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Rustic Retreats

At The Chapel: Where Traditional Architecture Meets Modern Interior Design

It turns out converted churches make the most beautiful hotel settings. At The Chapel in Bruton, Somerset, is proof. Inconspicuous from the street but a marvel inside, its beauty is enhanced by its historical architecture.

With a cosy on-site bakery, a coffee shop in the entrance, and a constant influx of regular visitors, its riff on city escapism feels utterly authentic.

The Vibe

Walk through the arched doorway of At The Chapel and you’ll be greeted with a quaint in-house bakery stocked with pastries, loaves, and sourdough pizzas fresh from the oven. The restaurant is similarly relaxed. It’s set in what used to be the main church, so its ceiling is tall and a majestic window takes centre stage at the back of the room. Pillars, pews, and a rich wooden floor offset the bright, white walls and a spiral staircase leads to a second tier of tables on the restaurant terrace. Staff are welcoming, attentive, and passionate, so settling in takes no longer than it does to order a coffee and find a good spot to people watch from.

The Rooms

The hotel comprises just eight rooms, and each is as charming as the next. Most feature their own arched windows, framed by floor-skimming black-out curtains. All house comfy king-sized beds, minimal, mid-century furniture, and simple yet tasteful furnishings. The bathrooms are of particular note; many come with a free-standing tub as well as a walk-in rainforest shower and glossy marble tiles that stand proudly against the traditional stone windowsills.

The Little Extras 

Fresh croissants are delivered to each room every morning along with a portion-sized pot of homemade jam.

The Food + Drink

The all-day menu is considered, offering imaginative dishes that use locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The wine list is extensive, and the cocktail offering spans the classics as well as some original creations. In winter, expect the scent of mulled wine to permeate from the bar – and don’t leave without trying a sourdough pizza (one of the house specialities).

The To-Do List

Bruton is beautiful and the town looks like something out of a storybook. Its houses are built using natural stone and its streets are winding, so a wander through the town can feel idyllic. Caro, the small boutique just a few doors down from the hotel, is well worth a visit. Its homewares span ceramics, coffee table books, and incense from a variety of small businesses, making shopping for gifts and keepsakes especially joyful. For the best of the local produce (to serve in your newly purchased crockery, perhaps?), stop off in Kimbers Farm Shop on route home.

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