Kate Austin, the co-founder of Spotty Herberts, moved to Bath from Shoreditch seven years ago. She lives in Lansdown with her husband Paul and two children Zillah, 12 and Fenn, 9. Here she dishes the places that never fail to impress the whole family . . .
1. On Sunday mornings we’ll often head to Rye Bakery (a cool converted church in Frome) for their Beats for Breakfast. A recent favourite has been DJ Atsushi Hasegawa playing vintage French vinyl. The brunches are spot-on: mushrooms on sourdough toast; perfectly cooked eggs and soldiers; oven-fresh croissants that are the best you’ve ever tasted plus excellent coffee served in delicate ceramic cups. There’s also an open-plan kids play area to one side and a lush little garden out back. 2. Just nine miles from Bath, Farleigh Castle is an excellent backdrop for epic battles and hours of hide and seek. We combo a morning there with an afternoon of wild swimming and cream teas at Stowford Manor Farm, which is just 15 minutes walk away. 3. Life doesn’t get much better than eating pizza atop a straw bale at The Walled Garden at Mells. The place is a gem; a rural café meets garden nursery set in the heart of the gobsmackingly pretty village of Mells. The view from the rear wall is picture-perfect English countryside and the garden made for exploring – don’t miss a rummage in the old toy box and the greenhouse.
4. Our new discovery is evening roller skating at the Bath Pavilion. It’s slap-bang in the middle of the leisure centre car park but somehow we’d never been until Fenn got invited to a birthday party there earlier in the year. It was an instant hit. What kid doesn’t love whizzing round and round beneath a big disco ball to pumping music, then gorging on hot dogs and ketchup-covered chips. Plus it’s not too expensive (£5.50 for kids and £7 for adults, plus £1 skate hire), and the 4:30 til 7 family skating sessions on a Monday and Thursday afternoon are a fabulous post-school treat. 5. For a failsafe lunch or dinner spot it has to be Dough in the Corridor. It’s a buzzy pizza place that’s unfailingly child-friendly and big enough that it’s rarely fully booked (because who wants to wait for a table with kids in tow). The twist is that you can pick your own dough from a host of scrummy flavors like hemp, turmeric and kamut. Our go-to is a Margarita on a seaweed dough base. Just as importantly the Italian beer is icy cold, the service quick and they don’t flinch at a few noisy children.