One of the things the foodie traveller MUST do whilst in the city of Bath is to visit Sally Lunn's historic eating house and partake in a Sally Lunn bun with whipped butter and jam. A cup of English tea is the quintessential accompaniment.
Sally Lunn's is said to be one of the oldest houses in the city, with a long, rich and fascinating history. Excavations have revealed the remains of a Roman building that might have been an inn or guest house circa AD200. In the Saxon period, the site was part of a Benedictine monastery. Archaeological digs indicate that the building was likely to have been the kitchen for the refectory, which was rebuilt around 1482.
After Queen Anne visited Bath to take the spa waters in 1704, much building work took place across the city, lifting up the streets by one entire floor because of the flooding of below-ground cellars. It was at this stage that the house was modernised with a stone facade, traditional of Bath architecture today.
In 1680, Solange (Soli) Luyon, a Hugenot refugee from France, landed worked with the baker who rented the kitchen at the premises in Lilliput Alley. Originally, she sold baked goods from a basket out on the street, but then she introduced the baker to the delicious French brioche. She became known as the anglicised "Sally Lunn", and her buns became hugely famous.
The Sally Lunn Bun is part bread roll, part brioche, part cake. And it's quite unlike anything I've ever tasted. Deliciously light, and ever-so filling, it can be enjoyed with either sweet or savoury accompaniments.
When you order a Sally Lunn bun, you'll be served half a bun (the bottom part for a sweet bun indulgence, the top for savoury). We enjoyed ours with whipped butter and berry jam.
After you've enjoyed your tea and bun, make sure you explore the kitchen museum downstairs. Step back in time, see the old kitchen, ancient baking paraphernalia and the various floor levels of the building through its history.
Sally Lunn's is located right in the centre of Bath, at 4 North Parade Passage, Bath. For more information, including opening hours and bookings, please visit the web site.
Note: The Good Things team visited Sally Lunn's during a trip to the UK in 2015. This is not a sponsored post and we did not ask for, or receive, any freebies.
Over to you, dear readers. Have you visited the city of Bath? And did you manage to enjoy tea and buns at Sally Lunn's?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.