We’re bringing together the very best food produce and producers from across Dorset, and delivering to the foodie/hungry masses:
Hix in Lyme
Hix Oyster & Fish House overlooks The Cobb in Lyme Regis and boasts the most stunning panoramic views across the Jurassic coast. This is easily one of the most picturesque spots to enjoy fresh British fish and seafood. The Fish House has an informal, light and airy dining room with simple white wooden tables and chairs with the added bonus of a large outdoor terrace. Get some amazing views from Mark Hix’s Lyme Regis restaurant and an emphasis on local ingredients and fish.
Town Mill Bakery
Head here for a good lunch, breakfast, cakes, bread, coffee. Pretty much everything. Tucked away in a little courtyard, this rustic-chic café and bakery produces a fabulous selection of freshly baked goodies to eat in or take away. Everything is made on site, including the jam and muesli, and there is a wide range of different breads to choose from, from foccacia, to pain de campagne and olive bread. The savoury treats include chestnut and spinach pasties and homemade pizzas, while the fruit tarts and croissants are sublime. Breakfasts are particularly good, with homemade preserves, free-range eggs and local mushrooms served at two long communal wooden benches, giving the place a sociable hum that will make you want to come back.
Amid Giants and Idols
An independent Dorset / Devon based speciality coffee house and micro roaster located in Lyme Regis producing coffees of exceptional quality and flavour. Seriously this will be one of the best coffees you have in the area!
This award-winning bakery in vibrant foodie and antiques town of Bridport has been going since 1914 with the grand daughter of the original founder still making the family’s Dorset Apple cake recipe. Amazing assortment of different breads including the staples plus combos such as chilli cheese and beer or (Denhay) cheese and cider loaf. Also well known for their Hearty Hardy Pasty made with squash and blue vinny cheese and for those needing a sugar rush, Almond Croissants, chocolate and date Jurassic Slice or lemon marmalade and ginger muffins all hit the spot.
Trendy (for Dorset) cafe that does breakfast, lunch and decent coffee. An initial glance through its slightly Dickensian shop window reveals bookshelves displaying magazines, indy comics and graphic novels. There’s a rustic wooden panelled serving counter and a menu blackboard – which covers the whole wall – decorated with butterflies. Alongside the house espresso from Extract you’ll find guest coffees on offer – including Amid Giants & Idols, Union, Origin and Square Mile. The team also creates an incredible range of juices and works to produce a fresh, healthy food offering (all breads baked in-house). You’ll also want to pick up something from the deli.
A fantastical reimagining of Far East cuisine using local South West produce. Together they found nowhere in the south west that satisfied their craving for Japanese, Korean, South East Asian hawker food. However they have also been heavily influenced by modern British cooking and celebrating local ingredients and some fantastic artisan producers. Nettle is still one of their favourite ingredients, in sushi, popiah and nettle & wild garlic hake dumpling.
The Bull – The Venner Bar
The Bull is an upmarket boutique hotel worth staying in. The Venner bar, tucked away behind a ball room at The Bull, an 1850s coaching inn turned boutique hotel in Bridport, on the west Dorset coast, Black Cow vodka takes pride of place. Head barman Lloyd Brown serves it with dry vermouth and olive brine. He also serves Tarquin’s Cornish gin; locally-distilled Conker spirit gin; horseradish-infused Dorsey dry gin; Piddle Brewery ale, brewed down the road in Dorchester; and Purbeck cider, as well as a raft of classic cocktails with a twist. (If cider’s your thing, by the way, there are 80 to try downstairs at The Stable, the pizza and cider house in the converted stable at the back of the hotel.)
Washingpool Farm Shop
Washingpool Farm Shop is a family-run business on the outskirts of Bridport, which opened in 2000. Three generations live and work on the farm, which produces greengrocery and meat for the award-winning Farm Shop and Restaurant. A wide range of other food is sourced from over 100 local producers, which the friendly shop staff are happy to give advice on. Washingpool is renowned for its range of fresh greengrocery as the family formally ran two greengrocery shops in Bridport High Street before relocating to the farm. The shop and restaurant are open seven days a week and often have products to sample or ‘Meet the Producer’ sessions.
Watch house cafe
Owned by the guys behind the Hive, this does similar food with the added bonus of a wood fired pizza oven. The café has been completely refurbished and now offers extensive outdoor seating areas offering stunning views along the coastline across the harbour towards Thorncombe Beacon, Charmouth and Lyme Regis. Looking the other way towards Burton Bradstock you have the imposing golden cliffs that are so well known along this coastline. A great spot to see the Jurassic Coast in all its glory.
