There’s no denying that here in South Wales we have devoured the wealth of new, and classic content on Netflix. In many ways they have been one of the entertainment saviours of lockdown.
We’ve all explored the diversity on the channel, from the Spanish series Money Heist and The Queen’s Gambit, to documentaries like Tiger King. But our big Christmas present from the channel, and the series which is still number one here, is BRIDGERTON.
In the South Wales Life office we are absolutely gripped by this costume drama, with a twist.
Created by Chris Van Dusen, the series is based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels and envelopes audiences in the world of Regency London high society.
Throughout the eight episodes, the likes of Julie Andrews, Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Jonathan Bailey and a truly brilliant cast, deliver gripping TV from start to finish. But the cast aren’t the only stars on the screen, it’s the breathtaking locations, and once lockdown is over, we’re certain we’ll be heading over the bridge to visit most of them.
Lonely Planet have come up trumps with their exploration of the locations, most notably, Royal Crescent – one of Bath’s most famous landmarks – which provides one of the series’ foremost locations.
If you’ve never paid it a visit it is a truly stunning piece of architecture, housing some pretty well-heeled and influential people we might add. Built between 1767 and 1775, Royal Crescent is a row of 30 terraced houses arranged in a crescent and overlooking Royal Victoria Park. Incidentally, No. 1 Royal Crescent’s exterior is used to film the Featherington family’s home, but in real life it’s actually a museum.
The Modiste dress shop is actually Pickled Greens shop and café in Abbey Green. Both interior and exterior scenes were filmed there. To make it a little confusing shots of Covent Garden were actually captured in Abbey Green too.
A number of street scenes were shot on Bath Street, as well as Beauford Square, which is a square made up of cottages built in 1730. Not too far away there’s Trim Street, and one of the shop’s there was used to film.
The extravagant costumed ballroom sequences were partly filmed at the Assembly Rooms. We have been to many events there and can tell you it is the most beautiful building.
If you’d like to pay it a visit the address is Bennett St, Bath BA1 2QH.
That location was once the social highlight of Georgian Bath. Today the rooms are actually still in use for conferences and charitable events. Some of the ball scenes were filmed at the Guildhall, which boasts grand staircases and art, making it the perfect place to shoot a period piece such as Bridgerton.
So what about the beautiful city of Bath itself?
It laid its foundations in the Roman era, when the now-famous baths became a healing hangout for dignitaries of the time. Today (after lockdown), visitors flock to Bath for a relaxing weekend break that is steeped in Roman history, Georgian grandeur and culture. Another famous landmark is Bath Abbey. The medieval abbey celebrated its 500th anniversary in 1999 and is a fine example of gothic architecture.
A magnificent stained glass panel was added in the Victorian times and although this was destroyed by a bomb blast during World War II, it was meticulously recreated from the original plans. Other highlights are the fan-vaulted ceiling and a small museum with documents and objects recording the history of the abbey.
While Bath may have laid its foundations in the Roman era, many of its historical buildings sprang up under the reign of King George II. Georgian architectural highlights include the Royal Crescent, the Circus, North and South Parade, Pulteney Bridge and Queen Square, which was the first significant expansion beyond Bath’s medieval walls. At 1 Royal Crescent, you can take a tour of a three-story townhouse that is decorated as it would have been in the 18th century. King George ‘s second son, the Duke of York, once rented this home.
One of the most breath-taking monuments to the Georgian period is the Circus, a ring of 33 terraced houses that recreate the feel of the Coliseum in Rome. The Circus has 500 carvings that represent the arts and sciences of Bath. One famous tenant was painter Thomas Gainsborough, who lived at number 17 from 1765 to 1774. Gainsborough painted a number of portraits while living in Bath and you can see his work at the Victoria Art Gallery, among other artworks both antique and modern.
Other museums include the Museum of Costume, showcasing 16th century fashions to present day creations by designers such as Tom Ford, and the Holburne Museum of Art, which houses art treasures collected by Sir William Holburne.
Bath was also home to Jane Austen, who lived in the city with her parents and penned her first novel, Northanger Abbey, about local society. Her last novel, Persuasion, was also set in Bath. You can find out all about the author’s life and time in the Jane Austen Centre, located just a few doors down from the former Austen residence in Gay Street.
Once lockdown restrictions ease, Bath is well worth a visit, especially as it’s so close to us here in South Wales. If you’d like to find out more, take a look at the Tourist Board site here. BATH
We also think we’ll be doing a lot of Staycations over the next year, for some great suggestions, go here. 50 IDEAS.
Every episode of BRIDGERTON is available on Netflix now and is truly addictive.