The Villa Magdala Bath B&B Christmas Newsletter!

Well November has certainly been busy for us at our Bath B&B ; the terrible rain we’ve been having will never stop us or our guests from enjoying themselves in Bath’s fantastic city center though! Villa Magdala, Bath, B&B, Umbrella

Our new umbrella’s have been also going down a storm too (excuse the pun), complete with their own handy shoulder carry bag (as modelled here by one of our staff members); and if you were following us on Twitter you’d have noticed us giving away one as a prize- congratulations Monika Kennedy 🙂

Villa Magdala, Umbrella

We were so delighted that after so much work in transforming our Bath Bed and Breakfast over the years that it has been recognised by so many as one of the best places to stay in Bath. When we heard that the Huffington Post had stayed and reviewed Villa Magdala we were over the moon!

Over the Past few months we’ve been asking our followers and likers on Twitter and Facebook to tell us the answer to ‘What was your personal highlight from your stay at our Villa Magdala B&B? in a Poll. The majority and winning percent of the vote was for our Award Winning Breakfast! Closely followed by our Luxury Hypnos Beds and The Staff. Billy was fourth. He didn’t sound best pleased when he found out, so we got him a new bed to cheer him up!

Billy and his new bed

Our restaurant of the month that has been favoured by all the guests during their stay is Sotto Sotto. It is a personal favourite of ours too, such fantastic food and atmosphere. We can highly recommend the Branzino con speck e asparagi: Fillet of fresh sea bass wrapped with smoked parma ham, sautéed with white wine, cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Stunning.

Christmas is upon us! We’ve put up our decorations and you’ll be happy to know that our stag General Staveley is enjoying his new magical makeover. All in a day’s work.

Christmas Decorations, B&B, Bath, Villa Magdala

If you haven’t already read our post on where to get unique Christmas presents from independent shops in Bath we’d suggest you have a look at support these shops on your journeys or as a local in town, the service in these shops is extraordinary.  Failing that you can always purchase Christmas gift vouchers for stays at Villa Magdala, just get in touch!

One of our favourite things to do at Christmas time in Bath after visiting the Bath Christmas Market is to skate on the fantastic Ice Rink in Royal Victoria Park  It really reminds us of skating in Central Park in New York, beautiful, romantic and fun for the kids.

We thought as a Christmas gift to all our social media followers this year that we would get William Hyde our head chef  to create a special Christmas recipe for you. A gorgeous chutney recipe perfect to use with your meat and vegetable leftovers on Boxing Day. We hope you enjoy and do let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!

Wills Winter Chutney

1 Small Red Cabbage
250g Fresh Cranberries
187ml Red Wine
28g Brambly Apple Sauce
2 tbsps Orange Marmalade
2 tsps Cinnamon
3 tbsps Brown Sugar

1. Put red wine & cranberries into a small pan and boil for 10 minutes
2. Remove from heat and stir in brambly apple sauce and marmalade
3.Roughly chop the cabbage*
4.Put the cabbage into a large pan with hot water and boil until just soft
5.Save 200ml of cabbage water, discard the rest
6.Put water back into the large pan with 3 tbsps brown sugar and cinnamon
7.Allowing the sugar to dissolve, put the cabbage into a food processor and process
until finely chopped
8. Add cabbage back into the water and simmer uncovered for ten minutes
9. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries
10. Add brown sugar to taste
11. Allow to cool and then decant into jars

* if you don’t have a food processor, you’ll need to shred the cabbage finely

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

The Villa Magdala Team x


Where to buy Christmas presents in Bath?

Top 5 Independent shops in Bath for Christmas Gifts!

We truly believe that Bath’s independent shops are the way to go, and ESPECIALLY at Christmas. When every penny counts you truly want the best that money can buy. Not only do you get unique, handmade and inspiring things from Bath’s Independent shops, you also get amazing service. Service that is more personable, friendly and what we feel goes a long way when you’re frantically Christmas shopping. Sometimes if you’re really struggling to get ‘the person who has everything’ a gift, it’s that extra bit of quality service that will head you in the right direction.

Lots of our guests have been asking us for recommendations and advice on where to buy unique Christmas Gifts in Bath this year, so we’ve decided to compile our favourites into a top 5 list!

Sound good? Excellent.

In no particular order..

Number one: Prey

Prey, Bath, Independent Shop

Image Courtesy of Prey

In Bath city center since 2004 Prey has been retailing an Aladdin’s Cave of homemade fashion, jewellery, fragrances, accessories, gifts and homeware to both women and men. Always an abundance of quality, finish and fantastic service, you’ll find it hard not to please anyone by buying a gift here. Beware, the temptation to buy something here yourself whilst shopping for others is huge.

Opening: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: 11 to 4.30 p.m

Address: 3 York Buildings. George Street, Bath, BA1 2EB

Phone: 01225 329933

Number two: Grasse

Inspired by Southern France, owner Joanna Davies, has created a shop (Just round the corner from us!) full of full of unique, homemade and inspiring things for the home and garden. A truly wonderful environment to shop in, Joanna is full of knowledge and willing to help at all times to find a gift that will truly satisfy. Individual pieces made with love and care that can be cherished for years.

Opening: Monday to Saturday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 11am – 3pm
Bank holidays: 11am – 3pm

Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day


3, Argyle Street

Phone: 01225 444260

Number three: Instant Vintage

Image Courtesy of Instant Vintage

Back to George Street on our top 5 and Instant Vintage is a worthy independent shop for a spot of Christmas Shopping in Bath. Great for buying those female friends a very special gift. Handmade Jewellery, accessories and clothes items are one of the many treats this cute vintage store contains. It’s one of those shops you’ll spend hours wandering around trying to decide which gift would be a good choice- because there are so many! Do not fear of this causing you indecisiveness as the service is impeccable and will truly guide you in the right gift direction.

Number four: Toppings Book Shop

Topping and Company Bookshop

Images courtesy of Andrew Imrie
We love Toppings Bookshop. This is exactly what we mean by having excellent service in an independent- if you need to buy a book as a gift this Christmas in Bath- this is the shop to go to.
Topping and Company Bookshop
Every bookshop should be like this, stacked from floor to ceiling, a labyrinth of books. If you’re looking for a place to stop for tea or coffee too, then look no further, as when we last visited we were simply asked if we’d like a cup as we were flicking through a mountain of books we’d selected. Who said Christmas shopping had to be stressful? It certainly isn’t at Toppings.
Opening: Monday – Sunday 9am – 8pm


The Paragon
BA1 5LS (01225) 428111

Phone: 01225 428111

Number five: The Silver Shop

The Silver Shop is family owned and run independent gift shop in Bath. Some might call it infamous as it’s been running since 1952! An enormously cute, quaint shop, full of treasures made of silver high and low, from cufflinks to picture frames. The silver shop is great if you’re looking for classic items that will last a lifetime. The shop is split into two parts so this will make your Christmas shopping experience easier- one part being Jewellery and the other non jewellery.

Opening: Monday to Saturday 9.00 – 5.30 Sunday 11.00 – 5.00

Address: 25 Union Passage, Bath, BA1 1RD


Phone: 01225 464 781

We hope we’ve helped you with this list! Please go and support these independents whether you’re already living in Bath or visiting from afar- we promise you won’t be disappointed and you’ll have a great time snooping around these unique places.

January is also a great time to visit these shops, notably, independent January sales are considered ‘Proper sales’ here at Villa Magdala- you’ll find some excellent bargains, worthy of a visit.

Let us know what your favourite Bath Independent gift shops are on Twitter and we’ll pop them up here for all to see!

Best Wishes,

The Villa Magdala Team x x