The Newt in Somerset
The Newt in Somerset is one of those places you just can’t help falling in love with. A Palladian-style Georgian country house hotel, near newly fashionable Bruton, it has beautiful gardens, great food and a nurturing spa. Rooms are stylish and comfortable, and peppered with handpicked antiques. The unique gardens are lovingly tended and maintained by a passionate team of friendly gardeners. Food is fresh, seasonal, and imaginative. And the spa has a natural simplicity that immediately instils a sense of calm and delivers some seriously indulgent treatments.
The Newt’s recently opened spa is housed in a former cow barn in the Stable Yard, beautifully transformed to create a nurturing space for residents. With a lovely indoor-outdoor pool, hydrotherapy pool, sauna and salt steam room, there’s also a pond for wild swimming. The outside pool leads into a pretty, enclosed area of the garden, which adds to the relaxed vibe.
Inside, there are 7 treatment rooms, manicure stations and a Rasul chamber for self-administered mud treatments. Plus, a modern gym overlooking the gardens. The pool area’s warm and inviting and has a serene simplicity.
The spa uses botanical blends to deliver uplifting and restorative signature treatments, and everything works in feel-good synergy. It’s wholesome, but without being at all worthy.
Connection with nature is at the heart of The Newt, and guests are invited to spend some time relaxing in the medieval herb garden to enjoy ‘just being’ amongst the plants and fragrances before and after their treatments.
For a warming and balancing treatment, we recommend the Herbal Poultice Massage, with muslin-wrapped herbs, freshly clipped from the Newt’s own Garden. Gently applied with warm oil, the poultices soothe away aches and tension while surrounding you with feel-good fragrance.
The Newt also offers Swedish massage, pre- and post-natal treatments, and targeted massages for any areas in particular need, eg. back, neck and shoulders.
As well as home-grown experiences, the spa also offers treatments by British brand, The Organic Pharmacy, who shares the Newt’s natural, environmentally friendly ethos, and has some fabulously fresh, rose-scented products. Or treat yourself to a 90-minute results-driven Vtox Oxygen Facial, by skincare guru Linda Meredith.
The main honey-hued villa, Hadspen House, has 13 suites, with 10 more in the Stable Yard. And the hotel has an intimate boutiquey feel. Each room has been beautifully, and individually, designed under the creative eye of co-Owner Karen Roos, former Editor of Elle Decoration South Africa. Think chilled hues, with an unfussy, modern aesthetic, well-considered posies and pieces, and an absolute absence of chintz. There are also 17 newer rooms in the elegantly re-imagined Farmyard complex across the road from the main hotel.
Rooms at the main house, Hadspen House, and the Stable Yard have the edge for us, as they’re where most of the action is, and they channel the full ‘Newtness’ of the place. But, if you’re after a slightly lower-key option, in terms of vibe and pricey, the Farmyard accommodation is for you. It’s just under a mile away from the main hotel, but has its own dining space, and you can have fun pinging between The Farmyard and the main House in golf buggies.
Throughout the Estate, priority has been given to retaining original features and enhancing every space with feel-good touches, from vast roll-top baths and wood burning stoves, to fresh flowers and complimentary mini larders. Some rooms can be arranged to accommodate larger groups, making it perfect for a special celebration with friends or extended family. Prices vary depending on the room and there’s a 2-night minimum stay. Be prepared to book way ahead.
wining & dining
Food and produce are at the heart of The Newt in Somerset, and it has two main dining options: the modern, glass-fronted Garden Café, with great views over the grounds and beyond, and the hotel’s Botanical Rooms in the main hotel. Both make the most of the Newt’s home-grown harvest, with the café being slightly less formal. Enjoy super-fresh seasonal veggies, local meat, homemade breads and just-pressed juices. And of course, there’s the Newt’s own Cyder to help wash it all down.
There’s also an excellent farm shop, with a great range of fresh produce and baked delights, a butchery and dedicated cheese room. Their gelateria adds another treat.
why so spavellous?
With a perfect balance of skilled design, and great attention to detail, The Newt in Somerset has an authenticity and enthusiasm that runs throughout the estate and staff. From the waiter’s animated spiel about the provenance of the vegetables, to the gardener’s passionate chat about the herbs and botanicals used in the spa’s apothecary blends. The sense of wellbeing and positivity isn’t just reserved for the spa, it permeates throughout the whole place.
It was tempting to say that ‘the garden’s the star’, but really, pretty much everything is – the food, the people, the décor…
If you’re local you can buy an annual garden pass, entitling you to repeat entry for free for a year, and it’s such a feel-good place to relax surrounded by woodlands and open countryside that you’ll want to return.
Garden fans should check out The Great Garden Escape, your chance to visit The Newt in Somerset via first class train from Paddington Station. And now you can enjoy the reverse trip, door-to-door from The Newt to London’s Chelsea Flower Show, as part of their new partnership.
If you’re venturing out (not that there’s any real need to), the equally foodie-fabulous Roth Bar & Grill continues the converted cowshed vibe at Hauser and Wirth Art Gallery down the road at Durslade Farm. Pleasing all palettes with its fine gastronomy and art combo, it offers seasonal farm-to-fork fare and sells its own produce too