Where to Eat in Bruton, Somerset, UK

Fri, 8 May 2020


A team of local farmers, growers, hunters and gatherers – along with Britain’s youngest Michelin-starred chef, Merlin Labron-Johnson – are behind this pocket-sized fine-dining, farm-to-table restaurant. Somerset’s bounty characterises its menus (a “menu du jour” at lunch; a fixed, six-course affair in the evening), including produce from the restaurant’s own orchards and plot of land. Against a muted backdrop of exposed-stone walls, pale linens and duck-egg-blue banquets, tuck into the likes of lardo with candied nuts (our favourite), chicken with hay-baked apple and a rhubarb-topped rice pudding studded with sugared almonds.

Roth Bar & Grill

Sharing a site with Durslade Farmhouse and Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Roth Bar & Grill serves seasonally rotating menus that make use of produce grown in the kitchen garden and on the farm – meats are dry-aged in the on-site Salt Room. Overlooking an open kitchen and wood-fired grill, the dining room (a former cowshed) is all trusses and exposed-stone walls dotted with food-themed artwork from owners Iwan and Manuela Wirth’s private collection. At its heart is a bar dreamed up from salvaged materials – old pipes, toy skittles, cassette boxes – by artists Björn and Oddur Roth. Try a cocktail inspired by exhibitions at the gallery.

Matt’s Kitchen

Self-taught chef Matt Watson was a decorator before he set up a BYOB restaurant in the front room of his small, Georgian cottage almost a decade ago. Somerset locals have been clamouring for a table ever since. Today, he offers a single, dinnertime “dish of the day” on Wednesday through to Friday, along with a choice of starters and desserts. Check online for the week’s menu – it can feature fare as diverse as smoked brisket with truffled potatoes and kuku paka, a Kenyan dish of tomato and coconut.

At The Chapel

At The Chapel buzzes with locals drawn by heavenly scents from its on-site bakery who stay for long brunches, lazy lunches and convivial dinners in the cavernous, double-height dining room. Light pours through stained-glass windows, illuminating installations on loan from Hauser & Wirth. Here, menus have a Mediterranean affliction, with wood-fired sourdough pizza among the most popular orders – best accompanied by Somerset bramble cocktails or a bottle from At The Chapel’s adjoining Wine Store.

The Botanical Rooms, The Newt

Overseen by River Cottage alumni Ben Bulger, The Botanical Rooms is The Newt’s farm-to-table crown. As is the running theme in Bruton’s best eateries, its plates feature produce from the estate and local suppliers. Pull up a seat in the Glass Room filled with shrubbery or find a leather banquet in the intimate Oak Room, and fill up on small plates or larger dishes cooked on the wood-fired grill. Want to recreate the experience at home? Stop by The Newt’s seasonal Farm Shop on the way out for local “cyder”, housemade pantry items and kitsch homewares from South Africa’s Babylonstoren and local craftspeople.

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