Thoughtful Bakery, Bath

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Inventive and friendly café offering delicious food and wonderful coffee in the heart of Georgian Bath

The front of Thoughtful Bakery, Bath, with shelves of food visible inside, and a Georgian Street down the side

I am literally months late posting this review, but I was such a fan I didn’t want to miss out on the chance of publicly declaring my love for this marvelous café. They’ve also been doing some really great things during the UK lockdown, with food deliveries and takeaway options, but I know they’ve been having a tough time, so I think it’s really important that we offer support how and when we can. So all the way from Australia, here I am showing my support!

I had been eyeing up Thoughtful Bakery on Instagram for some time, so when I made one of my not-very-regular trips back home to the West Country I knew I had to fit in a visit. Bath is such a lovely city, and has probably more than its fair share of cafés, so to standout takes some doing. But Thoughtful Bakery easily succeeds in this. Situated a few streets down from the iconic Royal Crescent, it’s not the easiest place to stumble upon, but once you know it’s there you’ll find yourself making excuses to drop by.

Blue coffee cup with froth, and a doughnut with a large meringue topping, on a wooden table next to a blue and white printed notebook.

The café itself is decorated in fairly standard hipster fair, with old pews and school chairs for seating, and pleasantly artistic crockery. Confronted with an amazing selection of baked delights, I settled down in a corner with a lime and coconut meringue doughnut and a flat white. Honestly it was the most indulgent doughnut I have ever eaten. We all know that I am a huge fan of doughnuts (having sought them out in Washington DC, London, and basically anywhere I go), so it takes something special to impress me. But this one certainly did. The sweetness of the Italian meringue was offset by the deliciously tangy curd filling, and the dough itself was wonderfully light and fluffy. I was grateful for the rich coffee accompaniment, as I soon demolished the doughnut into a sugary mess. This was definitely an Instagram vs. Reality moment.

Intact prettily decorated doughnut on left, contrasted with messy, half-eaten doughnut on right.
Instagram vs. Reality

I slightly regretted having lunch, as the doughnut was really filling. I was definitely strolling a little slower when I left. But I wouldn’t have missed it.

The gorgeous treats featured on Thoughtful Bakery’s Instagram page set very high expectations, but it did not disappoint. My expectations were, if anything, exceeded. Add to this lovely staff and a friendly atmosphere, and you have one of my favourite cafés, not just in Bath, but anywhere. Next time you’re in the city of Jane Austen and Roman baths, do yourself a favour and avoid the tourist cafés of the main streets and make a beeline for Thoughtful Bakery.

Which city do you think has the best cafés? Do you prefer a café you can get your laptop out in and do some work, or where you can just chill with a lovely slice of cake? I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments!

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