Val Skinner

Food tour guide

Val is trained as a local tourist guide in Bath, and in culinary interpretation for a nearby visitor attraction.

Who are you?

I’ve worked in higher education for most of my life and I’m from Yorkshire originally but have been in Bath for 30 years.  I’ve worked as a tourist guide in Bath since 2013 and I’m really interested in food & social history which is what I studied at Uni.  I love traveling & eating – preferably at the same time!  Originally I came to Bath due to my husband’s job but we stayed because we loved the city, and now you can’t drag me away!


What makes you say:

Anything spicy, especially with a bit of chilli.  I love Asian food, especially Thai.  I spent some time in Vietnam recently and really loved noodle based dishes, and also rice, but all the spicy stuff is what floats my boat!!

Oysters!  It really annoys me though as I really want to like them, and I keep trying to like them. I really like to go somewhere and eat whatever is traditional, and recently I went to Arcachon and Cap Ferret which is where you get the best oysters in France and I made myself eat half a dozen and I thought I’d done quite well but the next day I was going to try again though just couldn’t bring myself to it!!

“That’s weird!”
In Vietnam we were offered duck egg embryo!… I couldn’t bring myself to try it.  They’re also really big on frogs – not frogs legs but the whole frog! … that’s pretty weird!

“I love leading food tours mostly because…”
Food & drink are a really good bridge between cultures, either geographically because it helps you to understand people from different areas, but it also helps you understand people from different eras.  Going to a museum you can see things so you use your sight and possibly sense of touch to experience something, but with food you use so many senses.  The fact that I can share that with other people is something I find really positive

“I love Bath because…”
I think we have the best of all worlds here.  We have the best of the city: food scene, theatre, bars etc.  But we also have the nice small-town feel here, so it’s really friendly and accessible.  And we also have the countryside on our doorstep.

“My fave place in the city…”
… is The Circus.  I don’t know why but may be it’s because I feel completely encapsulated by the history and the architecture there.  It’s a very peaceful part of the city too, and the architecture is just stunning!

“My favourite Savouring Bath tour is…”
Foodie Frenzy because I love how fun and interactive it is, with a lot of energy.  It’s great seeing people enjoying the fun of the event and sharing the food… with a competitive edge!