I have to say, Bruton in Somerset isn’t top of the list when you think of contemporary art gallery locations, but Hauser & Wirth now have galleries located across Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles.
So what is Open Source Salon?
In collaboration with the Roth Bar & Grill ‘Open Source Salon’ is a discussion group for like-minded creatives and enthusiasts who meet monthly to exchange ideas, hear special guest speakers, and enjoy local food and drink.
Each salon consists of a specially invited speaker who will share their unique knowledge and experience on one of the four key themes at the heart of Hauser & Wirth Somerset – Art, Architecture, Landscape, Food, and this month it was no other than Chef, restaurateur and art collector, Mark Hix. He wanted to host an evening to celebrate his collaborations with local producers across Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset including Barber’s, Mere Park Creamery and White Lake, as well as Castlewood Vineyard, Furleigh Estates and Lyme Bay Winery.
Being familiar with East London, we aren’t strangers to his more affordable of restaurants, Tramshed, located in Shoreditch, where one of Damien Hirst’s pieces takes centre stage in a formaldehyde tank perched above diners (see picture below), a playful nod to the predominantly chicken & beef menu.
But this was far from the bustling city, a simple barn (I say simple, the walls were adorned with an eclectic collection of art belonging the founders Manela & Ivan Worth) in the middle of a field with a few locals gathered around for some great food, wine & conversation.
Upon arrival we were greeted with a welcome cocktail before being seated at one of four long banquet tables (you can’t help but feel you’ve been transported to Copenhagen). It had a dinner party, but with your parents middle class ab fab-esque family friends kinda vibe.
After a short introduction, Mark started to invite the local producers to talk about what they had brought to the table. Having never been a massive fan of Cheese, I have to say, hearing about how it’s made, where it’s come from and being paired with the perfect English wine it was pretty tasty, to the point of already planning a trip to Neal’s Yard Cheese to stock up for the Christmas period.
However the stand out dish for us has to be the main –
Slow cooked Durslade Farm lamb, Jansson’s Temptation (Swedish casserole made of potatoes, onions, pickled sprats, bread crumbs and cream), Cavolo Nero (Kale) and some sort of quince jelly which was of course, made locally.
All in all, I think to experience any kind of intimate and interactive guided tour of your dinner is great for any foodie looking to do something a bit different, and just 10 minute walk from At The Chapel you can easily stumble your way to bed back through the fields and turn it into a great little staycation, before awakening to freshly baked croissants hung on your door to cure any kind of sore head.
You can check on future events on the Hauser & Wirth website here.
You may also like:
Messum’s at Tisbury
A beautiful converted barn with a sculpture park outside
Followed by a pub lunch at the Beckford Arms (Sister pub to the Talbot Inn in Mells which you can read about here!).
Good tip – if you’re driving be sure to pass through the Fonthill estate and pass the Lake, the views are like no other