A Place to Grow
Join a team of talented and dedicated folk working across our Somerset estate – from gardeners to bartenders, chefs, hosts and housekeeping. Just like the produce in our gardens, our people are hand-picked and full of character. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for your next move, The Newt in Somerset has many exciting opportunities and initiatives to nurture your career.
Who We Are
A country estate, reimagined. A home to relax, gardens to inspire and food to nourish. A place of wonderment, with Somerset at its heart.
Ellie Dunn, Gardener
“Never stop learning” is the mantra Ellie Dunn brings to her role as grower at The Newt in Somerset. This open, curious, questioning approach to gardening informs the way Ellie manages the stable yard garden in the hotel grounds.
Ellie had a background in fine art and countryside conservation, before retraining as a gardener with English Heritage at West Park and with the RHS at Wisley. She believes that the most important thing to gardening is soil health, and she is a passionate follower of the no-dig approach, championed by Somerset market gardener, writer and teacher, Charles Dowding. This low impact approach to promoting health and abundance in the gardens extends to weeding. Ellie is not too quick to get out the hoe, allowing self-seeding plants such as viola, nasturtium, calendula and orache to spread around, filling gaps and providing a mass of edible flowers for the kitchens.
“The Newt is such an interesting and diverse place with staff to match, there is no chance of a dull moment! I especially enjoy working with passionate chefs who get really excited about the produce, it is very rewarding. I am also very lucky to have such a delightful and functional area to look after at the stable yard, complete with garden, greenhouse, compost bays and storage shed.”
Alan Stewart, Chef
Alan’s favourite ingredient is the onion. Not truffles, or beef filet. Nor even the potato. But the humble onion. This choice is informed by a long career, including spells working at restaurants like Chez Bruce and Launceston Place in London, a period running his own restaurant in Barcelona, pop-ups and street food ventures, work for private clients and a stint living in St. Emilion. Rich experience that filters into his role as Head of Food at The Newt in Somerset.
“Anything to do with food here, I have something to do with. A chef is only as good as his suppliers and producers, there is so much that goes into food before I get my hands on it”.
Alan’s travels as a chef showed him the importance of provenance, and he knows that nothing tastes or feels better than eating something in season, in the place it was grown - “A Somerset-grown apple in the orchards of Somerset, in October. A glass of Provençale rosé in the vineyards of Provence. A Raf tomato in December among the Llobregat fields in Catalunya. Place, time and stories make food better.”
Lloyd Tucker, Butcher
Lloyd is a farmer’s son and he’s been a butcher for 20 years. When Lloyd left school at 16, he bought a small tractor (naturally) and started working full-time as a butchers apprentice. By 2010, after stints with a few different butchers, he’d built the knowledge and confidence to enter the BBC’s Young Butcher of the Year competition. He beat 450 others to the title.
“As I have progressed through the industry, I have really learnt a lot about the importance of keeping the connection between the customer and the farmer - or field to fork. Making sure the end buyer knows where their dinner has come from, how it has been reared, what breed it is and what it takes to get it to their plate. Having a farming background really helps me do this.”
The Newt has the largest pedigree herd of British Whites in the UK. We have a large flock of Bleu de Maine x Dorset Down sheep too. And there are Red and Fallow deer roaming the deer park. Lloyd and his team use as much of each animal as they possibly can - “Working with the stockmen, the chefs and the customers I get to see and influence the whole process from start to finish, I don’t think there is another job like it.”
“If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
The Newt is dynamic visitor attraction, which is constantly growing and evolving. Our principal purpose is to provide an exciting and engaging experience for our visitors and hotel guests, or collectively, our members.
The Newt experience originates in the garden and from a genuine connection with the Somerset landscape. We are fortunate to inhabit an estate that has a long and illustrious history, especially in the gardening arena. The landscape that surrounds us has been shaped by successive generations of thoughtful and passionate custodians, and we acknowledge and celebrate that past, as we move forward to shape and form an attraction for the 21st century.
Technology drives us and takes the Newt beyond the bounds of the estate. Exhibitions are animated with virtual reality and our website and social media are active hives of digital content. The online shop is expanding quickly, delivering a range of fresh treats across Somerset and London. Partnerships with gardens and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show introduce the Newt to new audiences, and our sister properties in South Africa and Italy expand our reach internationally.
Our land is primarily cared for by farmers and gardeners, however we all play a role in nurturing and sustaining this valuable resource. The produce we grow is treated with respect by chefs. Cows, sheep and deer are reared with care and prepared with skill by butchers. The hedgerows, fields and woodland are foraged for seasonal specialities – never taking more than we need. Orchards supply apples for cyder and wildflowers for pollinators, and woodland is managed to create a diverse habitat. We try to minimise waste, recycle and reuse.
The estate is transparent, there is little that is off limits to members. This is by design; we want to share what we do. Every one of us is prepared and willing to greet members, we want them to feel our passion and dedication, and the activities of our annual programme are designed to induct them further into our world.
The Newt is an exciting place to be, somewhere to put down roots and grow. We welcome you along for the journey.
Ed Workman, CEO