28th & 29th JULY 2017, GILCOMBE FARM, SOMERSET, UK

A Farmfest guide to Bruton & nearby Frome

A FARMFEST GUIDE TO BRUTON & NEARBY FROME

Cultural landscapes blossoming in rural Somerset

Much has happened to the town of Bruton in the ten years since Farmfest decided to take up residence there. Situated in a quiet corner of Somerset in the valley of the River Brue, Bruton is one of the smallest towns in England and has a rich history dating back to the 5th Century, but we don’t pretend to know much about that. What we do know is the last decade of Bruton’s history has proved, in the words of one Farmfest team member, ‘quite exciting’.

 
A once derelict farm now houses a world-class art gallery, a disused chapel has been lovingly transformed into a top-notch hotel and restaurant, coffee roasters are roasting the best coffee roasted in the UK, and there’s even a twice-monthly dub club.

 
Bruton’s cultural capital really is thriving like never before and so, if Farmfest is in your calendar for 2016 you may want to consider stopping down for a day or two either side of your revelry or, perhaps even longer. We’d love to join you of course, but then we’ll be a little busy with some other stuff. And given that we probably won’t be able to show you round we thought we’d put together a Farmfest guide to what this blossoming little town and its local area have to offer.

 
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HAUSER & WIRTH SOMERSET

World-class art gallery in a beautifully restored 18th century farm

Internationally renowned art industry folk Hauser & Wirth somewhat surprisingly decided on Bruton when adding to their gallery portfolio to complement those in Zurich, New York and London. Almost as surprisingly they chose a set of neglected and decrepit agricultural buildings to put it in. What was more expected was that they’d do an absolutely superlative job of resurrecting the derelict old farm and fill it with what they know best – innovative exhibitions of contemporary art.

 
What’s on in July: Keep checking their exhibition and event listings

 

“Having H&W on our doorstep is fantastic, especially for the creative teams. When we’re down in Somerset we can make a point of heading along to fill up on inspiration and ideas.”
Rachel Farmfest

 

Main image Radić Pavilion designed by Smiljan Radić, 2014, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2015 Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Heather Edwards
 
Installation view ‘Subodh Gupta. Invisible Reality’, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2016 © Subodh Gupta. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Ken Adlard
 
 
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ROTH BAR & GRILL

Possibly the coolest gallery bar and restaurant in Britain

Part of the H&W redevelopment included the Roth Bar & Grill, a chic adjoining bar and restaurant. You can sit and treat yourself with some excellent food while you savour the art on display, or simply quench a thirst with some smashing cocktails whilst admiring the bar itself – a wonderfully assembled scrapheap collage . If you are in the area prior to the Farmfest weekend, Friday nights see large gatherings of revellers for parties with local DJs and bands until 11pm.

 
 
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AT THE CHAPEL

Elegant cafe, restaurant, bakery, wine shop and hotel

Right in the centre of town on the high street stands another contender for a redevelopment award. No prizes for guessing what this 19th century building no longer is, following a loving restoration At The Chapel is now home to a restaurant, artisan bakery and luxurious guest rooms, not to mention contemporary art, courtesy of Hauser & Wirth. At The Chapel has also become a cultural hub in its own right, hosting film screenings, book launches and poetry and performances, while it also has a space for meetings and getting some work done, should you need to. If you fancy a little bit of luxury pre or post-fest, this is the place to go.

 
 
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BEAN SHOT

Winner 2015 Best Coffee Roasted in the UK

The coffee boffins at Bean Shot certainly know their trade. A perfect stop-off during a stroll around town you can sit and savour an exceptional drop in the relaxing and intimate coffee bar and learn from the experts themselves who are only too happy to share their knowledge and explain the roasting process. They also hold regular cupping ‘taster’ sessions and can provide barista training if booked in advance.

 
 

BRUTON ART FACTORY

Cutting edge contemporary art and events

Next door to Bean Shot sits another welcome addition to Bruton’s cultural landscape. Bruton Art Factory is a contemporary gallery that hosts exhibitions from artists at the cutting edge of the scene and features regular events with the artists themselves to accompany the shows.

 
 
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BRUTON DUB CLUB

A monthly show of talent in the world of reggae and dub

What tiny, quintessential rural town isn’t complete without its very own dub club? Well Bruton can certainly boast about theirs. The Bruton Dub Club is a monthly party delivered by residents Mr Mat and MC Clapper Priest who between them have a wealth of dub heritage and each month welcome guest live acts and DJs from across the dub community.

 
 
 

BRUTON’S OLD TIMERS

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THE GODMINSTER CHEESE SHOP

Handmade, organic Somerset cheese

Records show that there has been a dairy farm in Godminster, Bruton for over 100 years and the cheddar that they produce today is exquisite. Not only that, it is a certified organic farm with an emphasis on maintaining a self-sustaining environment. The Godminster Shop where you can sample all this lovely produce is situated just along from Bean Shot and Bruton Art Factory.
 

“I had to stop off here to pick up a cheese for Jo Brand once. Apparently it’s her fave for dinner parties.”
Simon Farmfest

 
 

THE SUN INN

Cosy 13th century watering hole in the heart of town

The Sun is a gem of a pub. A classic and traditional boozer with a great history and warm atmosphere, this is Team Farmfest’s stop-off of choice after a hard day’s graft in the field. Not only is it the perfect place to whet your whistle, they also serve some absolutely wondrous authentic Persian food courtesy of resident Persian chef Akhbar.
 

“The Sun is definitely our place of choice to quench a thirst. Akhbar’s Persian delicacies are phenomenally good too. He has become a good friend over the years!”
Joe Farmfest

 
 

ALSO IN THE NEARBY TOWN OF FROME

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THE FROME INDEPENDENT MARKET

Vibrant and diverse monthly market

On the first Sunday of every month between April and December, the town of Frome positively bustles as The Frome Independent market takes to the streets. Established in 2013 it is a remarkable celebration showcasing the very best independent producers, designers and makers from the region, set against a backdrop of music, visual art and events.
 
Dates either side of Farmfest: Sunday 3rd July & Sunday 7th August
 
Farmfest will be present and correct on the 3rd July as we take over the Market Acoustic Stage for the afternoon with a selection of acts who will also feature at the festival.

 
 
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RECORD SHOPS

Raves from the Grave & Covers Vinyl

Raves from the Grave has been in Frome since 1997 and is a bonafide Aladdin’s cave of musical treasures. They stock a huge range of music across all formats and genres and offer an outstanding and friendly service.
 
Covers Vinyl, a new addition to Frome, specialise in indie, hip hop and alternative music; brand new artists and rereleases of the classic albums that you know and love. The shop only sells brand new, factory sealed vinyl in the unusual setting of a boutique store on the medieval cobbled street of Catherine Hill.

 
 

PLACES TO STAY

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The Three Horseshoes Inn
Batcombe
thethreehorseshoesinn.co.uk
 
At The Chapel
Bruton
atthechapel.co.uk
 
Brutontown.com
Bruton & surrounding areas
Brutontown.com/stay
 
Air BnB
Bruton & surrounding areas
Airbnb-Bruton
 
Homeaway.co.uk
Bruton & surrounding areas
Homeaway-Bruton
 
Booking.com
Bruton & surrounding areas
Booking.com-Bruton