My Bath: Up, up and away for the best view of Bath
Award-winning retailer Martin Tracy answers the questions in our My Bath feature
What's your favourite part of Bath?
Believe it or not, after 23 years it is still Walcot Street, but I do love to stroll the quiet back streets of the city at dusk and take in the historic architectural atmosphere. A time between shoppers and visitors and heady nightlife.
Where's the best place to eat?
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This city is about to disappear under the number of restaurants. In line with my shopping, I'll search out the indies and for more than 25 years, Dawn at Tilley's and David at Woods have consistently provided fine food and loads of fun.
What's the best view in the city?
I've had the good fortune to have had three hot-air balloon trips from and over Bath. It is unquestionably the most glorious way to see the city and its surrounding villages.
What would your perfect day in Bath entail?
Through my workshop and sponsorship projects I have become very involved with all the Bath galleries and museums, but as so often happens I don't visit them enough. A late breakfast at the Holburne Museum after my morning exercise, a couple of galleries such as Beaux Arts, bo.lee, Rooksmoor and the Victoria Art Gallery would set me up for lunch at the Riverside before watching Bath beat Gloucester at the country's most beautiful rugby venue. Do not remove them from The Rec. Watching a late kick-off international in the feisty Pig and Fiddle as England beat Wales over a few beers followed by a takeaway curry from The Mogul Indian on Walcot Street at home with my family to end the day.
Where would you meet friends for a drink?
One of the most relaxing, enjoyable places to bump into and meet up with friends is the courtyard garden behind the White Hart in Widcombe. A jewel of sheltered sociability.
What's your favourite shop?
I celebrated my 60th birthday this year by cycling from Bath to Land's End to John O'Groats and back to Bath. The John's Bikes shop and workshop have played a part in this. I try to do a long high level walk each year and Itchy Feet has played a part in this for many years now. When I need a book or maps I go to Mr B's. All epitomise the service and joy of shopping in the independents that still survive and thrive in Bath.
What one thing about Bath would you change?
I would like to see a change in an underlying sense of apathy that Bath will always be all right and that any problems are for someone else to sort out. We all need to take responsibility and work together in solving issues. From an independent retailer's point of view, Mary Portas's report to the Government is something everyone should read. With the continuing takeover by large supermarkets, the independent sector is unquestioningly under increasing threat. That said, Walcot Street is on a high at the moment – come and visit the most interesting street in town.
â Mr Tracy's Framing Workshop business in Walcot Street won this year's National Fine Art and Framing Industry Lifetime Exemplar Award for sales promotion and cultural contribution to Bath.
â Next week: University of Bath Students' Union community officer Hanna Wade