As you will have seen from a previous post I spent a few days in Bath at the beginning of August and in all honesty there were a few places on my trip that I felt deserved their own blog post. The first of these being the Jane Austen Centre and this wasn’t one we had originally had on our list of things to do but I am so glad we took the time to visit. I think it became one of my favourite experiences.
Jane Austen Centre:
The Jane Austen Centre located at 40 Gay Street in Bath is a family friendly attraction which showcases the life and works of one of the world’s most renowned authors, whilst also highlighting the Regency period she lived in. This interactive experience immerses you into the life of Jane Austen and her family. If you love Mr Darcy you are also most certainly going to love the little dress up feature near the end of the tour.
When you first get into the exhibition you are taken into a room for a 15-20 minute introductory talk about the history of Jane Austen and Bath, and an overview of her family history. One of the things I loved most about this is that the talk is given by one of the characters from her stories. Not only did we think this was a really simple but effective addition. The actor we had was incredible, so enthusiastic and made the whole talk very enjoyable. Although I am unsure of the actor’s name which is a shame because he deserves a little shoutout, he was playing one of the gentlemen from Persuasion which I am now in need of reading again.
The exhibition itself is laid out across a few rooms and each room just gives you an extra taste of what her life would have been like. I decided rather than discuss the whole exhibition I would share with you and comment on a few pictures I took during the exhibition.
We obviously had to take a moment to appreciate Mr Alan Rickman in all his glory. Weirdly emotional but definitely an encouragement to rewatch Sense and Sensibility. I loved that they included photos from the movies throughout the exhibition.
Kinda fell in love with these dress and the little bits of history discussed above them. I also love the quotes on the walls as you go around. However I think this might be one of my favourites.
Can you spot your favourites on this wall? Note that we had a moment over Hugh Grant (I can’t even argue this because even in Bridget Jones, we kinda loved him), and obviously Mr Rickman (gone far too early). The paintings on this wall were just so beautiful.
At the end of the exhibition there is a wax work of what they assume Jane Austen would have looked like. It’s pretty cool although wax works freak me out a little.
At the end of the exhibition there is a little section where you can try your hand at writing using a quill pen and ink. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity and let’s be real I loved it but also felt very Lady Whistledown in the process. Yes I loved it! No, I won’t stop talking about it.
The concentration was real.
Regency Tea Rooms:
Okay but firstly the fact it was Jane Austen themed had my heart from the offset, I mean who wouldn’t want afternoon tea with Mr Darcy…
Secondly the waiters were one of the best parts of the experience. I literally could not help but be impressed with their dedication to the theme.
I wish I had caught the name of our waiter (he looked a little like Andrew Garfield, which you know bonus points) but he was so polite and attentive and incredibly friendly when it came to talking with us. He made the experience 100% better which is saying something because I was already in heaven and having the best time ever.
I cannot recommend taking the opportunity to visit if you can, best experience especially if you are a book lover.
The staff/Actors were incredible and it had such a magic vibe during the whole experience. Even if you are not necessarily a huge Jane Austen fan I think you should visit. If for nothing else but the joy of experiencing the staff doing what they do best.
And I would 1000% recommend checking out the Regency Tea Room, everything was so lovely and who doesn’t want an afternoon tea with Mr Darcy.
Safe to say I left with a very full heart and a ton of inspiration.
Have you been before?
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen