Bathtime {But Not in a LONG time}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Aside from the rare trip to a posh hotel with a rolltop, I very rarely have the opportunity to indulge in a relaxing lather in the bath.

Just to confirm, this feature isn’t about a lack of hygiene on my part (I assure you I shower daily, sometimes twice daily if I have been exercising or embarking on activities that require ahem, exertion).

Our previous house had a bath with a shower over, it was on the wonk, the water pressure was a joke and I simply never had the motivation to bother with it. Our new home has a much nicer tub in the family bathroom so I’m looking forward to using it, and we hope to extend and redecorate this particular room in the not too distant future. Investing in a REALLY fancy bath of some description is a particular requirement of mine when we embark on the re-design.

All said and done and dreamed about, I actually endeavoured to have an instagram-worthy soak on Tuesday evening in our rental property and failed miserably. The cottage has a contemporary tile-surround affair which offers lots of surface area for pretty flowers, fragranced candles and displaying new Chanel skincare products which I truly believe will make me all sexy and French.

It looked lovely. Yet when it came to actually luxuriating in the warm waters I realised I had absolutely sod all to put in the darn thing. I had remembered to pick up some pink roses and my favourite Neom “Complete Bliss” 3 wick, yet had forgotten the main ingredient. Bar having a scrub with my uninspiring yet irreplaceable Sanex body wash , I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do once I was in it either, and was subsequently bored after about 5 minutes.

I did not emerge resembling Vanessa Paradis. Just a bit hot and bothered with dry itchy skin and the desire to do something useful like unload the dishwasher or sort out the laundry. Perhaps that comes with motherhood – even “me” time requires a functional purpose.

What I would like to know is, what do you put in the bath? I love an oil but seem to recall they often leave an unpleasant residue on anything ceramic. Bubbles (unless of the alcoholic variety) don’t really interest me – I’m allergic to many scented products and the cleansing agents are often quite harsh on my overtly sensitive epidermis.

I’m quite taken with the idea of bath salts, has anyone tried these? Apparently Epsom are supposed to be wonderful.

Products aside, I’m having a small meltdown over what style of bath we should purchase for our renovation. Rolltops are undisputedly romantic and would fit with the period of our new adode, I’m just not convinced they are that practical. Where do you put all your stuff? I’m really not a fan of those shelf/storage trays that hook onto the edges. From an aesthetic perspective the aforementioned “boxed in” tile surround doesn’t really appeal either – even though there is no denying they offer plenty of space for accessorising.

What kind of bath do you have? And how do you actually relax in it?

Whilst you are reading this we will be on our family holiday at the Bedruthan hotel in Cornwall where I know there is a bathtub with my name on it – I’m counting on you brilliant lot to make my “me” time amazing.

No pressure.

You can follow our Cornwall adventures on my instagram.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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26 thoughts on “Bathtime {But Not in a LONG time}

  1. Coconut oil for soft skin or Neals Yard bubble bath. Epsom and pink bath salts once to twice a week for aching muscles. Love a bath but it has to be really hot. Obvs you know I’m a fan of a roll top! Xx

    1. Loving the salts for aching muscles Rebecca – I have those often. Mostly from carrying around a toddler 🙂 x

  2. This weekend I had my first proper hot bath for over a year after pregnancy (can’t have the bath hot enough) and birth (no bloomin time). I’m a huge fan of Neal’s Yard products too, I use the Aromatic Foaming bath which smells lovely and doesn’t foam too much. My mum swears by their Seaweed and Arnica Foaming bath to soothe aching muscles. I pop on a film, box set or music and just relax. I used to do a moisturising face pack too, I like Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask, really sorts my dry skin out.

    1. Sophie I think a mask is an excellent idea – I guess the steam makes it work…harder. I’ll have a look at the Clarins one x

  3. I have thoughts on both baths and bathing… And since you asked for it (and I don’t think anyone ever has asked me about these topics before) here they are:

    Roll top – Beautiful if you’re not counting on them to double as a shower. Then they are highly impractical. Also, the water in the bath goes cold veeerrryyy quickly as they’re not terribly well insulated. If you have it next to a wall, a little shower shelf at bath height will do the storage trick. If it’s a middle of the room number, your best bet for storage is a beautiful bath cart… eg.

    The cart also leads nicely onto my favourite bath activities… I have usually decided on one of the following for bath time entertainment.
    – Popping my laptop on a cart and binging on Youtube beauty videos (gets me in the mood for the post-bath-pamper)
    – Reading a page turner of a book (only really works with fiction for me)
    – Napping – I prop myself up into secure position with the help of a bath pillow, sometimes put a meditative app on and dose.
    – Listen to music – Find an album you haven’t listened to in ages and enjoy, a recent one for me was Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf. There’s something about listening to heavy rock in a bathtub with a glass of wine that makes me feel very sexy.

