Lunch in Bruton, Somerset
I don’t tend to write much about our adventures in Somerset, which is where my parents live.
Mostly because our ‘adventures’ tend to be sofa snoozing under a pile of dogs, playing cards beside the fire and stomping through the local countryside. We don’t get out much.
But as this weekend was my dad’s birthday we made an exception and popped into the achingly hip Bruton for lunch.
(My cape has sadly sold out, but there’s another option from the same designer below)
Bruton isn’t very big, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in sophistication.
Which is relatively new! When I was briefly at school in Bruton there wasn’t much to visit besides the local Spar shop. Now it’s a bolthole for Londoners escaping the Big Smoke for the weekends.
There are restaurants, art galleries and sweet little boutiques to dip in and out of.
Like the charming Caro, where I bought a few Christmas pressies (mostly for myself!)
But the big buzz in the area is about the new restaurant.
“A tiny farm to table restaurant” from Britain’s youngest Michelin starred chef, Merlin Labron-Johnson.
Locals and Londoners are equally excited about it, so it seemed the perfect place to take dad for a good spoiling.
The menu is small and perfectly formed.
With too many delicious things to try, we handed over responsibility to the chef and opted for the tasting menu, at a very reasonable £45 a head.
Cooked and presented by the main man himself.
Starting with a warming bone broth to take the edge off the frosty day outside.
Followed by a table of snacks.
Smoked cheddar puffs.
Egg mimosas with wild herbs.
Pumpkin financiers, cured yolk & crispy sage.
Candied pecans & lardo. Even if you think you wouldn’t like this, trust me… it’s spectacular.
Mum isn’t a fat lover (unlike the rest of us) so had to be bullied into trying it and even she thought it was eye rollingly good. The perfect balance of salty, sweet, crunchy and melt in the mouth.
Treacle and ale bread, smoked butter, potted pheasant, pickles.
Pumpkin soup, brown butter & roasted chestnuts.
My unexpected favourite.
Salad of shaved mushrooms, Westcombe cheddar, Sharpham Park spelt & hazelnut.
Earthy slivers of mushroom hiding a delicious mound of spelt, bursting with nutty, cheesy, truffley flavours.
Truly spectacular. And something I would never have ordered, which makes it even better.
Jerusalem artichokes, roast chicken juice & warm scallop tartare.
Roasted chicken, apple, red cabbage & bread sauce.
Somerset cheese, quince paste & thyme cracker.
Served with something that, despite having lived in Somerset on&off for about a hundred years, I’ve never tried…
Like ice wine, it’s the most delicious alternative to a pudding wine I’ve ever come across. This one is from the Temperley farm and you should absolutely try some, particularly with cheese.
We polished off the experience with hazelnut praline eclairs.
And left comfortably stuffed & rather merry.
I can’t imagine a more successful birthday lunch and I cannot recommend Osip highly enough.
Soon enough they’ll be launching a few bedrooms if you want to stay, but in the meantime you could try The Chapel down the street or The Newt a little way out of town (their spa is next on my Somerset adventure list).
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