The tiny medieval town of Bruton, in Somerset, has been growing over the past several years, becoming a cultural hot spot set amongst the flourishing countryside. Spearheaded by the opening of Hauser & Wirth in 2014, the town is now home to several delicious restaurants and stylish hotels. Just a few hours outside of London, it feels like a world away. Here are our recommendations for maximizing a weekend spent in this quaint and beautiful town.
The Newt features two properties on a beautiful country estate. Painstakingly restored, the former Georgian country home is cosy and inviting. The newer Stable Rooms, in the old horse yard, are actually our favourites—the lofty spaces retain the essence of their former purpose but in a luxurious reinvention. The incredible breakfast, which is included in the room rate, spotlights fruits and veg from the farm as well as freshly baked bread.
Spend the day exploring the aforementioned Hauser & Wirth. The gallery space showcases a variety of contemporary art. The Smiljan Radić-designed space sits amongst a working farm and a landscaped garden designed by Piet Oudolf and is an easy place to get lost. Revolving sculptures are displayed in the garden, and the onsite shop features local and artist-made items. Make sure you plan to stay for dinner—Roth Bar & Grill, the excellent restaurant on the property, serves a seasonal menu that focusses on local and sustainable meat and produce. The menu changes daily, but we recommend whatever beef is available, which is dry-aged in their salt room, alongside perfect seasonal vegetable sides.
Day two, enjoy breakfast at The Chapel. The conglomerate space features bedrooms, a bakery, a wine store, and a sun-drenched restaurant. This is where we recommend you visit, in particular, for breakfast. The baked goods are delicious, as are the hot offerings that utilize local butter and eggs. If you happen by in the afternoon, they make excellent sourdough pizzas—and grab a cookie to eat on the go.
Spend the afternoon wandering around the town. There are plenty of leftovers from the medieval period that are still worth exploring, such as the Bruton Dovecote and St Mary’s Church, which dates to the 14th century. There are several boutiques to shop, including some vintage stores and a cool modern concept shop, Caro. Pop into Bruton Art Factory, which supports emerging artists. Then, head to the Pony & Trap for dinner. Open since 2006, the cosy country pub holds a Michelin star for its perfectly-executed British menu. Linger over dinner, make sure to have a wine and a dessert and soak up the atmosphere of the centuries-old building.
On Sunday, after a stroll through The Newt’s extensive gardens—and perhaps a visit to the hammam—focus your day on the delicious Sunday Roast served at new restaurant Osip, from Merlin LaBron Johnson. Featuring ingredients from primarily local providers, the Sunday lunch menu is fixed price and has a just-gourmet-enough selection of classic menu items.