INTRODUCING THE NEWT IN SOMERSET
Country estate near Bruton opens its gardens to the public. Ancient woodlands, apple orchards, kitchen and ornamental gardens, cyder press, restaurants and farm shops.
For many years, a historic country estate in Somerset has been under restoration. The first phase of The Newt in Somerset is now open, a visitor attraction incorporating its local heritage and curiously cultivated gardens.
The Newt in Somerset is a working estate celebrating all things local, with a focus on sustainability. It is rooted in deep respect for the land and the creatures living on it.
From the butcher to the cellar master and the Mayor of the Woodland, the team are experts in their fields. Creative direction is provided by Karen Roos, a former magazine editor and owner of Babylonstoren in South Africa – renowned for its beautiful gardens.
Just as she was inspired by the beauty of the Franschhoek valley, Karen fell in love with Somerset: its meadows of field flowers in May, its apple orchards yielding cyder, its patchy black and white cows for making genuine farm cheddar … here lies the heart of England.
Gardens and Woodland
Gardens take centre stage at The Newt in Somerset. At their core nestles a walled Parabola with a large collection of trained apple trees, arranged in a maze.
Visitors are led on a journey through various phases in the history of gardening – from a Victorian fragrance garden and greenhouse, to a true cottage garden, to modern water gardens and colour rooms.
The past is brought to life or reimagined, offset with contemporary design. Director of Horticulture is Iain Davies, joining from The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Various productive kitchen gardens feed the Estate. The results can be tasted in a Garden Café with its garden-to-table fare. Also at the Cyder Press Bar. Ben Bulger oversees the food and beverage offering, joining from River Cottage.
Cyder Press and Cellar
Apples are to Somerset what oranges are to Seville, and The Newt in Somerset celebrates the rich diversity of this local fruit. The Estate is home to acres of apple orchards and a modern cellar producing quality cyders, made with 100% apple juice. Visitors can learn about the cyder-making process, from growing and pruning trees to harvesting, pressing, fermenting and bottling; and then tasting at the Cyder Press Bar.
Farm Shop and House & Garden Shop
Showcasing the best of local ingredients, the Farm Shop offers fresh breads from an on-site bakery; Somerset and West Country cheeses, and slow-reared meats. Also seasonal fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers grown on the Estate. The House & Garden Shop showcases the skill of artisans across Somerset and the South West, from basket weaving to beeswax candles and illustrated prints.
Hotel and Spa (opening later)
The Newt in Somerset hotel will open its doors to guests on 29 August 2019. The hotel is centred on the Grade II*-listed Hadspen House – built around 1690 using local Hadspen limestone, and remodelled during the Georgian period. Bookings will open 1 July 2019.