Here at the Coop, we’re lucky to be spoilt rotten with various press trips, both home and abroad. The most recent of these was courtesy of Victoria + Albert Baths, which tasked LRR with inviting six top-tier media to Somerset’s gorgeous At the Chapel hotel, in the heart of the picturesque village of Bruton, for an overnight stay.
At the Chapel itself is, as the name suggests, a converted church – which has been completely revamped into a gorgeous, boutique hotel – or restaurant with rooms, as the hotel says, due to its emphasis on locally-sourced, well-prepared food. Many of the original features have been maintained during the renovation; the original beams, the large church windows, even a former well found in the basement, which has now been converted into the hotel’s club room. The well is of particular significance to the hotel owners, as historically it symbolizes a meeting point where locals would come together to gossip and share stories; the same ethos which can still be found in At the Chapel’s buzzing central restaurant. The hotel also includes its own bakery, packed to the rafters with fresh bread, cakes and muffins, all prepared daily. In fact, fresh croissants are baked throughout the night for the hotel’s guests, and brought up to your room to enjoy breakfast in bed in the morning.
There are eight rooms within the hotel, the majority of which are all decked out with Victoria + Albert Barcelona or ios bathtubs, giving reason for the trip. Each bathroom is elegantly decorated, with sleek marble tiles, plump, fluffy towels and REN skincare products.
Once again, it was our Vic and Izzy taking the reigns on this trip. The pair were joined by The Times Bricks & Mortar’s Laura Whateley, Elle Decoration’s Ben Spriggs and Claudia Baillie, leading freelancer extraordinaire Linda Clayton, Red’s James Cunningham, and interiors blogger Jess Hurrell, of Gold is a Neutral fame. Having been welcomed into the helm with afternoon tea and enjoying a brief product presentation, our guests were treated to some well-deserved down time – allowing them to test out their Victoria + Albert tub! – before we were treated to an evening feast. Everything we ate was sourced from in and around the local village, with nothing from more than five miles away!
After a restful night’s sleep, we were up bright and early for a trip to nearby Hauser & Wirth (Princess Eugenie is associate director, don’t you know). The most recent addition to the art gallery empire can be found on the outskirts of Bruton, just a short walk from the hotel. As former Art History students, our Vic and Izzy were truly in their element!
But, soon enough, it was back to the big smoke of London – but not without nearly missing the train home. Perhaps it was the clear blue Somerset sky, the fresh, crisp wind, the glorious sunshine and the picture-perfect evening sunsets which meant our Roosterettes were willing themselves to stay… until next time, Bruton.