The Newt in Somerset
The Newt in Somerset, Somerset
Sister property to South Africa’s Babylonstoren, the Newt in Somerset is a country hotel on an 800-acre cider-making estate. The gorgeous limestone main house—the Hadspen—was originally built in the seventeenth century and remodeled for Georgian sensibilities in the next. Half a mile away in the Farmyard house, accommodations are a little more rustic, but still luxurious and considered. There’s a private cabin, too, built into the stone wall that surrounds the property. The restaurant menu features Babylonstoren wine and whatever is fresh picked from the garden, and the spa offers yoga, sound baths, a hammam, and a very cool indoor-outdoor pool.
At the Chapel
High St., Bruton
The town of Bruton in Somerset is populated by a good number of ex-Londoners who came down for the weekend and then never left. Among them is Catherine Bruton, a restaurateur who bought a run-down chapel on impulse in the early 2000’s, and inadvertently transformed it into the town’s hub, with a wonderful bakery, pizzeria, and restaurant. There are also a few hotel rooms upstairs, all totally lovely thanks to a collaboration with her designer husband, Ahmed Sidki. The rooms are spare, but decorated in beautifully hand-crafted, modern furniture (and incredibly comfy beds), and feature art on loan from Hauser & Wirth—gallerists Iwan and Manuela are good friends of Catherine’s and commissioned her to run the restaurant at their new Somerset space. Plus, oven-fresh croissants are delivered to the rooms each morning. The main attraction nearby is the new Hauser & Wirth gallery complex which opened last year, though those looking for a real taste of Somerset can head over to Westcombe Dairy to tour the cheese factory and local brewery.