Bath isn’t just famous for its Roman or Georgian heritage… although this is pretty impressive! One of the many reasons people tell us they come to Bath is for the many independent shops and restaurants scattered throughout the city, offering really unique retail and dining experiences to pique the interest even the most reluctant shopper. Unlike many towns and cities, we have managed to hang onto our community of independents here in Bath and it truly is one of the things that makes a visit here so enjoyable.
Are you visiting Bath soon? If so, this mini guide to Bath’s independents
might come in really handy! We’ve handpicked a few of our favourite places
to give a flavour of what’s here on our doorstep. There is something for
everyone in Bath, and of course we’d love to welcome you to our BIBICO
store right at the heart of one of Bath’s most historic streets, which also
happens to be home to many fantastic independents.
Located just a few minutes stroll from the train station, on the corner of
North Parade and Pierrepont Street, you’ll find this little gem of a café.
Whether you’re vegetarian or not, if you’re looking for delicious freshly prepared food, great coffee and a cosy, welcoming atmosphere, the Green Rocket is one of our favourites and is very popular with visitors and Bath locals alike. In fact, it was the first vegetarian restaurant in Bath!
The seasonal menu offers a tempting selection of lovingly prepared
plant-based breakfast and lunch options such as warm salads, risottos and
gnocchi. The monster veggie breakfast is amazing, as is the deliciously
savoury bang-bang cauliflower.
This is the perfect spot for coffee and cake, or if the sun is shining you can
enjoy a glass of wine or a beer on the terrace out front and indulge in a spot of
people watching. You can also take a little bit of the eating experience home
with you by grabbing a copy of their recipe book. We love it!
What can we say about this sublime boutique department store? This is such
a special place, it really can’t be missed whilst you’re here. We’d recommend
you take some time to wander up to Margaret’s Buildings and have a browse
around to savour this unique historical treasure, nestled in a beautifully
restored, three storey Georgian building dating from 1777.
You can feel the passion, creative energy and dedication that has gone into
restoring this amazing space as soon as you walk through the door. The
building has a long history as a retail space, home to numerous wine
merchants, cabinet makers and was once a branch of the high-end grocers
Carter, Stoffell & Fortt. It then became an antique shop until it closed
entirely in 2016 and was left empty. When the current owners took the
property on, their aim was to salvage as many of the period fixtures and
fittings of the building as possible. The original mahogany, marble-topped
display cabinets were still largely intact, and with painstaking restoration,
they now take centre stage again.
Most of what is sold here is designed by the husband and wife team behind Berdoulat and brought to life by local small-scale makers. You can also find fine wines, herbs and spices, soft furnishings, locally grown fresh and dried flowers, hand-made ceramics and a great café here. Grab a coffee and croissant and enjoy the ambience of the seating area out front in one of Bath’s most charming pedestrianised streets.
Oak is a friendly, unpretentious vegetarian and vegan restaurant. A family
run business with a classy vibe, its ethos, attention to detail and celebration
of local produce have created a well-deserved reputation as one of the best
independent restaurants in Bath. To its credit it was awarded a highly
coveted Michelin Green Star for gastronomy and sustainability.
The food you will find here is based around the best seasonal, organically grown localproduce, and it’s also a grocer selling the produce they cook with and grow on their smallholding just outside Bath. Oak is located on one of Bath’s most
characterful streets, North Parade Passage, making it a destination well worth exploring.
Ok, so we confess, we are big fans of cheese. But this shop takes a love of
cheese to a whole different level. You will find cheeses of all types produced
by the best artisan makers from around the UK and across Europe, as well as
charcuterie and fine wines. The smell which greets you when you enter is the
first indicator of the magic within. There is a great café attached to the cheese shop serving light lunches and delicious coffee and cakes so you can take your time with your visit and bag some top-notch cheese to take home with you.
If you’re on the hunt for a unique gift, there is much on offer here such as ceramic and wooden cheese boards and an array of artisan cheese
accompaniments. If you can’t carry all the cheeses you want home with you,
The Fine Cheese Company has a very popular monthly subscription service
with hand-selected cheeses delivered to your door for you, or as a gift. Well
worth a visit!.
Take a stroll up historic Broad Street and you’ll find a relative newcomer to
the Bath independent scene, but one which seems destined to be a firm
favourite of many. The Always Sunday store is a perfect place to visit if you
like browsing the kind of homewares, furniture, gifts and accessories that
you just won’t find in other places.
If vintage styling and mix and match interiors inspiration is for you, then this
place is packed with things you’ll love. The eclectic mix of stylish, cleverly curated, decorative goodies is fun to explore and if you need a little pick-me-up, just pop to the back of the store and you’ll find a fab little in-store coffee bar.
It’s worth pointing out that this shop is in fact located on Brock Street, in
central Bath near the Royal Crescent. Its name comes from the original gallery and design store founded in Kensington, London, but the ethos of the business is the same; to bring together a varied mix of artworks and decorative items which could be collected and displayed in an interior setting.
The gallery and design store here in Bath is a wonderful expression of this creative venture. The cool, minimal exterior is mirrored by the art gallery vibe within. There’s plenty to get excited about here if you enjoy perusing contemporary artworks, ceramics, lighting and furniture or if you’re an interior design nut. Both sophisticated and flamboyant, this place is a feast for the senses.
Found has to be one of our favourite boutique destinations in Bath. Voted as
one of the Best shops outside London by Vogue, it has a relaxed atmosphere,
an intriguing mix of wares to browse and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Here you’ll find carefully chosen clothing labels for both men and women,alongside colourful and eclectic ranges of accessories such as canvas bags, jewellery and socks.
A great place to visit if you need a special gift for someone, they also have a stylish range of greeting cards, wrapping papers, coffee table books and homewares. Found is a breath of fresh air, with something new to see each time you go, which is no doubt why it’s such a longstanding member of the Bath Independent shopping scene with such a loyal following.
A relative newcomer to the Bath independent scene but already a firm favourite with many is the delightful Botanica Studio. This is an indoor plant and nature lover’s dream with walls, floors and ceilings festooned throughout and plants cascading from every nook and cranny.
Even if you don’t know the first thing about looking after indoor plants, the staff here are ready to guide you to something suitable, with comprehensive plant care instructions given for each specimen. The tough thing here is making your choice as the offering is so vast and the shapes and sizes are so varied. There are succulents, cacti, pet-friendly plants, low-light tolerant plants to name a few, as well as lots of interesting vessels in which to display them. Located in the centre of Bath’s shopping area on Union Passage, this vibrantly green and leafy gem of a shop is a must-see for any visitor to Bath.
This homely shop is brimming with gorgeous, rustic homewares which have
a distinctive decorative style, inspired by drawings and linocut prints of
countryside and wildlife themes. Cushions, tableware, prints, candles,stationery and more, Sam Wilson also manufactures much of its wares in the UK. Located on Milsom Street, you are bound to wander past it on your visit so why not pop in for a leisurely browse?
So, now you have everything you need to satisfy your appetite and a good few
hours of retail therapy!.
But don’t forget to pop in and see us in BIBICO, on Bartlett Street. Have a
wander round our shop and see if anything from our beautiful,
ethically-produced collection takes your fancy. We think we’re rather special
too and we always love to hear what you’ve discovered on your travels around
our beautiful city.