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Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Jason Ingram

A perfect day in Bruton

Visit the small Somerset village for heavenly food, contemporary art and verdant countryside

By Stephanie Hartman
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Bruton is a bit like an abridged Stoke Newington with better air quality. In the last few years the tiny former market town has become an unexpectedly cool spot to escape to, thanks to an influx of art galleries, fancy shops, hip places to eat and quirky places to stay. It might be a super-rural, one-road destination, complete with bucolic country walks and pastoral scenes, but urban folk will feel immediately at home. More accustomed to city life? Be prepared to add yourself to the allotment waiting list when you return to the city. Bruton’s going to bring out the wholesome in you.

A perfect day in Bruton

Bruton Dovecote
Bruton Dovecote

First Up

Take a stroll through the town’s community gardens, where pumpkin patches are laden with enormous fruits and flower beds pop with colour. Make use of the picnic benches if the weather’s good, or climb up to the Dovecote, which sits above the town in Abbey Park offering idyllic views.

Caro Bruton
Caro Bruton

Splash the cash

Lifestyle store Caro is so beautifully curated you’ll want to take every piece of homeware, clothing and stationery away with you. Don’t leave without trying their chocolate creations (the earl grey and biscuit bar gets our vote). Visit the Godminster shop for a whole wheel of oak-smoked cheddar, Swan Vintage for pre-loved threads and Lunaria for plants, blooms and botany-themed cards.

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Roth Bar & Grill, Bruton
Roth Bar & Grill, Bruton

Stop for lunch

Grab a table underneath the Roth Bar & Grill‘s vaulted wooden beams. There’s a superb daily menu, but the restaurant also hosts chef and farmer lunches plus outdoor feasts where great hunks of meat and fish are cooked over roaring fires. Stop by on a Sunday for one of the phenomenal roasts whizzing from the kitchen and a bloody mary muddled at the bar. Back on the High Street, book ahead for a table at Matt’s Kitchen, where self-taught chef Matt Watson serves supper from Wednesday to Friday in what used to be his living room. Only the freshest ingredients make it on to his plates.

Bruton
Bruton

Drink like a local

Have a pint of local ale at buzzy local fave The Bruton Castle. Get your caffeine hit at Bean Shot Coffee, an award-winning artisan roaster and bar, or take home something stronger from Godminster, who make their own vodka spirits infused with elderflower, horseradish or blackcurrants. If you’ve come by car, hop in and drive up the road to the Westcombe Dairy Shop, which, alongside cheese, stocks a full range of bottles brewed locally by the Wild Beer Company.  

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At The Chapel, Bruton
At The Chapel, Bruton

Soak up the vibes

Pull up a pew in a Grade II-listed, seventeenth-century former chapel. You could easily spend the entire day in converted church At the Chapel, eating, drinking and bathing in the sun streaming through the windows. It’s a bakery, serving up fresh bread first thing every morning, a lush breakfast spot, a bright and airy place for a long lunch, a lively bar and a romantic candlelit eatery in the evening. Don’t want to move? Find sanctuary in one of the plush boutique hotel rooms upstairs.

Hauser & Wirth Bruton
Hauser & Wirth Bruton
Heather Edwards

If you only do one thing

Pay a visit to Hauser & Wirth. The Somerset outpost of the gallery is set within the Grade II-listed buildings at Durslade Farm and exhibits contemporary art all year round. Beyond its walls stretches a gorgeous landscaped garden designed by Piet Oudolf, with Smiljan Radić’s shell-like pavilion looking out over the luscious perennial meadow.

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Caro B&B, Bruton
Caro B&B, Bruton

And if you stay the night, wake up here

Small but perfectly formed, the one-bedroom B&B attached to lifestyle brand Caro – founded by Natalie Jones – is tucked neatly into the upper floor of its garden house. It’s a two-minute walk from its sister shop where you can pick up everything you need to make your bedroom back at home just as nice. Arriving late on a Friday night? Self-check-in at these cosy digs where muted-tone interiors and subtle design touches are key. The chic bathroom is nestled into the sloping roof (there’s no room for a bath but the shower stocked with Aesop goodies does the job) and a night’s stay includes a voucher to spend on breakfast at At the Chapel. Dreamy.

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