- Food & Drink award 2022
Perched on a hilltop surrounded by Somerset’s green, rolling countryside, the quirky and surprising ancient town of Bruton makes for a great getaway, as in recent years many artists and crafts people have found. And right in the high street there’s the perfect place to stay.
On the site of a large coaching inn that was welcoming guests as long as 500 years ago, Number One Bruton imaginatively brings together a Georgian townhouse, a 12th Century forge and a row of cottages, set around a pretty courtyard, to create a special kind of hotel that is really a celebration of Somerset art and culture.
It’s the brainchild of local writer Claudia Waddams, who has decorated and furnished her vision of a hotel with style, history and a modern touch with family heirlooms and donations by artists and photographers. While in the walled garden you can relax on colourful benches in the shade of young trees.
The dozen rooms come in three types. The Townhouses in the main building have wooden panelling and aged elm floors with lavish furnishings in rich colours. The Cottages reflect their origins as workshops, with rustic exposed beams and quarry-tiled floors, softened by rugs and William Morris textiles that evoke the arts and crafts movement. Rooms in the Forge, within the walls of oldest part of the hotel, have an industrial feel with Crittall windows and forged ironmongery livened with bursts of fun and colour.
And once you’ve whiled away the day exploring what the Somerset countryside has to offer, you can return to eat at Number One’s partner restaurant Osip, cosily set in the old ironmonger’s shop. Farm-to-table food follows the principles of simplicity, imagination and local sourcing - organic fruit and vegetables are grown on a nearby farm and an allotment just five minutes’ walk away.