Inside you’ll find a bright, cosy and chic setting that shows off the cakes, drinks and sea food thats available. The large windows and folding doors brings the outside in making the decked area and extension to the café itself.
This beautifully converted former rope warehouse now hosts a superb gallery space and café. The café occupies the downstairs, where bare brickwork, rough wood floors and beams form a dramatic backdrop to a space that’s filled with light. There are also seats outside in a spacious courtyard. Head upstairs for the main gallery space where you’ll find contemporary furniture and classy design, art and ceramics. Check the website for occasional live music and evening events. The menu is not extensive but features the likes of organic soups, mezzes, salads and local fish stew. The counter also has a range of tempting cakes and pastries.
Samways works with over 150 inshore boats that land on a daily basis. The relationship with skippers ensures fish can be delivered from port to plate in as little as 24 hours. Choose from Hake landed on the Charisma, Brill from the Moby Dick, Wild line caught bass from the Spirit, Squid from the Cazadora, Megrim soles from the Valhalla and Huss from the Seaseeker. Samways is, and has always been, a family run business, established in January 1961 by Mr. Clifford Samways from a small wooden barrow, selling his catch on the harbour side of West Bay, Dorset. Samways Fish Merchants has grown into a thriving local business led by Clifford’s son Clive and Clive’s wife, Sarah.
Forget the coffee chains, come here for the real thing – fabulous coffees, wonderful cakes and superb sandwiches. Not a huge selection but no matter, they’re all baked on the premises and very reasonable prices, too reasonable I’d say. Best coffee in Dorchester? Yep. Best coffee in Dorset? Probably. Number 35 is challenging that with the sort of coffee experience you’d expect to find in a big city environment.
Number 35 regularly has four beans on offer, two roasted for filter and two available as espresso. They’re from a variety of roasters, some from nearby roasters such as Bath’s Round Hill Roastery and Bristol’s Clifton Coffee Company, plus those from further afield, including well-known London roasters Square Mile and Workshop and lesser-known outfits like Mission Coffee Works. Number 35 also works with the best European and American roasters on occasion, bringing a truly global coffee experience to Dorchester.
High end eating in Dorchester. Sienna is a small treasure in the countryside. The cuisine and service are absolutely first class and the attention to detail is worthy of a much grander venue. While the décor is understated, it is comfortable and does not distract from the food, which is presented quite exquisitely – showing off the slightly quirky ingredient blends to best effect. Very good value for money. Worth noting it’s set menus only.
Local winery that has beaten Champagne producers at their own game. with a cellar door for tastings. What more information do you need?
The Hive Beach Café is a family owned business, serving locally sourced,
quality food for 20 years. The range of food available provides a
kaleidoscope selection from home made cakes to high quality fresh local
seafood caught using environmentally friendly fishing methods.
All served in a beach-front location with stunning views of Hive beach and
Lyme Bay beyond, offered with a welcoming and friendly smile.
As restaurants go this one has pretty impressive credentials. Brassica is the brainchild of Cass Titcombe, chef and co-founder of the Canteen chain in London and partner Louise Chidgey a former buyer for Conran and design manager at Tom Conran restaurants. What you have here, then, is a beautiful building, one of the oldest in Dorset and formerly home to Mat Folas’s Wild Garlic, offering incredible food in a brilliantly designed space. It’s the antithesis of the ‘concept’ restaurant which has been in vogue recently – more a gorgeous place to hang out with food that is worth travelling for.
They’re using the very best ingredients so alongside very local produce, there’s cheese from Neal’s Yard and charcuterie from Brindisa and the menu changes each day. There’s a relaxed feel here so you’ll often find sharing platters – starters of charcuterie, duck liver and fois gras pate or anti pasti of roast squash, feta and pomegrantate, celeriac remoulade and for main Hereford ribeye tagliata with rocket and parmesan salad.
Great local award winning sparkling wine.Set in West Dorset’s wonderful green and rolling hills, Furleigh Estate makes some of the best sparkling wine in the country. They have over 22,000 vines and a purpose-built winery containing state of the art equipment. A converted barn where once cows were milked, now serves as the tasting room. Just sit and admire the views while sipping wine.
The vineyard is open for tastings and sales from Monday to Saturday from 11am till 5pm.
Tours of the vineyard and winery run twice a day on Fridays and Saturdays. The Grand Tour, at 11am, starts with a glass of Furliegh fizz & lasts for 2 hours. The Classic tour starts at 2.30 and lasts for 90 minutes. Both tours include a visit to the winery & vineyard and end with a tasting of their wonderful still and sparkling wine.
Anywhere we missed? Let us know below in the comments…