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Hotel review: At The Chapel in Bruton

PUBLISHED: 11:13 28 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:11 28 July 2016

Images from Hauser and Wirth gallery adorn the walls

Images from Hauser and Wirth gallery adorn the walls

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Charlotte Skidmore checks out an unusual hotel conversion in Somerset

The great arancini starter, At The Chapel in BrutonThe great arancini starter, At The Chapel in Bruton

‘Money can’t buy that’ were the first words I uttered as I walked through the bedroom door on my visit to At The Chapel in Bruton. You just couldn’t fail to notice the stunning stained glass windows reaching up to the ceiling and which were saved from the original building by the current owners.

I’d heard a lot about this place, with its on-site bakery, quirky characteristics resulting from its former use as a chapel and its good food.

As well as the original features in room two, the bathroom was also a highlight for me, with its marble flooring, huge walk-in shower and such a comfortable, free-standing bath that I didn’t want to get out. Ren toiletries adorn the sides and fluffy white towels and dressing gowns hang ready.

The smart television was a welcome luxury addition to the room, as was the Dyson fan, which we used as the stain glass windows, despite being pretty, obviously don’t open.

The room is an adequate size for a couple sharing and there is a choice of pillows for those who need it and fresh croissants delivered at 7am to your door.

The food

My evening started off with a margarita on the lovely terrace downstairs in the building, perfect for when the sun is shining. We then progressed up to the main restaurant, an eye-catching setting with stunningly high ceilings and paintings from the nearby world-famous Hauser and Wirth gallery adorning the walls.

I hastily get on to the subject of the starter, which was quite simply one of the nicest I have ever tasted (I rushed home to see if I could make an attempt at replicating it myself. Watch this space….). It was cauliflower arancini with wild garlic. Well, my goodness, crispy coated rice balls, oozing with tasty cheese in the middle and a great punch of garlic to boot. What on earth is there not to like? Seconds please!

Although we both had the same starter, my dining partner opted for the chargrilled Castlemead Farm chicken, lemon, thyme and aioli and it was incredibly tasty and succulent – perfectly cooked, with the citrus, thyme and that lovely chargrilled flavour coming through in equal proportions.

I had spotted the pizza oven on the way in so I opted for one of the chef’s creations topped with wood roasted artichokes, pancetta, fontina, tomato and olives. A tasty bargain at £13.50, but just a couple more minutes in the oven for me next time to make it a little less ‘doughy’ in the middle.

We both opted for the skinny fries for a side, but a word of warning – they are lovely but they are huge so neither of us made a dent in them. Share a bowl, as there is enough for about four people.

Conclusion

We all know Bruton is upcoming and a lot of us have heard of At The Chapel, but I urge you to try it. The bakery is yummy, the restaurant food is delicious and for slightly more than you’d pay for one night in a budget hotel, you can stay over and enjoy the great wine they have on offer too. We learnt the head chef was off the night we visited, so if that’s what they can do in his absence, imagine the splendour when he is ‘in residence’.

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