Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, Somerset
Hauser & Wirth Gallery near Bruton, is Somerset’s latest cultural hub. Located on a beef farm, the gallery is a rural outpost for modern art. It’s a great place to eat steak and see the countryside used as artistic inspiration.
Hauser & Wirth, in the sleepy Somerset town of Bruton, is completely unexpected.
It’s a working beef farm but it’s also a magnificent contemporary art space. There’s a wildflower meadow garden, conceived by Piet Oudolf, the acclaimed designer of New York’s High Line park and the Roth Bar & Grill, a swanky hotel-style bar and restaurant.
For cultural foodies who love a day out in the country, this is a unique and irresistible destination.
From Chocolat to Contemporary Art Space
Back in 2000, the rundown farm buildings at Durslade farm were used during the filming of ‘Chocolat’ starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
Today, the beautifully renovated buildings with their angular modern additions, house Hauser & Wirth’s contemporary gallery and arts centre.
When I first visited there were huge outdoor sculptures including a giant spider (Louise Bourgeois) and The Black Horse (Mark Wallinger). The gallery hosts a varied programme of exhibitions from artists such as the acclaimed war photographer, Don McCullin.
Eat Lunch in the Roth Bar & Grill
The meat served in the restaurant all comes from the farm. Next to the bar, you’ll see sides of beef hanging in the curing room, illuminated with the glow of 500 pink Himalayan salt bricks. It’s this dry-aging process that produces tender meat, full of flavour. Try the burger or flat iron steak with portobello mushrooms.
The restaurant has quirky artwork on the walls and a terrace where it’s not unusual to see a whole lamb being roasted. Produce is British and almost all local, with vegetables and herbs coming from the adjoining kitchen garden. On late night Fridays, hang out at the bar for cocktails and live music.
Go For a Meander Around The Meadow
After brunch or lunch, go for a wander around Oudolf’s Field. It’s a sophisticated paint-by-numbers colourscape of contoured beds packed with great swathes of colour. Piet Oudolf, the Dutch garden designer, is known for his naturalist planting schemes and signature perennials.
Walk up to the Radić Pavilion, a contemporary folly, to admire the view of the surrounding hills with Bruton’s Dovecote tower in the distance.
- Pop into At The Chapel for pastries, coffee and freshly baked pizza. It’s a boutique B&B with its own restaurant and bakery
- Go cheese tasting at the Godminster Farm Shop, a short walk down the road
- With its own train station, Bruton is an ideal weekend destination and a good base for exploring nearby Wells
Where to Stay
The Manor House Inn in Shepton Mallet – an historic inn situated between Shepton Mallet and Castle Cary and just under 5 miles from Bruton.
The George Inn in Longbridge Deverill – a traditional Englishing coaching inn offering 12 ensuite rooms is in a good location for exploring the surrounding area.
The Bath Arms in Warminster – a stylish and quirky bed & breakfast located on the Longleat Estate
They tell me that dogs are not permitted inside the buildings or in Oudolf Field unless they are assistance dogs
How to Find Hauser & Wirth Bruton
Roth Bar & Grill, Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.