Eat

The Newt, Somerset

The Newt in Somerset is a country house and estate with a twist. From its 40ft-high serpentine treetop walkway to its 200-year-old sprawling gardens to its wild swimming ponds, there’s something to capture the imaginations of all those who visit. 

 

Located in Castle Cary, Somerset, the Newt comprises the honey-coloured, Palladian-styled Hadspen House, which dates back to 1687, and its surrounding estate. Owned by husband-and-wife team Koos Bekker and Karen Roos, the estate is home to a huge array of attractions including a working cyder press and bottling plant, eateries, mushroom house, treetop walkway, gardening museum, swimming ponds and stunning gardens. 

Gardens

Manicured and matured over 200 years of dedicated love and care, the gardens at the Newt are a real masterpiece. Infusing the ornamental with the natural, the gardens offer a feast for the senses at every turn – including the tongue, as many of the plants double as ingredients for the estate’s kitchens. Wander the gardens at your own pace and later, take to the treetops with an aerial walk across the 40ft high Viper walkway before heading back down to the ground, following the estate’s woodland pathways through 70ft hornbeams. 

When you’re ready, the walled Parabola garden is a relaxing place to sit amongst pretty apple tree orchards, while a wander through the winter and produce gardens will reveal over 300 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs ready for the estate’s restaurants and farm shop. You can also get hands on at The Story of Gardening Museum, before learning about the crucial role of bees at the Beezantium. During your amblings, keep your eyes peeled for the host of wildlife who also share the site, including deer roaming in the woods and Great Crested newts relaxing in the ponds.

Cyder

Way back when Hadspen House was originally constructed, cyder was considered to be the top tipple of the time. Partly for its taste, and partly because it was safer to drink than water, this golden juice was consumed by all generations – with over a pint being quaffed per day (even by children!). These days, the tradition of cyder production (not underage drinking) is very much upheld by the estate, who use 65 acres of legacy orchards to grow 70 varieties of bittersweet and Somerset apples, helped along by the work of wild and native bees.

Once ready, many of the apples grown in the orchards are sent to the onsite press, where state-of-the-art technologies and slow cold fermentation are combined to create fresh, aromatic cyders. With inspiration being taken both locally and from around the world, the bottled final products are made with 100% apple juice and range from traditional West Country cyders to more experimental fine and rosé cyders – making for an exciting proposition for cyder lovers. Discover more with a tasting session and pick up a bottle or several in the onsite shop.

Shops

No trip to the Newt would be complete without popping into the various shops. In the Farm Shop, Somerset specialities and goodies produced on the estate are all available including breads, cheeses, fresh vegetables and fruit, preserves, and cyders – among many other delicious treats. Meanwhile, in the House and Garden Shop, unique and original gifts, crafts and items are available – ranging from textiles to woodwork to organic body oils.

Eateries

For somewhere to eat at the Newt, you can take your pick of two restaurants: the attractive glass-fronted Garden Café with views over the Parabola and gardens and countryside beyond, and the Botanical Rooms in the house itself, with its wood-panelled dining room and glass-topped courtyard. Both serve a range of dishes inspired by the surroundings. Choose for a more formal or laidback experience and enjoy the freshest tastes from both the estate and the local area. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Bruton here

Website | The Newt in Somerset, Bruton BA7 7NG | 01963 577 700

 

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