. The staff however bent over backwards via email to try and fit me in on another day. Unfortunate we were only dahn sarf that one weekend so it was not to be.
Just as I’d resigned myself to a trip to Disappointment Central, calling at Dashed Hopes and terminating at Shattered Dreams Parkway, the lovely staff at Mr B’s emailed to ask if I’d thought of joining up for their book subscription service and if so would I like a 30 minute consultation to sign up for it?…….well hell to the yeah! I’m up for that!
And so it came to pass that on the 29th day of the month of July, we merrily packed our kids off and jetted off down the old motorway.
Now it goes without saying that Bath is a beautiful city but if you didn’t already know and have never been, it is a beautiful city. Bustling and busy with lots to see and do. We walked our little legs off.
We stayed in a rather lovely little boutique B&B called Brindley’s, the owners are so lovely and helpful. They suggested places to eat and drink and we had some rather potent cocktails in an underground cocktail bar called The Dark Horse.
On our first trot round the city centre we actually passed Mr B’s (and my stomach did a little flip, ya get me?) BUT I was booked in for the next day and didn’t want to ruin the moment so what did I do?…..I sneakily took a quick picture whilst whispering ‘tomorrow my pretty….’ (not really, that sounded a bit creepy) I did take a picture though.
At this point I feel like I need to give an honourable mention to another absolutely beautiful bookshop called Toppings. Walking into this shop is like walking into book heaven. It’s floor to ceiling bookshelves with the moveable ladders and squillions of beautiful books. Lots sealed up in clear cellophane and lots of signed first editions. If you’re ever in Bath you NEED to visit here.
See what I mean?…..
So, Mr B’s…..what can I tell you? I arrived fashionably early but was then told I was actually on time and had got the time wrong. Yay me! Amy got me started on my book subscription consultation. I have chosen to go for a 6 month paperback subscription at a cost of £85. I also had some extra birthday money with me (lucky girl) to spend on books whilst I was there.
The lovely Amy took me up to the second floor and sat me down in the comfy chairs. I was offered a coffee and had the chance to have a quick perusal of the shelves whilst Amy went to get it.
The room really is beautiful and the atmosphere is very relaxing. Amy then took a few details from me regarding where my books should be sent etc then she asked me some questions about my reading tastes, habits, preferences etc. We covered which genres I love (literary fiction and gritty gothic historical fiction) and genres I like not so much (YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy). It quickly became apparent that myself and Amy had very similar reading tastes and we chatted quite easily about the books we’ve both read and loved recently.
I told her about my blog which she made a note of and I told her my Goodreads name so that when I am assigned a person to pick my books they can have a look and see if I’ve read what they’ve chosen or would like to read it.
She said that they would all be fighting to be assigned to me because a lot of the staff enjoy gothic historical fiction. It felt nice to be up for grabs as it were.
I went with the option of being given a ‘hint’ email before my book gets sent out each month. This will be an email containing a detail about the book, usually the authors name and then this can help weed out books I may have already read. I would recommend this option if you read a lot or are a blogger.
After we’d chatted and Amy had all of the relevant details she needed, she left me to have a perusal and gave me a couple of recommendations aswell, which I of course went with!
When I took my choices to till Amy made a note of what I’d picked so that there would be no crossovers in my subscription.
So what did I choose I hear you cry?……
Well I chose these beauties:
And I was given a lovely Mr B’s tote bag. What’s not to love?!
If you get the chance to head to Bath I can thoroughly recommend Mr B’s. The staff are not only knowledgable but are lovely to boot! The shop itself is a book lovers dream and I really didn’t want to leave.
I’d still be interested in doing the reading spa another time and will definitely look into it for the future.
All in all a rather special couple of days.
Bath, you were lovely.
I’m still 40 though. Booooo.
See you all soon.
Bookish Chat xxx