Somerset hotel review: The Inspector visits 'the new Notting Hill' and stays at Number One Bruton

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An Inspector calls at a 12th-century hotel in the village where George Osborne lives and loves the Michelin-starred food and ‘cosy’ bedroom (but a lack of coffee options ruffles feathers)

  • The Inspector tootles to Bruton, dubbed the ‘new Notting Hill’, for a stay at Number One Bruton hotel
  • It’s located on a centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delis and coffee shops  
  • The mood is relaxed and the young staff are unfailingly polite and friendly, writes the Inspector

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You never know who you might encounter in Bruton, Somerset. British Vogue has called it the ‘new Notting Hill’ and I’m not sure if that’s a good or 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 a first foot on the property ladder. One of its selling points has been the arrival of the Hauser & Wirth gallery; another is the centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delis and coffee shops.

Pride of place is the 12th century Number One Bruton hotel in the former forge and ironmonger building, with its bright yellow door usually open, offering enticing views through to the courtyard garden designed by Penelope Hobhouse.

Number One Bruton hotel takes pride of place in Bruton in a former forge and ironmonger building

Number One Bruton hotel takes pride of place in Bruton in a former forge and ironmonger building

A rhubarb-pink snug is just off the main passageway, where there’s an exhibition of work by the celebrated photographer (and local) Sir Don McCullin. All a bit luvvie, darling? Not at all.

The mood is relaxed; rooms are stylish but cosy and the young staff are unfailingly polite and friendly. Our room is in what could easily have been the hayloft. It has a free-standing bath; walk-in shower, exposed beams and brick; comfortable sofa and fridge laden with complimentary soft drinks. We even have a log-burner.

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

Rooms are stylish but cosy and the young staff are unfailingly polite and friendly, says the Inspector

Rooms are stylish but cosy and the young staff are unfailingly polite and friendly, says the Inspector

Bruton has a centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delis and coffee shops

Bruton has a centuries-old High Street lined with galleries, delis and coffee shops 

Heavenly headquarters: A room at the hotel with a free-standing bath and fireplace

Heavenly headquarters: A room at the hotel with a free-standing bath and fireplace

We opt for the five course extravaganza, which morphs to eight or nine once you factor in the pre-starter starters, a bread and butter interlude and petit fours. It’s sensationally clever and the tiny dining room has Sweden written all over it.

Breakfast is also in Osip. My one gripe — and it’s a big one — is that there’s only filter coffee. I would have bet my house on getting a top class flat white here. And I would have loved some 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: homely, tasty, classy.

TRAVEL FACTS 

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

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