A traditional day with a modern twist

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Every year just before Christmas my dad and I go on a shopping pilgrimage to Bath during the time of the Christmas Market. It’s tradition. We’ve been doing this every year since time immemorial (or thereabouts).

This was the first year of said pilgrimage with a baby in tow. And oh, how different it was.

Normally we would be in our first shop at about midday, desperately rushing about to pack in as many stalls and boutiques, coffee shops and sights as the day allowed. This time – we had a pram to contend with.

For those of you who have braved Christmastime in Bath without the additional burden of four wheels and a baby, then you will appreciate that it’s not the easiest place to get around at the best of times. For those who have done it with a baby – I salute you. 

Having arrived at around midday we stopped for lunch straight away as Ethan was hungry and we didn’t want to set off on the wrong foot. After convincing him to eat his fruit puree while dad and I tried to relax with a cup of tea and a cake, and then run the gauntlet of trying to find a place to change him, we ended up making our first Christmas present purchase of the day at the rather later time of 3.45pm. By then it was dark. And cold.

We could only really attempt shops with enough floor space to park the pram out of the way, and those with easy access as I really couldn’t be doing with all those steps, so we were fairly limited as to where we went.

We took in the Christmas market with a delicious cup of mulled wine and a mince pie and made sure we looked at the Christmas lights, which never fail to impress.

This year was different to all the others because on the way back to the car we stopped off at The Holburne Museum where on display was the most breathtaking art installation by Bruce Munro entitled Field of Light.

Thousands of fibre optic lights, around 5,000 in total were spread over the museum garden and they shimmered in the breeze and changed colour to create a truly magical scene. Having a coffee in the museum’s glass Garden Cafe made the view even more spectacular as the lights reflected off all the glass. I really recommend going to see this if you have children, or even if you just fancy a bit of Christmas magic. The installation runs until January 8, and is open from 4-7pm. The best bit is it’s free!

We didn’t get much shopping done this time around, but maybe this tradition just has to move with the times.

At home we’re feeling properly Christmassy – the tree is twinkling and the poinsettia is pride of place on the dining table, meaning there’s absolutely no room for anyone to sit down and eat round it. But who cares!


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