I recently spent a wonderful evening at one of my favourite UK hotels: At the Chapel in the pretty Somerset town of Bruton.
I was visiting as part of my role as Assistant Editor at Bristol-based boutique accommodation website i-escape.com, which features a handpicked collection of hip hideaways and unique places to stay across the globe. The aim of the evening was to introduce a group of fabulous bloggers to i-escape’s Kids Collection, which brings together almost 900 chic yet family-friendly hotels, B&Bs and rentals (proof that you can still stay in stylish places when you have kids in tow!). But it was also an opportunity to have another peek at the hotel’s inspiring interiors.
If, like me, you’re a fan of historic buildings with a contemporary twist, you’ll love this place. It sits in a Grade II listed former chapel which has been beautifully restored by owners Ahmed and Catherine. Inside, curved walls and sleek wooden doors sit alongside mullioned windows and stained glass – a striking combination that preserves the building’s heritage while bringing it bang up to date.
The 8 bedrooms are decorated in calming whites and greys, with a smattering of statement furniture – I particularly love the Butterfly and Marcel Breuer ‘Wassily’ chairs, and the eye-catching cowhide rugs. The marble-clad bathrooms are just as spoiling, with deep tubs for lazy wallowing and huge rain showers for drenching wake-ups.
Downstairs, the restaurant and bar occupy a vast space with soaring ceilings, arched windows and a chandelier that drips with glass baubles. Beneath, green velvet tub chairs flank long wooden tables, and candles and modern artworks are dotted everywhere you look.
Despite its good looks, there’s nothing pretentious about the hotel. The communal areas buzz with chatter, and you can easily linger for hours over lazy cocktails and pizzas from the wood-fired oven (the taleggio and leek version is my top pick). There’s even a wine shop and a bakery that churns out delicious cakes and loaves; I defy anyone to leave without bag-fuls of treats to take home!
In short, At the Chapel is the perfect place for a quick escape – and it’s a great base for exploring nearby Hauser & Wirth Somerset, which I covered recently. Just head over to i-escape to book a stay (you’ll get the best rates, plus free glasses of Prosecco on arrival).
Photography by At the Chapel and Abi Dare