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Hotels with Outdoor Swimming Pools and a Michelin Starred Restaurant!? - The Bath Priory

12/08/2013 14:16 BST | Updated 10/10/2013 10:12 BST

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All this complaining about the lack of summer and here it is. It turns up when all hope is lost. When emigrating abroad starts to become a real possibility. When you can stand it no more in the grey, freezing, miserable weather. 30 degrees, even 31. They say its going to be a loooong , hot summer now. Well, at least the next few weeks are going to be balmy. What has happened to our good old English weather. It's become moodier than a teenager!

 

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So, it's officially the Summer Holidays and for once we are lucky enough for both the 'summer' and the 'holiday' element to coincide! It's a good job then that I'm continuing to review hotels with swimming pools. Not that there are many up to my exacting standards in a country whose climate generally gives no call for an outdoor pool for more than a handful of days a year but when there is call, a hotel with an outdoor pool in England is a jewel in a crown!

I travelled south-west last review and so this next one took family Pregnantcitygirl west instead. To the wonderful city of Bath in Somerset, that oh so laid-back county. I have always loved Bath with its beautiful sandstone buildings and classical Georgian architecture, its natural hot springs (it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site). For me, it's a place characterized by a surround of rolling green hills with stylish shops and amazing food all rolled into one. The City is truly 'small but perfectly formed' and ideal for a short break.

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We have visited Bath many a time in the past, back when we were just the two of us. We had in fact stayed at this very hotel but a very long time ago. My only memory of it being a perfect champagne cream tea in the shade of the 150 year old cedar by their very own meadow in the award-winning gardens - and what stunning gardens they are;  the outdoor heated pool nestled in one corner, three acres of lawn including a croquet lawn, a kitchen garden and a vast array of different plants and flowers all lovingly tended by Head Gardener Jane Moore (a Chelsea medal winner), it's no wonder that the garden itself has won numerous accolades and is RHS-recommended - it truly is gorgeous and a reason in itself to visit the Hotel.

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But what of the other reasons? The hotel itself is supremely elegant and luxurious, the building dating back to 1835 gives a country-house feel. The drawing room and library furnished with deep sofas, the walls hanging with historic oil paintings and french belle epoque chandeliers hanging from the ceilings all add to the opulence.

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