Eat Early – South Somerset

Converted churches and a chic vegetarian brunch spot are some of the best places for breakfast and lunch in South Somerset

At The Chapel, Bruton

At The Chapel, Bruton

The evolution of Bruton (the sleepy little Somerset village) into Bruton (the-art-and-food West Country power player and mecca for London emigrés) started 13 years ago with the opening of At The Chapel on Bruton’s High Street. Housed, as the names suggests, in an old chapel, the restaurant is a lovely light-filled space, packed out at lunch with locals feasting on a modern British menu and sourdough pizzas from the wood-fired oven. There’s a bottle shop and a bakery, and the eight bedrooms upstairs have a clean-lined Scandi feel to them.  

At The Chapel, 28 High Street, Bruton; atthechapel.co.uk

Rye Bakery, Frome 

Frome’s Rye Bakery is also housed in a one-time religious building, this time a long-deconsecrated church complete with handsome organ pipes and high vaulted ceilings. Downstairs, locals tuck into glorious pastries and buttered toast made from ancient heritage grains. The balcony upstairs is an elegantly curated art gallery. They also have an outpost by the train station where you can stock up on hulking great focaccia sandwiches for the journey home.

Rye Bakery, Whittox Lane, Frome; rye-bakery.com

Projects, Frome

Vegetarian cafés often have a ’70s hemp seed and alfalfa vibe to them, but this pretty little space on the bridge over the Frome river is a thoroughly modern place, all industrial fittings and flat whites. The brunch here is the main draw: truffled mushrooms come piled high on slabs of rye bread, their Turkish eggs come with Aleppo chilli butter, and the breakfast hash of butterbeans and potatoes with harissa can be topped with a fried egg if you ask nicely. 

Projects, 7 The Bridge, Frome; instagram.com/projectsfrome

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