Walking in the actual footsteps of Jane Austen is relatively easy in Bath, which remains surprisingly similar to the way it was in her heyday. Like Jane, one can gather with friends to dine at the historic Pump Room, take the waters for one’s health in the real Bath mineral spring or even swig craft cocktails at a local pub after a long day of sightseeing and people-watching.
Ok, perhaps Jane didn’t do the latter, but at the Canary Gin Bar, dedicated to the sassy author, you can!
My dear pal Alex in Wanderland had been in Bath the day before Rachel and I arrived, so in her explorations she stumbled on the Canary Gin Bar. Had Alex not pointed us down quiet Queen Street, we might never have found this quirky spot. Thank you, friend!
For Janeites, the quirky cocktail menu is worth a look — and a taste.
The snug, speakeasy-like bar features the “Gin Austen” concept downstairs with cleverly designed craft cocktails, 180 gins to choose from and a super knowledgeable bartending staff, all overseen by a portrait of a winking Jane.
Beverages are appropriately named and I suspect Jane would be tickled to see a few of her heroes and villains morphed into cocktail form.
Rae tried the Darcy and I had the Wickham Mule, both perfect for sipping in the cushy window seat overlooking Queen Street.
Jane was no lush, however, she certainly would have partaken in social sipping, as was the custom of the day.
“I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand to-day. You will kindly make allowance therefore for any indistinctness of writing, by attributing it to this venial error.” Jane in a letter to her sister, 1800
For non gin-drinkers, don’t worry. There’s every other kind of booze at the Canary Gin Bar, including a whole separate section upstairs dedicated to martinis.
“I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant, and spending all my money, and, what is worse for you, I have been spending yours, too.” Jane in a letter to her sister Cassandra, 1811
If you’re heading to Bath for the Jane Austen Festival in September or perhaps making a pilgrimage to get over a wicked Wickham-induced heartbreak, make sure you add the Canary Gin Bar to your itinerary. I think Jane would wholeheartedly approve.
My trip was in partnership with Visit Britain. All #OMGB moments were my own. Special thanks to Visit Bath and the Jane Austen Festival for making this Janeite’s dreams come true. Images on this page are copyrighted and may not be used without written permission.