Hotel review

Somerset hotel review: Inspector visits ‘new Notting Hill’ and stays at Number One Bruton

An inspector calls into a 12th-century hotel in the village where George Osborne lives and loves the Michelin-starred cuisine and ‘comfortable’ room (but the lack of coffee options ruffles feathers)

  • The Inspector approaches Bruton, dubbed the ‘new Notting Hill’, for a stay at the Number One Bruton Hotel
  • It is located on a centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delis and cafes
  • The atmosphere is relaxed and the young staff are always polite and friendly, writes the inspector

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You never know who you might meet in Bruton, Somerset. British Vogue called it the “new Notting Hill” and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Good if you can afford to live there, like former chancellor George Osborne, fashion designer Alice Temperley or impressario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, but not ideal if you’re hoping to get your first foot on the property ladder . One of its selling points was the arrival of the Hauser & Wirth gallery; another is the centuries-old High Street, lined with galleries, delis and cafes.

Pride of place is the 12th-century Hotel Number One Bruton in the former blacksmith’s and ironmonger’s building, with its usually open bright yellow door offering an attractive view of the courtyard garden designed by Penelope Hobhouse .

Hotel Number One Bruton occupies a prime location in Bruton in a former forge and hardware store

A cozy rhubarb pink sits just off the main passage, where there is an exhibition of the work of famous (and local) photographer Sir Don McCullin. All a little luvvie, darling? Not at all.

The atmosphere is relaxed; the rooms are stylish but comfortable and the young staff are always polite and friendly. Our room is in what could easily have been the hayloft. It has a freestanding bathtub; walk-in shower, exposed beams and bricks; comfy sofa and fridge stocked with complimentary soft drinks. We even have a wood burning stove.

Connected to the hotel, but not part of it, is Osip, where Merlin Labron-Johnson earned a Michelin star. There is no à la carte menu in the evening. You opt for the five-course tasting menu at £85 a head or nine courses for £110.

The rooms are stylish but comfortable and the young staff are always polite and friendly, says the inspector

The rooms are stylish but comfortable and the young staff are always polite and friendly, says the inspector

Bruton has a centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delicatessens and cafes

Bruton has a centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delicatessens and cafes

Heavenly Headquarters: A hotel room with a free-standing bathtub and a fireplace

Heavenly Headquarters: A hotel room with a free-standing bathtub and a fireplace

We opt for the five-course extravaganza, which turns into eight or nine once you factor in pre-starter entrees, a bread and butter interlude and petit fours. It’s sensationally smart and the little dining room has Sweden written all over it.

Breakfast is also at Osip. My only complaint – and it’s a big one – is that there is only filter coffee. I would have bet my house on getting a top class flat white here. And I would have loved crispy local bacon. Instead, you help yourself to boiled eggs from the buffet, along with cooked ham and cheese.

Best of all are the homemade croissants. Somehow they sum up Number One Bruton in a few easy bites: simple, tasty, classy.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Number One Bruton, 1 High Street, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 OAB. Tel: 01749 813030. Visit numberonebruton.com. Doubles from £150 B&B.

Evaluation:

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