Somerset: At The Chapel in Bruton

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At The Chapel in Bruton is a meticulously converted medieval chapel. It now boasts a popular artisan bakery, winestore, restaurant and 8 bedrooms.

At The Chapel in Bruton is a meticulously converted medieval chapel. It now boasts a popular artisan bakery, winestore, restaurant and 8 bedrooms.

 

One of the things I love is finding travel gems – the places to stay that are off the beaten track and just that little bit different. You usually hear about them from friends, or from friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends. You know what I mean. They aren’t easy to find and they can take loads of time to research. But once you find one, it’s like spotting a shiny pound coin in the kerb. You pick it up, can’t believe your luck, and then put it in your pocket.

My recent find was discovered with the help of i-escape, the UK-based travel site that prides itself in uncovering some of the world’s best travel secrets. Each of the 1,500 properties are individually visited and reviewed. Most are proprietor run, but have that cool factor. i-escape is so popular they are approached by hundreds of potential properties each week, but only a handful make it through and are listed on the site. When booking through i-escape you are guaranteed the same price as going direct, PLUS you usually get a special perk for going through the site (such as a glass of bubbly at arrival). So I went to check out one of their “finds”. 

 

The restaurant At The Chapel in Bruton serves stone baked pizzas from their own ovens as well as dishes like "Autumn kale chicken Caesar" and "Dorset crab, pappardelle, chilli, garlic". There's a nice kids menu too.

The restaurant At The Chapel in Bruton serves stone baked pizzas from their own ovens as well as dishes like “Autumn kale chicken Caesar” and “Dorset crab, pappardelle, chilli, garlic”. There’s a nice kids menu too.

 

i-escape: At The Chapel in Bruton

At the Chapel is a meticulously restored medieval chapel with a popular artisan bakery, winestore, restaurant and 8 guest rooms. It’s in Bruton, a small ancient town in South Somerset famed for farming and public schools. Lots of creatives live in the areas, and the shelves at reception are filled with books written by locals, such as Venetia Dearden, Roland Vernon James Crowden, that have held launch events at the hotel.

I’m here sans kids and settled into Room 8. It’s a LARGE room, nearly the size of my first flat in San Francisco (no, actually I think it’s bigger). The cream-coloured walls contrast with the dark wooden floors. In the corner is a mint green velvet chaise lounge that sits atop a lush brown and white cowhide rug (a nod to Bruton’s agricultural roots?). I instantly  imagine myself relaxing with one of the lovely local books kindly left in the room and opening the double French doors that lead onto the private garden terrace with a south-facing view of the 12th century church. It’s a nice thought, but it’s too cold this January afternoon to open the doors.

Instead I relax on the kingsized bed, which has crisp Egyptian linen and loads and loads of fluffy pillows (perfect for sitting up and reading, or typing out a hotel review using the free WiFi). There are minimalist drawings on the walls (I haven’t asked, but I assume they are done by local artists, it’s that kind of place).  There’s a large HD Smart TV on the wall, which seems out-of-place (does anyone still watch television?)

 

The bathroom was HUGE and had heated floors and towel racks.

The bathroom was HUGE and had heated floors and towel racks.

 

The bathroom is a big as the bedroom (not really but it’s HUGE) and the marble floor is warm under my feet. (The best way to a woman’s heart is through her feet). The freestanding bath tub could fit a few people and to my delight there is a collection of REN toiletries on the countertop. Having just bought myself some of these gorgeous aromatic potions at Space NK, I know how pricey they are. There’s a dark grey designer glass bowl that I mistake for a sink and accidentally empty my contact lens solution into. Ooops. I eye the two plush robes hanging on the wall and fast forward to a long bath before bed, soaking in rosewood and camomile, and then using the Neroli and grapefruit lotion before retiring to said Egyptian cotton sheets and soft fluffy pillows… I digress…

 

These REN toiletries were waiting for me At The Chapel. Perfect for a long leisurely bath in the freestanding tub. #relax

These REN toiletries were waiting for me At The Chapel. Perfect for a long leisurely bath in the freestanding tub. #relax

 

It’s the height of winter and there’s a raging wind storm outside, but inside I still haven’t felt the need to put my socks back on because of those lovely warm floors. As I read through the hotel information booklet (am I the only one that does this?) I  hear church bells chime on the half hour. The hotel only has 8 rooms and each are individually decorated. I read on. From midnight to 7 am they lock the front doors of the hotel, and the night baker takes care of us. I guess if I can’t sleep I might be able to walk upstairs and knead some dough or nibble on a biscuit.

 

The bakery At The Chapel is very popular with locals. If you stay there, a freshly baked croissant is waiting outside your door in the morning.

The bakery At The Chapel is very popular with locals. If you stay there, a freshly baked croissant is waiting outside your door in the morning.

 

I haven’t even told you the best part yet. The croissants. Each morning the baker, Tom, leaves a freshly baked croissant at your door. In the fridge you have local Somerset butter and homemade jam. You can then either choose to have it with a cafetière of coffee or tea (Tea Pigs of course!) And there fresh organic milk too.

I love this place.

 

Room 8 is described at Large with Bath and Shower and a garden terrace.

Room 8 is described as Large with Bath and Shower and a garden terrace.

 

Highs

  • Atmosphere, meticulously restored medieval chapel, a real cool factor
  • Personal service:  I forgot my toothbrush, and they didn’t have one but they got one across the road when shop opened 
  • Freshly baked croissants delivered to your door each morning
  • Tea pigs and cafetière coffee, organic milk in fridge
  • REN cosmetics in bathroom
  • Underfloor heating
  • FREE wi-fi
  • REAL hair dryer (not one of those low powered ones that are stuck on the wall)

Lows

  • If you’re on a low carb diet, you’ll want to purchase something else for breakfast
  • On windy nights you can hear everything outside (but cosy inside)
  • Limited parking

 

IF YOU GO

i-escape Travel site that prides itself in discovering the world’s best travel secrets. All properties are personally visited. Also check out i-escapewithkids, which rates properties based on those godsends that make family travel easier.

At The Chapel 28 High Street, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0AE +44 01749 814070 www.i-escape.com/at-the-chapel

Ideally placed to visit: Wells (14 miles), Glastonbury (17 miles), Cheddar (25 miles), Bath (26 miles), Bristol (30 miles),  Stonehenge.

 

Doing a little window shopping in Bruton, Somerset

Doing a little window shopping in Bruton, Somerset

 

Note: My accommodation was provided by i-escape for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

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12 Comments

  1. 29/01/2015 / 10:23

    This looks like such a beautiful place to visit. Even through photos it is clear that there is a welcoming, calm atmosphere there x
    Lauren recently posted…Waking Up and KnowingMy Profile

  2. 20/01/2015 / 20:05

    oh my gosh, that looks AMAZING!!! I love the idea of a croissant being left at the door. What a great incentive to get out of bed!

  3. 20/01/2015 / 10:05

    This sounds amazing. What a little hidden gem. What I wouldnt do to escape on my own for a weekend! Will defnitely be looking up i-escape that’s for sure.

  4. 19/01/2015 / 19:35

    Well that sounds AWFUL! (Green, me?). Although as it’s not too far from what will be our neck of the woods in the next year or so (fingers, toes and everything else crossed) you never know – I may get to visit myself sometime – it’s gone on the list!
    Potty Mummy recently posted…Because we all need to shake it off sometimes…My Profile

  5. 19/01/2015 / 11:15

    Oh it looks absolutely divine – and not to far from us – perfect for next time we get a night away as a couple!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Brizzle ShizzleMy Profile

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