Category: Somerset

The Ethicurean

Gardens, Somerset September 2016

From the moment you step through the gates of the walled garden, every element at The Ethicurean immerses you in a English idyll wholly connected to the land and surrounding countryside. It is at the heart of the place, echoed in the red bricks, box hedging, jars of pickles, cider and setting in the rolling hills of Somerset. The place has the charm of a traditional Victorian kitchen garden beautifully seasoned, yet, it is in fact a free spirited, experimental, unexpected fairytale-like environment.

Sustainable seasonal cooking is central, and part of a community approach to the land. Ingredients are grown in the garden, foraged for in the surrounding environment, cultivated and pickled, juiced and brewed, and sourced from local farmers, makers, and brewers. The Ethicurean offers a fresh and thoughtfully presented menu, from roasted brassica tops with apricot labneh and smoke almonds to beef neck with sauerkraut and wild garlic, celebrating the garden and the wild land that surrounds it.

The gardens seem to expand out, rolling into hills and broadening to sky, connecting the restaurant with the land and it’s surroundings. The Ethicurean is founded on a sense of place. Intrinsically tied to the seasons both in menu and experience, you dine in the enveloped by the sky, you see the hills change with the approach of a cloud on a clear day, feel the onset of rain as scenery turns grey, embrace a hot summers sun.

ethicurean glasshouse

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The Ethicurean, Barley Wood Walled Gardens, Long Lane, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5SA.

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Hauser and Wirth Somerset

Art, Gardens, Somerset August 2016

At the entrance of Hauser and Wirth Somerset, housed in an 18th century farmhouse on the edge of Bruton, visitors are welcomed by a white neon sign which reads MUMS DADS KIDS GODS by the British artist Martin Creed. The installation, which is a result of his artist’s residency, offers viewers a clear impression of how art has been connected with life at Durslade Farm and acknowledges the relationship between the gallery and it’s idyllic surroundings.

Over the past three years, Hauser and Wirth Somerset has created a centre to explore how art and the environment it inhabits affect the way pieces are received and felt. The charming stone farm buildings, which form the core, have been restored and added to, creating five gallery spaces, a courtyard, and a restaurant. The space feels pastoral, reiterated in the warm stone, wooden beams, perennial meadow and milk pails, permeating with a rural charm more akin to a county retreat than pioneering world-class gallery yet, it is in fact a vibrant, modern project, intended to complement its locality.

In the architecture modern materials echo the original details and distinguish the old elements from the new. The outdoor sculptures work with the space. Two large, hyper reflective, sculptures by Subodh Gupta greet visitors. ‘Specimen 108’, a shiny steel tree from which utensils sprout like fruit clashes against, and concurrently compliment, the agrarian setting. Subdued green grasses and soft perennials bring colour and texture to the stark, regimented, cloister courtyard, where the old buildings meet the new, part of a close appreciation for nature running through the Hauser and Worth Somerset experience.

Visiting in late July, the place is imbued summer. The sun fills the large courtyards and galleries, warming the meandering grass paths and simmering in the vibrant waves of flowers in Piet Oudolf’s beautifully landscaped perennial meadow. A surprise glimpsed towards the end of the galleries. A garden that captures the seasons. Gently rising away away from the gallery a simple grass lawn shifts into curvaceous beds of colour, texture, which follow the slope drifting and swaying enticingly upwards.

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Subodh Gupta, Specimen 108, 2015

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Subodh Gupta, When Soak Becomes Spill, 2015

 

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Louise Bourgeois, Spider

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Martin Creed, Work No. 2708, 2016

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Hauser and Wirth

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Hauser and Wirth Somerset. Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton BA10 0NL. United Kingdom.

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