    And as for products. I’m an Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oil kinda girl. I like lemongrass because it reminds me of our honeymoon stint in Thailand.

    1. You should definitely give your opinion more often! Great ideas for bath time and practical yet beautiful décor advice! I will definitely try out the music idea when I get the chance next.

    2. Naomi I love all of these ideas! I feel you should write an actual entire post on bath time activities (!) The cart is genius – and I’m definitely up for watching some beauty tutorials x

  4. We have a roll top. It’s next to the window along that wall so we have a basket on the window sill for stuff although we have a separate shower and most of the shampoo and the like are in there. Please don’t get one of those things that goes over the top **shudders**

    Also, films in the bath. You’re welcome.

      1. This is such a brilliant comment and made me laugh out loud, although I’m sure you can get kicked off RMF for admitting something like this i.e. you don’t really care what you put in your bath??!!
        For the record I use Simple baby bath as I have a small child and thus zero time to think about myself. When I do have a bath I just enjoy sitting in complete silence and doing nothing until the water goes cold and/or I fall asleep. Obviously surrounded by assorted plastic crap which currently includes 12 dinosaurs and an entire tea-set #luxury.

        1. I actually had a brilliant Instagram level plan to use stolen hotel miniatures for guests but as the only guests we get these days are my parents I figure why waste good Molton Brown?

  5. I have recently re-discovered my bath mojo – I have always fallen into the I really fancy a bath – get in and 5mins later I am bored beyond believe – but I have now realised a bath is an amazing way to properly wind down/relax, have a cheeky glass of wine, read your book – and I am a big fan of bath salts now – I have picked up some lovelies in good ole TK Maxx! I also cannot wait to revamp my bathroom (currently beige through and through urgh) and am seriously considering a free standing bath – but hadn’t even considered the lack of storage – decisions decisions!!!!!

  6. Another vote for Neals Yard or the occasional Lush bath bomb! And another person who positioned their old roll top (which I ADORED and MISS DREADFULLY) by a window for the storage. I can read in the bath for a long time, it’s wonderful to just be still and enjoy new words and new worlds.

    Back to storage- Marie Kondo is not my cup of tea but she is totally right about bathroom and shower storage. Get a built in vanity cabinet and keep your bits there, with a quick wipe after use. Otherwise you end up with bottles all down the side of the bath like we have at the moment and it’s just not quite aesthetically pleasing. Swear I will turn over a new leaf in my new bathroom in the barn.

  7. Ah we want a total bathroom re design but not for a few years due to the fact I want it to be amazing! We have a slipper bath roll too claw feet affair at the mo which only fits one person and the shorter the better (so it’s fine for me) and I’m just not a fan. I want either a big deep double ended Bath with taps in the middle or coming out of the wall (not sure how easy this is), I fancy either some white washed floors or those awesome tiles that are everywhere at the minute a bit retro (our house is Edwardian so would work nicely) and a double shower or just a bigger shower and then space for a lovely cupboard under a square sink. And then a shelf on the wall and either some wood panelling on the lower half or just nice dark tones. The toilet is an old one with the chain flusher thing and I quite like it but not sure how it will fit into the new bathroom!
    Def agree on books or I like to take my magazines in and light a candle and read, or music and just do face mask body scrub eyebrow tidy etc. I don’t have an issue with bubbles so pile in nice sanctuary products or sometime bath bombs but they leave a decent mess to clean out after so I’m not a fan. I also appreciate soap and glory products too I don’t like spending a fortune on products for bathing in ? as long as they smell nice don’t dry out the skin and don’t need a total scour out of the bath after it’s ok for me! X

  8. I second the epsom salt suggestion or mineral/Dead Sea salts. I always use ones marked for sensitive skin or eczema prone skin though, and avoid ones (like Radox, for example) that have been dyed bright colours or have any fragrances beyond a few lavender buds in them as that sort of thing makes my skin really itchy. You can also put a few drops of essential oil straight in the bath so you get the nice fragrance without the irritating bubbles or chemicals.

    And I love listening to the radio or podcasts in the bath, as they’re perfectly timed in 30 minute to 1 hour chunks! I choose something I might not otherwise make the time to listen to, maybe an arts or food programme, but not the news or a political debate programme that might stress me out rather than relax me. Enjoy your new bath!

  9. I love the idea of baths and get very excited about running a hot bubble bath (I just buy whatever bubble bath I like the look of from Boots), get my book, light a candle and sometimes a glass of wine. Within approximately 3 minutes I am sweating profusely, feel like I am in a sauna and have a headache. Every single time.
    However this won’t deter me from getting a free standing roll top bath for our bathroom when we revamp it. Key question: anyone got good recommendations on where to buy said baths? I’ve been doing a bit of research and not coming up with anything I love that doesn’t require a lottery win.

