At the Chapel

Bruton, Bristol, Bath & Somerset, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £103 per night

At the Chapel

Bruton, Bristol, Bath & Somerset, United Kingdom

Restored chapel in pretty Bruton with classy comforts, great food and a relaxed vibe

Restored chapel in pretty Bruton with classy comforts, great food and a relaxed vibe

We’d already planned a lazy weekend lunch at the Chapel, after hearing about it through friends. It sounded great: a restored medieval chapel, with unpretentious food and a laid-back atmosphere. Then they opened 9 gorgeous rooms, too, so we went for the night - and we loved it. The hub of this charming Somerset town, the Chapel buzzes with bonhomie. You enter through heavy wooden doors and feel awed by the building; ahead are 2 enormous windows, a soaring high ceiling, suspended bauble lighting and tall church candles; underneath are wooden tables with calfskin chairs. It is an immaculate restoration - the sense of history is palpable but the look is contemporary, with exquisite furniture handmade by former owner Ahmed. Nowadays it's headed up by a local hotel group - the masterminds behind The Swan Wedmore and a string of other boutique hotels - that's much-loved by i-escapers.

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 from a local gallery lines the walls. Everything looked fabulous yet nothing felt intimidating. And every time we've returned since, we've loved it just as much.

Highs

  • The 9 rooms, made to hole up in. Original stained-glass windows, White Company linens and robes, and enormous TVs. 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 fabulous Loft Suite
  • Bruton, with its ancient houses and modern vibe. Just 2 hours from London and well placed for Stourhead, Longleat and Frome

Lows

  • 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

At the Chapel is open all year (except Christmas Day), and makes a lovely getaway whatever the season. Summer is gorgeous for lazy drinks on the terrace, and it's a cosy bolthole in the colder seasons.

Our top tips

  • A variety of events are regularly held in the Club Room, including a Friday night DJ, morning yoga classes and seasonal activities; ask about events planned for the month you want to stay

  • As you leave, buy a few goodies from the delectable on-site bakery - we took away delicious quiches and gooey brownies
  • Great for...

    Eco
    Family
    Foodie
    Great Outdoors
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 9 rooms
    • Café/restaurant and bar (open daily)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • Beach Nearby
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Car not necessary
    • Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • WiFi
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Concierge Service
    Room:

    Rooms

    On our first visit, we were lucky enough to stay in the fabulous Loft 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 (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 pizza and snuggle up for an evening here.

    The Chapel Premium Rooms were also favourites of ours, and where we stayed on a recent visit; each high-ceilinged with a stunning 19th-century Lancet window and a vast bathroom with a walk-in shower, and a freestanding bath. They also have glorious views over the 12th-century Saxon town rooftops, The Cosy Lofts are snug retreats with eaved ceilings, mullioned windows, and all the contemporary comforts of the larger rooms, so they're great value.

    One of the Chapel Rooms looks onto Bruton’s iconic 16th century Dovecote, while another has an enormous bathroom window with south-facing views of the 12th-century church; the last Chapel Room has ground-floor access (so is suitable for those with mobility issues). These latter rooms can be made up as twins. We also loved the Garden Room on the lowest level, with a cool moss-green chaise longue, big calfskin rug, and a private garden terrace.

    Due to the nature of the historic building and its original windows, some of them can't be opened and therefore the rooms can get a bit stuffy. There's always at least one window that opens in each room, but in a couple this is in the bathroom.

    Features include:

    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Cots available
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Toiletries
    • TV
    • WiFi

    Eating

    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 meals either inside the former chapel or on the alfresco terrace (heaters and blankets supplied).

    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 11am, so you can afford a lazy morning. If you want something more substantial, head downstairs and order Somerset ham with fried eggs or a Sandridge Farm bacon sandwich on sourdough. Juices and breakfast cocktails are also on offer.

    Lunch and dinner boast seasonal flavours and local ingredients. This might begin with a salad: gorgonzola, leaves, apple and candied walnuts, or buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes and basil. Mains feature delicious wood-fired sourdough pizzas, meat from the grill, and roasts on Sundays. And to finish? How about heavenly "chocolate nemesis" cakes with clotted cream?

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Kids' meals
    • Organic produce
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    • Vegetarian options
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • 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:

    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse racing
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Wildlife

    Kids

    This is a welcoming place for families, although it's probably best suited to couples. The restaurant has a buzzy, informal atmosphere and the à la carte menu has options kids will like, including pizza and ice cream. Baby monitors will reach.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    All rooms can fit a baby cot. The Loft Suite is best for larger families as it is massive with a double sofabed in the living area plus space for a baby cot. The larger rooms can accommodate an extra bed for a child up to 12 years old. It has a bath and a walk-in shower

    Cots Available

    Baby equipment:

    • Baby cots
    • Highchairs

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    • Pizza, burgers and ice cream on the à la carte menu

    Kids Activities on site:

    • 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

    Distances:

    • Hospital: 20-30 minutes
    • Shops: 1 minute
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    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.

    By Air:
    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).

    By Car:
    For car hire see our car rental recommendations. The hotel has a small car park.

    By Train:
    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

    Airports:

    • Bristol 48.0 km BRS
    • London Gatwick 204.0 km LGW

    Other:

    • Beach 95.0 km
    • Shops 0.1 km
    • Restaurant 0.1 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

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    Rates for At the Chapel

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