Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

Wirth is Worth a Visit

April 17th, 2015

What a day my friends Dani, Deezip (nom de plume) and I had exploring Hauser & Wirth’s splendid set-up in Somerset.  And we did it in a day so all of you dedicated urbanites need not fret. You can be home in time for a night out on the town in the town.

We three adventurers met at Paddington Station at the civilised hour of 11am, caught the express train to Castle Cary arriving by 12:30. The views from the train are lovely although we spent most of our time chatting and disturbing our neighbours. Never again will I book the ‘quiet car’ with Deezip in tow.


At Castle Cary we were met by the friendliest of  taxi drivers, David Guy, and whisked off to Hauser & Wirth. Castle Cary is a sleepy, rural station so I recommend booking David in advance (tel 01963 351 015). Swiss global art dealers  Iwan and Manuela Wirth have created quite the cool, arty hangout in the middle of gorgeous Somerset near where they live. Already more than 100,000 people have flocked here since it opened last July.

First things first- we needed the loo. How many loos inspire selfies? That’s how hip this place is!


Then we went outside and enjoyed Dan Graham’s S-Curve, a steel and two-way mirror that did wonders for our figures.


Enough looking at our reflections, the time had come to look beyond ourselves at non-reflective walls. I confess that I have many envies: I wish I could cook, paint my own fingernails, touch-type. The list is long. It just got longer – I want a barn. Correction. I want this barn.


I also wouldn’t mind owning one of Chinese artist Zhang Enli’s ‘Four Seasons’ with its vibrant images of water, leaves and trees. Nature comes inside.


A closeup:


We then strolled through the 1.5 acre Oudolf Field designed by Dutch gardener Piet Oudolf. He has designed both the Highline and the new Whitney Museum’s gardens in NYC amongst other high-profile projects. Perched at the top of Oudolf Field is Chilean artist Smiljan Radic’s white fibreglass pavilion.The Radic Pavilion was first unveiled as the Serpentine Gallery’s 2014 Pavilion.


Here’s a view from my favourite folly.


All this looking at ourselves and beyond can work up an appetite. So to the Roth Bar & Grill we went. It was designed by Bjorn and Oddur Roth, son and grandson of German artist Dieter Roth.



We met up with two creative, bohemian friends who have places nearby and told us what to order – buffalo mozzarella to die for, hamburgers delish, garden salad from the garden, sea bream brilliant and the Bloody Mary’s bloody good. In fact, they said, everything on the menu is good.



After lunch we had a quick espresso At the Chapel, another hip spot in nearby Bruton. Who did we spot there but stunning blonde Burberry model and actress (Endless Love) Gabriella Wilde with her heavily tattooed musician boyfriend Alan Pownall and baby son Sasha Blue. Sorry no pics – we’re too cool for that.

Reality and David the cab driver were calling. Time to head back to London. We almost missed our train when Deezip got distracted in the just-opened,  chic antique shop next to the train station – The Factory.


Oh Somerset, take me back

April, 2015