22 August 2014

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Focus on… bars and pubs in Bath


bath 2012 by night - iStock_000021868528Small.jpgA city that depends greatly on its tourists and visitors, Bath has a suitably wide range of bars and pubs that cater for all tastes and pockets. There are a number of small traditional watering holes in the city centre and many of them now stock an ever-increasing range of locally produced ales and ciders. Those in search of something a little more contemporary can choose one of the many bars offering cutting-edge cocktails and spirits created by the city's new wave of innovative mixologists.


Styled on a French boudoir, this compact and bijou cocktail bar has become one of Bath's best-supported nocturnal hangouts. A dynamic range of cocktails served by expert mixologists, combined with a stunning range of Champagnes and spirits makes this a luxuriously laid-back venue that punches well above its diminutive proportions.

Canary Gin and Wine Bar

With its motto 'who dares gins', there’s no hiding the fact that this is a place for connoisseurs of the juniper-flavoured spirit. Around 30 brands are available here, alongside an equally impressive range of spirits, beers and ciders. The wines and Champagnes are also worth a detour.

The Chequers

This well-groomed gastropub pub is a short walk from Bath's famous Royal Crescent and it's a popular spot for locals in search of a pint of Butcombe Bitter or a glass of wine from the well-considered list. A menu of British classics is available in the bar or the upstairs restaurant.


Named after its circular bar, there’s a cool Balearic air to this elegant cocktail lounge with its comfortable chesterfields and panelled walls. A new vaulted cellar has increased capacity, but it's still an intimate place offering high-end cocktails and pizzas. DJs add to the clubby vibe at weekends.

Door 34

A favoured destination for many of the city's off-duty bartenders, this self-styled 'liquid alchemists' lounge' majors on offering a range of innovative new cocktails conjured from the freshest ingredients. For those in search of exhilarating spirits, rums and whiskies, Door 34 has one of the best-stocked back bars in town.

bath 2012 by night - iStock_000016681625Small.jpgHall & Woodhouse Bath

Occupying a former auction rooms, this flagship bar and restaurant from Dorset brewers Hall & Woodhouse has become one of central Bath's must-visit places since opening in 2010. Spread across four floors with an impressive rooftop terrace, it's a place to enjoy local ales, global wines and no-frills seasonal dishes.


A contemporary bar that doubles up as a mezze joint and restaurant, Opa offers a mix of classic and up-to-date cocktails, as well as a wine list dominated by bottles from Greece. The drinks are just the ticket with a comprehensive menu of Hellenic nibbles and heartier main courses from the grill.


Edgy and innovative, this basement bar is squirreled away in vaults close to Bath’s landmark Pulteney Bridge. With a stylish interior inspired by everything from Victoriana to Bohemian king Louis IV, it attracts a suitably savvy clientele for its mix of classic and contemporary cocktails, impeccable wines, internationally sourced bottled beers and excellent modern tapas.

The Raven

Tucked away down a quiet cobbled side street, this family-run freehouse occupies a pair of Georgian townhouses. The beer is the thing here, and there are often half a dozen local ales on show. Soak them up with one of the many hot pies from the traditional menu.

Sub 13

This labyrinthine warren of subterranean rooms will be marking its 10th anniversary in 2013, and since opening Sub 13 has established itself as one of the Roman city's best-loved cocktail bars. In summer, pavement tables at the front and an attractive garden at the rear are tailor-made for alfresco quaffing.

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This feature was published in November 2012.

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