Tour Guide Elisha’s Blog About The Delicious Sally Lunn Buns!
Sally Lunn Buns – The Must-Have Treat in Bath
Everyone’s heard the old proverb ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’, well when in England do as the English do, and what we like to do is stuff our faces with food and drink! There are local favourites to try in every county you cross into, and one region in particular has a reputation for enjoying good grub almost as much as they enjoy sharing it with others. This region is the West Country, and the local people have a long history of hearty hospitality – in fact JRR Tolkien’s famously life loving hobbits were heavily inspired by the warm, welcoming people of the West Country.
In the heart of the West Country you’ll find the county of Somerset, which is where the beautiful historic city of Bath is located. One of Bath’s best kept secrets is almost 350 years old, and you’ll find it nestled down a little side street in the city centre where it has been since the year 1680. The secret is a bakery and tea shop called Sally Lunn’s Eating House, and it’s the only place in the world where you’ll find the highly sought after Sally Lunn Bun.
Sally Lunn (born Solange Luyon) was a French lady, she fled persecution in France and came to live in Bath in the year 1680, where she found a job working in a bakery. She’d go out onto the streets with a big basket full of breads, cakes, and rolls and would sell them to the local people. She was also a keen baker herself and had a secret recipe up her sleeve for what we now call the Sally Lunn bun.
These are very large buns which are very light and fluffy, with a slightly sweet taste. They’re a cross between a traditional French brioche and a traditional English bread, and they can be enjoyed with sweet or savoury fillings (they’re even pretty tasty just on their own). The recipe is a closely guarded secret, the only way you could get your hands on it would be by buying the deed to the bakery itself, but you can pay a visit to Sally Lunn’s Eating House and enjoy one of these delicious buns for yourself in their charming tea room.
My personal favourite way to have a Sally Lunn bun is toasted and spread with the shop’s special cinnamon butter, yum!
But if you don’t have the time to stop for a bun and a spot of tea then never fear, you can also grab a Sally Lunn bun to go! Simply head down past the original kitchen (preserved to double as a mini-museum) and you’ll find the shop where you can buy a Sally Lunn bun packaged in a beautiful box and baked fresh that day. The buns last a good four days, so are yours to enjoy at your leisure.
And as if you needed any more reason to pay Sally Lunn’s Eating House a visit, it also happens to be the oldest house in Bath, the building itself dating back to the year 1482!
So come to Bath and take a bite out of history!