*post contains press visit.
Our last couple of nights in Somerset were spent in the beautiful village of Bruton. Quaint, cosy and quintessentially countryside- we found a gorgeous Air BnB a stones throw away from the high street, which although small- held a pretty impressive selection of delicious restaurants, independent shops and beautiful homes to ogle at as you walked past.
Despite the fact none of us had a car (one day, I promise), Bruton didn’t feel particularly far from a few other beauty spots we had on our itinerary. Although we had lucked out with both a local taxi firm (and Carrie’s brilliant mum), driving us to spots like Shepton Mallet, Wells and Stourhead- they all felt totally within reach (even though next time I vow I’ll be confident enough to drive. I promise!)
Saying that, we managed to have a lovely morning mooch along the high street (it’s worth noting most shops aren’t open on a Monday) and was able to enjoy a delicious breakfast At The Chapel (naturally picking up some fresh bakes from their much-loved bakery for our picnic later in the day too).
The architecture there is completely heavenly (no pun intended), and had been on various ‘saved’ and ‘to visit’ boards of mine for ages, so to be able to dine in such a special space (the building used to be a 17th Century chapel) for the flakiest pastry and most delicious eggs, was the perfect start to the morning. They also offer wood fired pizzas come the evening (to eat in and take away) and enough of a cake selection I nearly left with a bag of iced buns, jam donuts and chocolate cookies for one afternoon…
Your Bruton Little Black Book
Caro – The most gorgeous home and interiors shop, celebrating brilliant small brands and unique design.
Swan Vintage – A beautiful selection of hand picked vintage- with everything from 1920’s bias cut to lilac suede cowboy boots (I know)
Hauser and Wirth (& Roth Bar & Grill) – Although we didn’t manage to make it here, this contemporary gallery is top of my list next time (apparently the food at Roth Bar & Grill is pretty special too)
Osip – Another we didn’t make it to, but if you’re after a unique and special dinner out, this is a pretty failsafe bet. The hotel also looks heavenly!
At The Chapel – Whether you want a tasty breakfast, sharable lunch, Italian-inspired dinner, picnic goods to take-away or even a room for the night, At The Chapel has it all covered, and does it very very well.
The Flower Shop – Although it’s never convenient to carry blooms back on a two hour train journey, I can never resist a nosey in spots this beautiful! The posies!
Despite the fact our stay overlapped with a certain Eat Out to Help Out scheme (which meant booking was disproportionately harder to do), it’s worth noting that it is a particularly small town- so places do get busy and booking is recommended.
On our last day in Somerset, we were also lucky enough to have a table reservation at The Garden Café at The Newt*– a stones throw away from Bruton, and nestled in the heart of the country. Boasting both the most stunning landscape gardens, estate and hotel- it almost feels a little like it’s own little village- completely separate to other spots nearby, and offering so much to see simply within it’s own grounds.
Whether that’s walks around their various vast woodland and gardens which are so beautifully curated and kept, Cyder tours and tastings (they brew their own on site), various shops for their delicious homemade delicacies and hand-selected produce- as well as pre-packed picnics to order and enjoy in the gardens- if you’re after a wholesome afternoon, look no further.
Plus, despite being called a café, our lunch was the most delicious seasonal set menu- celebrating fresh and local produce from the surrounding areas, which felt like such a treat and certainly a refreshing switch up from my rolls with salt and vinegar crisps (not grumbling, of course). With The Newt offering plenty of spots to get an ice cream and scone afterwards (their new Gelateria looks d e l i c i o u s), we set up shop at the Cyder Bar for fluffy scones and jam before heading back to Castle Cary and on a train to the big smoke…
P.S, it’s worth noting a trip to The Newt and it’s restaurants does come with an entrance fee (well worth it if you’re spending the day and soaking up the scenery)- but something to keep in mind!
It was so lovely properly exploring a new part of the country I’d not seen much of before, and hope it won’t be long before I’m ticking off more beautiful villages in this part of the world and beyond. Getting to travel a little during such uncertain times is not something I’ve taken either lightly or for granted, so it’s definitely felt all the more special still having windows of opportunity to do these things, whilst of course remaining cautious and careful. Let me know if you’d like to see any other ‘staycation’ or ‘at home’ ideas around this time too!