Where to stay
At the Chapel
— this 17th-century former chapel has been reinvented as the ultimate restaurant with rooms. Upstairs, bedrooms are flooded with natural light — particularly those with original windows; downstairs, three chefs plunge pizzas into a wood-fired oven. Meanwhile, the ever-changing menu features dishes like Dorset crab and Wiltshire Downs wood pigeon. There’s also a bakery, wine shop and bar on site.
What to do
For a small rural retreat, Bruton has culture pumping through its stone streets. Hauser and Wirth
’s homage to the arts at Durslade Farm is a world-class gallery, where highlights include the Louise Bourgeois sculptures and Martin Creed’s neon signs before meandering through the 1.5-acre perennial meadow in the stunning landscaped garden.
Cheese. We really like cheese. Head past the charming village of Batcombe to the family-run Westcombe Dairy
. Venture into the ageing room to meet the world’s first cheddar turning robot — they call her Tina Turner. Their cheddar is awesome but don’t miss the Caerphilly and ricotta too. Fans include Neal’s Yard, Jamie Oliver and us.
Where (else) to eat
From Wednesday to Friday, dine at Matt’s Kitchen
on the high street. The name is quite literal. Turn up at his home and enjoy the ‘dish of the day’ in a supperclub-style setting. BYOB and heaps of fun.
With its sprawling neo-classical landscaped gardens, grottos, languorous lakes and palatial pile, this renowned National Trust escape is a real country idyll. Dating back to the 1740s, the 2,650-acre estate is also home to chalk downs, ancient woods and farmland. Don’t miss the autumn display as the leaves turn to varying shades of burnished red, orange and yellow.
Published in the November 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)