On the surface, Frome is nothing out of the ordinary. There are countless towns of its size and shape across the country boasting quaint little cafes, vintage shops and bustling markets. There’s something about Frome, though, that sets it apart.
Nestled on the eastern edge of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, and just 13 miles south of its big Georgian sister, Bath, the town has a reputation for quirky, left-of-centre counterculture and free thinking (being a stone's throw from Glastonbury certainly helps). More recently, though, it has become an epicentre of sorts for young start-ups and creatives, independent retailers and businesses. We set up home here back in April 2016 and in the short time we’ve been here we’ve discovered some fantastic places to go, to eat and to hang out. Rather than keep these gems to ourselves, we thought we’d put together a guide for those planning a visit to Frome. So in our best ‘36 hours in’ homage, here we go.
Where to get your morning coffee in Frome
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to coffee in Frome. Each space offers up something a little different, so there’s a coffee experience for every kind of mood.
Moo & Two
The coffee hub of St Catherine’s. Located halfway up Catherine Hill (and opposite us!) Euan and his team serve up delicious coffee, speciality teas and a selection of locally baked pastries and cakes. It has a chilled, friendly vibe and you’ll often find local shopkeepers grabbing their morning flat white here before opening up shop.
If Resident were to open a coffee shop, it would look a lot like Frama. Pete has curated a beautiful space that serves up excellent coffee (from a very fancy machine) along with pastries and cakes. If you’re a coffee aficionado, then you’ll want to pay Frama a visit.
With their main cafe in the chapel on Whittox Lane currently closed, Amy and Owen are currently operating from their unit near Frome train station which houses their main bakery. As well as great coffee, you’ll find the most amazing selection of freshly baked pastries, breads and cakes that are all made on-site. If you go, you absolutely have to try one of their cinnamon buns.
Where to go for lunch in Frome
A beautiful neighbourhood bistro tucked away at the top of Catherine Street that serves up delicious, unfussy french inspired grub. Think Croque monsieur for breakfast and Steak Frites for a lazy lunch.
Part fishmongers, part restaurant, these guys have only recently set themselves up in Frome, but are already cementing themselves as one of the best places to eat in Frome. Being next door to the Rye Bakery certainly helps too, meaning you can grab a fresh, seasonal fish lunch and a coffee and cake for after.
A firm Resident Favourite, Millie has brought a little slice of Aussie cafe culture to Frome with Granola & bircher breakfast bowls, Açai smoothie bowls, cold press juices, superfood smoothies, poke bowls and buddha bowls. If you’re looking for something light and healthy, this is the place to go.
Where to shop in Frome
There are quite honestly so many wonderful shops, designers and makers in Frome that it’d be a very long list if we went through them all here. So rather than cover everyone, we’ve picked out our absolute favourites. Plus, of course, we couldn't not include ourselves, if only in photo form.
Anthony has curated a fantastic menswear collection featuring brands like Universal Works, Kestin Hare and Armor Luxe. Pop in for a great selection of workwear inspired clothing, accessories and a sprinkle of home accessories too.
Donna’s studio is a must-visit in Frome. Her beautiful womenswear is all designed, cut and made in her studio which is all part of the retail space. When you pop in you’ll likely find her busy in the studio designing, cutting or making so there’s always a chance you’ll get the first look at a new piece!
Dan has curated a beautiful collection of utility goods - think gorgeous handmade objects, beautiful tools and essential home goods too. The space also houses his laser workshop which offers laser cutting and engraving services, so you’ll quite often find him under a small pile of sawdust working away on a bespoke project.
Pilea Plant Shop
All things green! Lula has put together an enviable selection of house plants and associated paraphernalia in her beautiful store at the top of Catherine Hill. From teeny cacti through to giant rare specimens there’s always something new to be found, and the team are all super knowledgeable too.
Where to go for dinner in Frome
Eight Stony Street
An amazing selection of wines and some of the best sourdough pizzas you’ll ever taste. This place also has probably the best view of Catherine Hill and has a small outside seating area too. Kent is a great host and his team will happily talk you through their wine selection and make recommendations too.
We’ve included a whole area here as it contains three great foodie spots all in one space. There’s delicious sourdough pizza from Rye Bakery, fresh fish dishes from Hesperian (think Lobster rolls and sharing platters) and south Indian inspired Thali from Lungi Babas. Throw in oodles of outdoor seating and a great vibe and you’re sorted.
The High Pavement
This place is only open Friday’s and Saturday’s, but if you manage to get a table it’s well worth the visit. Broadly described as Moorish Tapas, they serve up an ever-changing delicious menu of small plates paired with sherry and amazing service. Chilled, unfussy and fantastic food.