If you are someone looking to experience some heritage and immersing yourself in Bath’s history, a stay at Devonshire House is a great start. The four-bedroomed guest house is based in a converted Victorian grocer and provisions shop and has been run as a B&B for the past fifteen years since being bought by Louise and Chris, who are both Bathonians and the perfect hosts for anyone wanting the inside scoop into the city.
With a wealth of hospitality experience between them, Louise and Chris have brought together their experience to give you a really comfortable and relaxed stay in the fantastic city of Bath.
The pair decided to have a go at running a B&B so that they could have a more flexible lifestyle which would enable them to be hands-on parents to their two daughters, since then, the business has grown and they are well known for providing a brilliant service, making sure that every guest has an enjoyable a stay as possible.
Louise’s passion for soft furnishings and upholstery means that all the rooms are individually decorated and co-ordinated and each one is en-suite, giving guests comfort and privacy during their downtime.
Devonshire House is located in the Wellsway area of Bath, close to Bear Flat, where everything in the city centre and beyond can be easily accessed. For the guests that are looking to get out and about in the countryside and enjoy a more active holiday, Devonshire House is close to the entrance of the famous Two Tunnels cycle track, which offers some incredible views and offers a scenic route through the countryside towards Bristol. Being in Wellsway also gives guests the chance to visit nearby attractions, such as the town of Glastonbury, the safari park at Longleat and the city of Wells. The guesthouse is next door to the Devonshire Arms pub offering local ales and pub grub and there are local shops, restaurants and cafes all nearby.
The beautiful walks offered by routes such as the Two Tunnels are one of Louise’s favourite things about her area of Bath. For her, living and working in this region is brought to life by the walking opportunities.
She said: “We are just at the entrance to the Two Tunnels, a short walk to the Hope and Anchor at Midford or, in the other direction, the Electric Bear Brewery along the Linear Park.”
Culture is also a big draw for Louise and Chris. “The Theatre Royal is a wonderful theatre with some fantastic shows and if you want a bargain evening out, you can check out the standby tickets that are available on the day. There is also the Thermae Bath Spa, which is great whatever the weather, it’s a real treat to have a public spa that is accessible to all.”
The pair are also big fans of the city centre’s open spaces, Louise said: “We’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful city, we often recommend just buying a picnic lunch and taking it to Royal Victoria Park and sitting in the sun in front of the Royal Crescent, it’s a great way to soak up the atmosphere and relax into the city.”
Both the walks and culture that Bath is famous for feature in Louise’s ideal perfect day. Talking about her favourite things to do on a day in the city, she said: “At the moment, my perfect day would be getting into my ‘she shed’ to finish off upholstering a set of dining room chairs for our holiday cottage which is in the courtyard of the B&B… Other than that, I would take the scenic walk into town through the Alexandra Park viewpoint, meet some friends for lunch at Noya’s Kitchen, it is the best Vietnamese eatery and was set up by an old school friend’s mum! Then I’d pop into Victoria Art Gallery to check out their new exhibitions and then meet the children and Chris for a movie night at the Tivoli, Bath’s new luxury cinema, where I can take a glass of fizz in with me to watch the movie! Perfect!”
Devonshire House can be found a mile from the city centre, you can walk down to the centre in just twenty minutes and it is on a major bus route. Plus, for those of you driving and wanting to use your cars during your holiday, there is lots of free, unrestricted parking on the street around the B&B.
It isn’t just the location that makes Devonshire House a great place to stay, Louise and Chris are well known for their attention to detail. Guests can expect to find fresh milk on their hospitality tray, as well as wine glasses and corkscrews for those that bring their own drinks. If not, you can enjoy a complimentary glass of Harvey’s Bristol Cream on arrival, along with a copy of the local newspaper, which can be savoured in the spacious guest lounge. With their commitment to providing individual attention to each of their guests, it is no wonder that they have so many returning customers.
Louise said: “Working at the B&B gives you the opportunity to meet so many people, different nationalities, different ages, different outlooks… Every day starts with lots of conversations and tips to make the day ahead productive over breakfast. We can help with anything guests need, whether they need a shortcut for their drive to work, tips or tips on local walks, it depends what the guest is interested in.
“We are constantly striving to improve, we put feedback forms in every room so that we can better what we do,” Louise added. “We really want the guests to get as much out of their visit as they can, our guests are in our home and we welcome them in as friends, they are not just a room number.”
Chris and Louise work hard to tailor the information they give each guest so their stay is completely unique to them and exactly what they want out of their break. If the attention to detail wasn’t enough, all the rooms at Devonshire House has everything you will need and more. Visitors will find all the standard features, as well as anything else they could need, including sewing kits, ordinance survey maps, shoe cleaning kits, mugs instead of cups… It is all available if you want it and of course, visitors get a weather report for the day!
If you want to find out more about Devonshire House, you can find them on Facebook, Devonshirehouse.bandb or on Twitter @Devonshirehse.