Bath has been hailed as one of Britain’s most beautiful cities since the Regency era, and for good reason. Last Autumn Bath added another wonderful building to its retinue when the city approved Topping and Company’s rehousing from the Paragon to York Street.
For its fourteen-year history, Topping and Company Booksellers has been nestled in between a few little shops in the Paragon, but from now onwards, its many volumes will be housed in the Greek revival Friends Meeting House.
I discovered Toppings last summer, and within a month I met two incredible speakers Justine Picardie former editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country and Alexandra Shulman former editor-in-Chief of British Vogue. Both of these talks were fantastic events that offered opportunities to meet the authors and have my books signed.
Its new quarters, at first glance, look like a temple for the worship of our favourite texts and are now next to Bath Abbey in the centre of our city. The Friends Meeting House was designed by William Wilkins, the architect of the National Gallery in London. It was used as an assembly room and non-conformist chapel during the 1830s, now it is a listed building with the only original gothic sconces in Bath.
I had the pleasure of visiting on the first day of its grand opening and so with a glass of prosecco in hand I began to explore Bath’s most beautiful bookshop…
– INSIDE TOPPING & COMPANY –
Toppings new bookshop is a behemoth filled with books, the first level full of groaning shelves and tables heaped with books, the second a balcony with a view of Bath Abbey from its windows. The last floor is a catacomb of rooms, both big and small with tables to sit at. I’ll be bringing my hot chocolate and a desire for a new book very soon!
– Floor guide –
Gallery: Art, Crafts, Photography, Fashion, Gardening
Main Hall: Fiction, Science-Fiction & Fantasy, Crime Fiction, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Bath History, Biography, Special & Collectible Editions
Lower Hall: Cookery, Travel, Poetry, Politics, History, Myths, Science, Psychology, Religion, Philosophy, Gender Studies, Sports, Children’s
– EVENTS AND AUTHOR READINGS –
This fabulous bookshop also runs plenty of fascinating author events, I myself have managed to meet some intriguing writers and even found some inspiration of my own.