The Newt in Somerset

As an architectural studio, we aim to create cherished moments within the spaces we craft. Private homes hold a special place in our hearts as they often mean the most to people.

When a last-minute invitation to experience The Newt in Somerset came my way, I jumped on the opportunity without hesitation.

The Newt in Somerset has earned the prestigious title of Best Boutique Hotel of 2023 by The World’s 50 Best Hotels. I initially anticipated a top-tier 5-star hotel experience, but I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

The Head of Programmes, Arthur Cole, aptly describes The Newt as ‘not a hotel with a garden, but a garden with a hotel.’ However, I would venture to say it’s a haven for those who cherish gardening, organic farming, sustainable living, and a community buit around it.

Spread across a vast 4 km2 nestled amidst the gentle hills of Somerset, The Newt is a bustling hub with a workforce of 580, including 60 dedicated gardeners. Their responsibilities span caring for animals, tending apple orchards, nurturing fruit and vegetable gardens, tending to bee hives, and even overseeing a forest where deer freely roam. Amidst all this, the hotel and restaurant guests find their own corner of paradise.

Engaging with the staff is like delving into a constantly evolving story. The workshops, tours, and projects are ever-changing, leaving you yearning to return and witness their progress.

As an interior designer, I must highlight the architectural and interior aspects. The new buildings, designed to harmonise with the old, exhibit a breathtaking beauty. The interior, with its relaxed ambiance, exudes warmth and a sense of genuine welcome.

However, what truly imbues this place with magic is the people’s hospitality. It serves as a reminder that buildings are created for the people who inhabit and utilise the space, and the interior must support their activities.

My heartfelt thanks extend to Arthur Cole for sharing so many stories and to Noriko Sawayama for her kind invitation to stay.

An annual membership offers access to captivating garden tours and workshops, rendering it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London.

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