Before it gets too cold and the pictures of an idyllic summer countryside begins to look obsolete there are pictures of a place in England that I wanted to share. Days may not be so bright any longer but I am sure these landscapes can be even more beautiful in red and gold … So take a chance once in a while and let me know how was Somerset in autumn!
Yes. This post is all about Somerset, a rural part of England with its rolling hills, cows and much, much more… because the prices of real estate have sky rocketed in the last couple of years. Celebrities such as Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Nicolas Cage already have their farm houses here and magazines call it the new Notting Hill. This love hangover is spreading fast! Even the trendsetting SOHO HOUSE opened its first country outpost just a short drive from historic Bath called the Babington House. Trendy Aesop and HAY have their stores in Somerset and one of the World biggest art galleries Hauser & Wirth converted an old farm into an impressive art gallery in a small village of Bruton. Not to mention that one of the super cool open air festivals today is held in Somerset every year, the Glastonbury Festival.
So no doubt – this place has good karma for seriously cool stuff!
Let’s start from Bruton. A charming little village which has at least three cool places where to stay. There is lovely Caro, with its one double suite in 18th century cottage just above its scandi design store. For more artistic types there is Durslade Farmhouse, just next to Houser&Wirth Art Gallery which is rented as a whole farm house. Instead, we decided to stay at At the Chapel – obviously an old chapel turned into a very stylish bakery, restaurant, winery and 8 room B&B. That’s all we needed for a couple of days in the countryside.
From the Chapel there is a beautiful 20 minutes walk across the little stone bridge to the local church and then through meadows and community gardens to the Houser & Wirth art gallery and the Roth Bar & Grill.
The Houser & Wirth gallery is not to be missed! No one is expecting to find a world class collection of contemporary art in the middle of English country side. No big entrances, impressive buildings, gigantic billboards of resident artists – just an old farmhouse filled with art pieces and just about right number of visitors to feel the excitement of something special.
Behind the main building there is a garden, a field of flowers, of grass, of colors – I would dare to say another masterpiece of Piet Oudolf, the internationally-renowned landscape designer. Finally, at the end of the garden there is the Radic pavilion, an UFO like structure which was originally commissioned for the Serpentine gallery in 2014.
Even the Roth Bar & Grill is a piece of art – beginning with the menu illustrations, its bar and the glass refrigerator, which all are (seam) as art installations. As you can imagine, Roth Bar & Grill serves locally sources healthy food and drinks.
Not far from Bruton, there is Bath, a gorgeously Georgian town and certainly much more famous than other places in Somerset but still beautiful and worth a visit. Unlike many historic towns, Bath has cool restaurants, hotels, shops… If you decide to stay overnight, my first choice would be a magnificent B&B called Berdoulat and Breakfast or the more traditional luxury hotel the Gainsborough Hotel.
Another must see place in Somerset is the old city of Wells with its majestic Cathedral and the Bishop palace surrounded by breathtaking ponds, canals and gardens.
Finally, there is Glastonbury. A town and a world on its own: mysticism and eccentricity, new age spiritualism, independent shops, smell of incenses, fairies and clairvoyants. Take it or leave it baby!
All I can say now is: What a great summer it was!