Restored chapel in pretty Bruton with classy comforts, great food and a relaxed vibe”
Every table was full - a mix of families, couples and friends - and every plate of food looked fresh and delicious. We peeked in the open kitchen, admired the vast wood-fired oven in the on-site bakery, then wandered down to the Clubroom and sunny terrace where priceless original art lined the walls - Tracey Emins and a Turner Prize winner (Martin Creed) lent by a local collector. Everything looked fabulous yet nothing felt intimidating. And every time we've returned since, we've loved it just as much.
Information provided by At the Chapel on 25/03/2021.
Dining 12 April, hotel 17 May 2021
Cleaning and hygiene
Intensive team training. Measures in place to deliver minimum contact, hygiene standards and physical distancing. Staff required to practice good hygiene, including regular hand washing, wear PPE, follow COVID-19 secure operating procedures. Room key sanitised prior to arrival and in a sealed container. Every room cleaned with ULV Bio Mister which disinfects all surfaces, kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses and remains active on surfaces for 72hrs. Personal pocket hand sanitiser provided for guests. Sanitising hand lotions at entry and exit points. Linens, towels and robes professionally washed on high heat. Bed linen or towels only changed during stay if requested.
Social distancing required throughout. Clubroom and terrace only available to our bedroom guests. Enhanced cleaning programmes implemented in all public areas, including frequent disinfection of high touch areas. Guests required to wear face coverings around the building except when seated at table.
Food and drink
Removal of some tables so that physical distancing can be observed. Bookings for max of up to 8 people, made up of 2 households. Bakery, Winestore, Restaurant, Clubroom and the alfresco Terrace (with heaters and blankets) open daily 8am to 9pm. Takeaway and picnic menu available from 12 noon until 9pm. Breakfast (8-11am) can be taken in room, restaurant, clubroom or on the terrace; must be pre-ordered by night before. Strict table and chair cleaning procedures between diners. All menus single use.
Booking cancelled within 7 days of arrival can be moved to another time where possible.
Unload luggage on the High Street, guests to park own car in car park. Health declaration to be completed on arrival. Minimum 2-night stay.
- The 8 rooms, made to hole up in. Original stained-glass windows, White Company linens and robes, and enormous TVs with a hard drive of movies. Plus breakfasts in bed
- The food: we loved our chargrilled chicken, super-fresh salads and wood-fired pizzas
- The price range, which offers something for everyone. There's a cheap room and inexpensive dining options, something in between, or you can splurge on the fabulous Attic Suite and champagne cocktails
- Bruton, with its ancient houses and modern vibe. Just 2 hours from London and well placed for Stourhead, Longleat and Frome
- Thoughtful extras: fresh milk and chilled glasses in your fridge, Ren toiletries, Hunter wellies to borrow, and a welcome glass of Prosecco for booking through i-escape
- Breakfast is home-baked croissants left outside your door (+ homemade jam in your fridge). It allows you to be lazy, but if you’d prefer a cooked option, you’ll need to pay extra
- Service is pretty relaxed. Adjust your pace accordingly
- Due to the original 19th century windows being leaded shut, some rooms can get quite warm.
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 8 rooms
- Café/restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Hard drive of in-room movies
On our first visit, we were lucky enough to stay in the fabulous Attic Suite. An enormous space with eaved ceilings, weathered wood beams and lots of light, it felt like an apartment, with a bedroom, bathroom and living area. The kingsize bed was superbly comfortable, piled high with pillows, and you could lie in bed and look out to the National Trust’s Dovecote building on the opposite hill. Then you could wallow in the double-ended bathtub and try all the Ren toiletries (there’s a walk-in shower, too). Wrap up in a White Company robe and pad out to the living area, where a long leather sofa and vast TV await. Should you want to escape the world, you could order up pizza and watch one of the hard-drive movies. Each room features an artist, with a couple of their works and a coffee-table book to read about them. Ours was Louise Bourgeois and it was amazing to be surrounded by her renowned works.
Room 2 and Room 3 were also favourites of ours (both Mediums); high-ceilinged with a stunning 19th-century Lancet window and a vast bathroom with a walk-in shower, and additional freestanding bath in Room 2. Room 3 (a Medium) had glorious views over the 12th-century Saxon town rooftops, while Room 1 (a Medium) looks onto Bruton’s iconic 16th century Dovecote. Room 4 (a Small) was a cosy retreat with eaved ceilings, a mullioned window, and all the contemporary comforts of the larger rooms, so it’s great value.
