Time For A Soak

I like to have a bath every night, even in the summer, as it really helps me to relax and get ready for a good night’s sleep. No-one in my family shares this (unless you include my mum). They prefer showers – quick and easy.

A lock on the door, back in the days when my kids were younger, prevented the children from coming in and cajoling me to allow them to jump in too. I would always say yes and then be furious with myself thirty minutes later when they still refused to get out and would not allow any hot water to be added as they preferred it lukewarm. I’d sit, shivering, usually at the tap end, all signs of relaxation gone straight down the plug hole.

Being a farmer’s daughter, I grew up in an old farmhouse. We had one average sized bathroom with a bath that was over 100 years old; a very long, narrow steel enamel bath. I remember, from a young age, my dad putting me and my three siblings into the bath, lined up one next to the other. He would wash our hair altogether and then plonk water, ignoring our cries, over our heads to wash the soapy mess off. It was an efficient business. I have fond memories of this, even when he used fairy liquid after we had run out of shampoo.

Every ten years my parents would have the bath re-enamelled which would put it out of action for five days. My dad would march us up to the milking parlour (a quarter of a mile up the road) where we would all be hosed down after the cows had been milked. There seemed to be more mooing than usual going on around us – I was sure this was them laughing.

The farmhouse bath was, and still is, very comfortable and, at nearly six foot tall, I can still stretch my legs out nicely whilst lying back in the soapy suds.

High-end steel bath specialists such as Kaldewei or Bette use thick enamel coatings making their baths almost impossible to scratch. As steel is a natural, raw material, it is 100% recyclable making steel the eco-friendly choice. Although steel is cold to touch, once hot water is added, it warms up quickly and will retain the heat. Another thing I’ve found is that because of the weight of a steel bath, the bath never moves – unlike acrylic ones which can sometimes sink down when a person gets in. This in turn means the silicone that’s put around the edge of the bath also keeps in place and does not come loose over time.

I recommend trying out a bath before purchase. You wouldn’t buy a bed without trying out and this goes for baths too. My sister Kristina and I went to IKEA (years ago) and came across a bed also called Kristina, the sign next to it said ‘please do try out our beds’ so we did and promptly fell asleep (having been out most of the night). The staff had to wake us up when the store was closing.

One of my clients needed a small bath to fit in her small bathroom, I encouraged her to try the one we had in the Hugo Oliver showroom but she felt a little self-conscious, so I jumped in for her and was pleased to report it being very comfortable (and would be even more so with the buoyancy of water) – even if my legs found it impossible to fit in. She was delighted and bought said bath (she was much shorter than me).

My husband and I eventually settled for an acrylic single ended bath in our new bathroom.  It has a deep ledge running around the bath which has proved invaluable for placing bath products on (and all the hundreds of candles my husband puts around when he is being nice/saying sorry to me). Acrylic baths these days are very durable and tend to cost less than steel baths. They are warm to the touch and light.

Yesterday I cycled home in the rain and got wet and cold. My husband had been home looking after the kids and had run a hot bubbly bath in anticipation of my arrival home. I was a very happy wife…

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E57A0524  Bathtub in master bathroom in new luxury home with view of master bedroom and neighborhood with trees through window