  10. Hahaha! The whole getting bored within 5 minutes has happened to be a few times before. Sometimes it’s because I want the idea of a bath more than I want a bath! I think the Epsom salts idea is good, as is pretty much anything from Neals Yard (both of which have been mentioned in previous comments). Laura Mercier also has some lovely bath products. I would also second the idea of a film in the bath or listening to music. It’s a nice way to distract yourself and just relax naturally, rather than spend time trying to relax which invariably does the complete opposite! In terms of bath type – I’m a big fan of a toll top or slipper bath. My father-in-law and his partner have a beautiful free standing bath that they’ve positioned under the window in the bathroom. The windowsill has all the necessary pretty (candles and bath salts) so it means they don’t need anything on the bath itself. It’s works perfectly.

  11. I think I may be the bath queen! I can happily lie in the bath with a good book for hours. I’m lucky I’m not allergic to anything so I can pick any bubbles I like. Recently I used a Lush bubble bar, I think it was just called Milk Bath, and was in the shape of a milk bottle – very original! But it smelt beautiful. I have now got my eye on this

    In terms of storage I have a sink with a cupboard underneath it which suits my modern bathroom and despite it looking quite small I get a lot of stuff in it. You never know what might a good carpenter might be able to do with your new bathroom when it is ready to be made pretty.

  12. I’m another one in the roll top camp! I swear it’s the best money we’ve spent so far on doing our new house up (aside from the electrics, but you know, priorities). I agree that they are harder to shower in (we have a separate shower in our utility room that I use mainly on hair washing days, because washing your hair in the bath is a serious CHORE) but they are SO much easier to clean. Ours is by a window we use the sill for essentials…however, this means I now only ever buy things that look good on display, which has lead to a whole new level of toiletry shopping. Everything else that’s boring/practical goes in the vanity under the sink.
    I also agree about the Epsom salts, and have them displayed in a nice glass jar by the bath. I do like the odd Lush bath bomb but they’re SO expensive these days (says the person currently saving for Chanel bath oil, because Chanel). There’s a shop in Rye (where I live) called Wide Eye that sell completely natural bath bombs that are slightly cheaper and do exactly the same job. I think they have free postage within the UK too so they might have something suitable for super sensitive skin? X

  13. I am a total bath addict! Coconut oil plus salts of some sort (I buy in bulk online!) i used to be bored but now I either put on a digipill (look up the app), listen to a headspace meditation or listen to an audio book. I don’t bother with a fancy bath pillow, just use a folded up hand towel. Ooh final piece of bath advice (which I am yet to implement) is a dimmer switch on the bathroom light!

  14. Ha ha! Charlotte this made me laugh… not because i am cruel and don’t wish you a instagram-worth soak but because I used to do the ‘get in and be bored in five minutes’ bather as well.

    Until… I had a baby, Now, all of a sudden I seem to have cracked the bath thing.

    We have a roll top next to the window so there is a handy ledge to host candles, wine and water. I am a sweaty person – sorry folks – but it is true! You should see me in a sauna. Jeez. So i absolutely need a huge vessel of water to drink and bathe in.

    For me, I have worked out that an enjoyable bath requires:-
    a glass of red (white/bubbles/rose/beer is not as enjoyable for some reason)
    a PINT of ice cold water (avec ice cubes for durability) with a bendy straw in it
    a cool damp flannel to wipe the hot and sweaty brow (i apologise again for sweat talk)
    candles (enough of them so that you can actually read – so many times I got in with just one poxy candle lit and was squinting so bad it was just no fun)
    a magazine or book
    and these Fresh Lychee bath salts

    I hope you have lots of yummy and relaxing bathtimes on hols

  15. I love Jo Malone bath oils – I ask for one every Christmas and use it when I feel like relaxing in the tub with a magazine and some music. You only need 1-2 tiny capfuls in the bath to fragrance it (and you!) and it doesn’t leave any noticeable residue in the bath. I have sensitive skin too but am fine with the bath oils – it’s the body lotions I react to.

  16. I’m really not a roll top bath person, but Bette for example do some really lovely free standing baths. My parents have a few in their house in France where they have completed a contemporary renovation of an old house. Also a shout out for the Jo Malone bath oils, never noticed any residue as such. I’m dreaming of a non-child-related bathroom. The loft conversion is a while off but when it comes I am planning on a really indulgent bath and separate shower thingy… Btw for anyone currently planning a shower over bath combination, needs must and all that, I highly highly recommend a shower screen by Simpson (Crosswater company) that folds flat to the wall as it means you can have a bath without feeling like you are also in a shower. I spent AGES planning the bathroom to make it functional but also work for all purposes (and it is tiny, good luck getting two people in there at the same time…). You need to be able to mount the shower head above the screen, obviously, but we have made it work in a pretty small (not high-ceiling blessed room) with mm to spare… Anyway, that’s enough of my boring post!! Enjoy your soak in Cornwall Charlotte! Very jealous.—dual-inward-opening-dbvsc1060/

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