Tucked away in a quaint corner of Somerset, sits the tiny town of Bruton. Something of a one-oﬀ, Bruton is a fair distance away from anything else, and its shops and houses sit closely knit together. It is set in the dip of the rolling Somerset hills, overlooked by the town’s famous 15th century Dovecote.
Since the turn of the 21st century, Bruton has become quite the hotspot for artists, intellectuals and well-known names. The small selection of shops are proudly independent and surprisingly cosmopolitan. The Hauser & Wirth Gallery sits within the historic Durslade Farmhouse, accompanied by an impressive farm shop and rooms for overnight stays.
In the centre of the narrow high street is At The Chapel, initially a restaurant, bar, bakery and wine shop, before owners Catherine Butler and Ahmed Sidki expanded upstairs to create eight super stylish guest rooms. The pair purchased the disused chapel in 2000, and lived alone in the property for eight years before they first opened the restaurant. The building is lovingly restored, each detail painstakingly fine-tuned, with sleek, modern elements in just the right places.
Each room is described as tranquil and contemporary, and boasts pure luxury from the moment you set foot in the door. The spaces are bright, filled with light streaming in from the original chapel windows. King-sized beds are paired with Egyptian cotton bedlinen, and each bathroom is absolutely wrapped in marble, with underfloor heating to round it oﬀ. The finishing touch to your stay is a bag of still-warm, fresh croissants from the bakery downstairs, dropped to your door every morning. Complimentary homemade strawberry jam is placed neatly in your bedroom fridge for good measure.
Your stay is also guaranteed to keep you well fed, as the hotel restaurant boasts some of the most delicious food in Somerset. Post-dinner drinks can be had here or in the lower-level clubroom, where guests can listen to the tinkles of a piano before spilling out on to the leafy terrace. The Chapel Bakery is surely one of the finest in the county, with fresh loaves piled high on shelves and sweet treats dotted around. You can even grab one of the hotel’s famous sourdough wood-fired pizzas straight from the oven here to take away.
This corner of the countryside has a relaxed, stylish feel to it, and is sure to leave any guest feeling like they must plan a return trip. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Written by Tom Loughran