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July 13thSomerset

July 2019 – This summer, celebrate all things Somerset aboard ‘The Great Garden Escape to The Newt in Somerset’ – a glorious day trip in a first of its kind partnership with Great Western Rail, taking guests from London by First-Class rail deep into the West Country to discover this year’s most exciting country estate and garden opening.

Every weekend from 13 July to 27 October, a designated first-class carriage will pick guests up from London Paddington to take them on scenic journey to the sweeping vistas of Somerset, arriving at Castle Cary station to then spend the day exploring the estate’s beautifully designed gardens. The day trip will include guided tours, talks, traditional cyder tastings, and delicious meals en-route and at The Newt. It is the perfect day out for garden and foodie lovers alike, with visitors able to sample the very best Somerset has to offer, from the freshest apple juice to inventive dishes that showcase the seasonal vegetables from The Newt in Somerset’s own kitchen garden.

The Newt in Somerset is a newly-restored historic country estate near Bruton. In May 2019, it opened its beautifully cultivated gardens, designed by renowned landscape artist Patrice Taravella, a cyder press, restaurants, farm and house and garden shops to the public. A 23-room hotel and spa will open to guests in September 2019. With a focus on all things local to celebrate the history and heritage of Somerset, the historic estate and gardens have been lovingly transformed by Karen Roos, the owner of the award-winning hotel and gardens, Babylonstoren, in South Africa’s Franschhoek valley.

The Great Garden Escape to The Newt in Somerset:

~ 07:40 on Saturday / 09:15 on Sunday Arrive at London Paddington and embark on the day’s adventure in the Great Western Railway First Class Lounge. Meet the team before being escorted to the specially designated first class carriage for the day.

~ 08:35 on Saturday / 10:03 on Sunday Depart London Paddington and enjoy a full English breakfast service onboard as the train makes its way out of the city and into the countryside.

~ Arrive into Castle Cary station to be met by The Newt in Somerset’s team and be driven the short distance to the estate.

~ Meet one of The Newt’s expert gardening team and be taken on a guided tour of one of the UK’s most ambitious gardening projects to date. With the gardens taking centre stage, visitors will be led on a journey through time, experiencing various phases of gardening history: from a Baroque maze to a Victorian fragrance garden and greenhouse, an authentic cottage garden to modern water gardens and rooms of colour. The guides will take visitors on a gardening journey through time stopping to pick, taste, smell and touch the different fruit and vegetables growing in the gardens.

~ Pause for refreshment and sample the estate’s freshly made apple juice or have a coffee in The Greenhouse, which houses a special collection of exotic plants and ferns, before exploring the surrounding woodland walks, deer park. The Parabola Walled Garden is at the very core of the garden, an apple tree maze with 460 apple trees of 267 varieties, the largest national collection of apple trees in the country.

~ Enjoy a delicious lunch of freshly picked fare, local meats and cheeses in the glass-walled Garden Café overlooking the orchard and vegetable garden below. Standout dishes include local braised beef and roasted cauliflower from the gardens.

~ Browse the carefully curated Farm Shop and House & Garden Shop, featuring artisanal products from the best local producers in the south west.

~ End the day with a fascinating tour and cyder tasting at The Cyder Press Bar. Here, visitors will learn about the traditional cyder-making process in The Newt’s state-of-the-art cyder press and cellar, from growing and pruning trees to harvesting, pressing, fermenting and bottling.

~ Catch the 17:51 early evening train back to London Paddington and enjoy a delicious light supper and a selection of Babylonstoren wines or The Newt in Somerset’s own cyder on board before arriving back into London at 19:30.

HOW: The Great Garden Escape to The Newt in Somerset is priced at £285pp and the package includes First Class same-day rail travel from London Paddington to Castle Cary, transfers to and from The Newt, guided tours of the gardens, talks, breakfast and supper made aboard the train, lunch in the Garden Café and cyder tastings.

The service will operate on weekends from 13 July – 27 October 2019

Bookings via [email protected] or 01963 577777

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