The 3 newest rooms all have showers and baths. Room 6 has an enormous bathroom window with south-facing views of the 12th-century church; Room 7 has ground-floor access (so is suitable for those with mobility issues) and can be made up as a twin (both Mediums). On a more recent visit, we stayed in Room 8 (a Large) on the lowest level, with a cool moss-green chaise longue, big calfskin rug, and a private garden terrace. It was a total treat.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- Hard drive with movie library
- Hot water bottle
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
A café/restaurant before it was a hotel, At the Chapel’s food is excellent, down to earth and reasonably priced. Most of it is locally reared and sourced (fish from Lyme Bay, salad leaves from Charles Dowding’s biodynamic farm) or made on-site in the bakery, which features an enormous wood-fired oven made from restored cellar bricks. Enjoy all day dining either inside in the former chapel or on the alfresco terrace (heaters and blankets supplied).
We experienced a flawless dining experience. For lunch we chose salads: juicy figs with creamy mozzarella and rocket, and flavoursome beetroot, goat’s cheese and walnuts. Served with homemade bread and accompanied by delicious chilled rosé, they were perfect for a summer’s day. For dinner, we were genuinely wowed by the cauliflower arancini for starters, and the wood-fired sourdough pizzas for our main – paired with a rich Rioja of course. To finish? A heavenly salted caramel fondant with vanilla gelato.
Breakfast is giant croissants from the on-site bakery, which are left in a bag outside your bedroom; homemade strawberry jam and Somerset butter await in your fridge. Check out isn't until 12pm, so they make for a perfect lie-in and lazy morning. If you’re left hungry (we weren't), head downstairs and order Somerset ham with fried eggs or a Sandridge Farm bacon sandwich on sourdough.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Organic produce
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Stroll around Bruton, and explore its delis, antique stores, quirky shops, museum and beautiful architecture. The National Trust's famous Dovecote is on a hill just behind the property, an easy walk away
- Visit contemporary art space Hauser & Wirth on the edge of town. Younger sibling to the Hauser & Wirth galleries in Zurich and New York, it's being widely touted as the art world's next big thing
- Nearby Frome is gorgeous, a small market town with great cafés, historic architecture and a surprising abundance of vintage boutiques. It hosts an excellent artisan market on the first Sunday of every month
- Go walking. Many footpaths weave their way through Bruton and the surrounding countryside, including the Leyland Trail and Macmillan Way; Bruton makes a perfect centre
- Stourhead's stunning garden is not to be missed; this 18th-century landscaped garden reflects the seasons like no other and is full of mock-Roman temples and hidden grottos - perfect picnic (and proposal!) spots
- About 5 miles to the southwest of Bruton is Cadbury Castle, the reputed site of Camelot; to the northwest is pretty Glastonbury, the fabled Avalon, which would suggest that that King Arthur may have visited the town at some time in the 5th or 6th century. Make a pilgrimage up Glastonbury Tor, a grassy mound topped by the remains of the medieval church of St Michael
- Spend the day at Longleat Safari Park (30 minutes' drive) where there are animals to meet, games to play and mazes to get lost in - not to mention an enormous house to explore
- At certain times of year, the nearby town of Shepton Mallet plays host to one of the largest antiques and flea markets in the country. With stalls selling anything from tea sets and books to kitchen units and chairs, it’s a thrifter’s paradise
- Head to Wincanton for a day at the races
- Beautiful Bath is within day-tripping distance - we love its boutique shops, buzzy street market scene and the famous Roman Baths
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse racing
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
This is a welcoming place for families, although it's probably best suited to couples. There's a children's menu on Sundays, plus the à la carte menu has options kids will like, including pizza and ice cream. There are colouring books and board games in the café/restaurant, and it has a buzzy, informal atmosphere. Alternatively, you can sit older kids in front of a movie in your room, order them up a pizza, and pop downstairs for an adult meal! Baby monitors will reach.
Family friendly accommodation:
All rooms can fit a baby cot. The Attic Suite is best for larger families as it is massive with a double sofabed in the living area plus space for a baby cot. It has a bath and a walk-in shower
- Baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Sunday children's menu offering mini roasts, burgers, fish fingers and pasta
- Pizza, burgers and ice cream on the à la carte menu
Kids Activities on site:
- Family films
- Board games and colouring books
Kids Activities nearby:
- Longleat safari park
- Mill on the Brue – a children's activity centre
- Glastonbury and Shepton Mallet
- River Brue
- Shops: 1 minute
At the Chapel is set in Bruton, near the Somerset/Wiltshire border in the southwest of England. It's an hour from Bristol, and 2 hours from London.
Fly into Bristol (48km away) or one of the London airports. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving them.
From the Airport
We'd recommend hiring a car (see below).
For car hire see our car rental recommendations. The hotel has a small car park.
Bruton rail station is a 10-minute walk from the hotel and a 2-3-hour journey from London Paddington.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Bristol 48.0 km BRS
- London Gatwick 204.0 km LGW
- Beach 95.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km