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SOMERSET SECRETS | 2016 Winter Mulberry Outlet Online

Somerset is not only a beautiful rural idyll, but a vibrant, mix of culture, food, art and architecture. Cereal editor Rosa Park shares the county's best kept secrets but shh...don't tell anyone else.

Words by  Photography by Rich Stapleton

“Within its main thoroughfares and handsome back streets, you’ll find a number of restaurants, galleries, shops and hotels of an understated flair that cater to an international audience.„

Somerset strikes a fine balance between town and country, offering a variety and mode typically associated with big cities, set amidst picturesque, country scenery. Within its main thoroughfares and handsome back streets, you’ll find a number of restaurants, galleries, shops and hotels of an understated flair that cater to an international audience. Shed of all residual twee tendencies of a bygone era, these contemporary establishments have a genteel sensibility without the pretense.

Somerset Secrets (Hauser Wirth New)

A conversion of the once neglected five-acre Durslade Farm has given life to Hauser & Wirth Somerset – a contemporary gallery and arts centre that Swiss gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth have built and are continuing to develop. They called upon the discerning eye of renowned Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf – who worked on New York’s High Line project – to create a cloistered courtyard and back garden.

Ambling the garden paths of Oudolf ’s intent, with the cluster of gallery structures and outdoor sculptures in the foreground, a welcome juxtaposition of town and country culture comes into being.

Hauser & Wirth

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“In the eight bedrooms of At the Chapel, guests wake up to the butter-filled aroma of freshly baked croissants, which are left outside the door in early morning. „

Pulling into the small farming town of Bruton, you might expect to stumble upon an old country pub or an intimate B&B on the high street; instead, you could find yourself in the bright, airy space of Victorian-church-turned-minimalist-boutique hotel, At the Chapel. Here, furnishings of a midcentury persuasion and works by Martin Creed are positioned alongside original stained glass windows, and the chapel houses a bustling restaurant and artisan bakery accented with a Bruce Munro light installation.

At the Chapel

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As for the kind of wholesome, rustic meal that indulges even the most inflated of rural English fantasies, you should head to the The Pig near Bath. Nestled in Chew Valley and enclosed by its own deer park, the self-proclaimed ‘restaurant with rooms’ has the satisfying whiff of wood smoke distinctive of country house hotels, and features an impressive kitchen garden with rows upon rows of herbs and leaves growing in profusion alongside fruit trees.

Whatever ingredient they don’t grow in-house, they try to source from a 25-mile radius, resulting in a menu that is about as local and seasonal as you can possibly get. In The Pig’s signature greenhouse restaurant, with its ramshackle arrangement of terracotta plant pots and stylishly mismatched fabrics and china, you accomplish the ultimate setting for modern country fare.

The Pig

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Somerset Secrets (The Pig)

In Frome, a narrow cobbled road crammed with independent boutiques, known as Catherine Hill, is the big shopping draw of the area. From modern menswear shop Assembly, to rustic florists Bramble & Wild and eclectic children’s store Sisters Guild, these retailers brim with character and serve a selective audience.

Discover Cereal magazine

“Somerset strikes a fine balance between town and country, offering a variety and mode typically associated with big cities, set amidst picturesque, country scenery.„
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