Dorset plays host to a variety of great dining opportunities. From fast food to fine dining, you can find something for any taste. Here is a rundown of the top 5 restaurants in Dorset.
Fish and Seafood
Dorset, with its great location, is the perfect place to enjoy some of the best fish and seafood in the country. While there are other dishes available at these great restaurants, seafood is the lifeblood of these restaurants.
Hive Beach Café
In Burton Bradstock, you’ll find the Hive Beach Café. Here, you can actually find grilled herring – a rarity in the UK. There is also fried fillet of mackerel and crabs. While this restaurant is always busy, you will receive your order quickly. It is a bit on the pricey side, but the food and service are beyond compare. Located on the beach, children and even your dogs are welcomed here. You can take a leisurely stroll along the beach after your great meal.
Half Moon Inn
At the Half Moon Inn in Bridport, you’ll find another dish that is seldom prepared in the UK. Here, you’ll find hake. This deep-water white fish was a delicacy among the Spanish, and is not commonly found on the mainland. The Half Moon Inn has been redesigned recently, and features a thatched roof as part of its atmosphere. In addition to the somewhat rare hake on its menu, Half Moon also provides aged beef, fish pie (with salmon and scallop), smoked haddock chowder, Portland Crab, Lyme Bay scallops, and Fowey mussels. There is a back garden open for the children, and delightful dining for everyone.
Unique in this list of excellent restaurants is River Cottage. Not only is the dining establishment open as a regular restaurant, the facility is also a chef school. When school is in session, you can enjoy new dishes for the first time, prepared by accomplished students and teachers in the school. In addition, the atmosphere of this charming spot creates a special retreat.
In fact, in 2012, Dorset had a great event where The Pop-Up Hotel and the River Cottage Chef School teamed up for several weeks to provide luxurious dining and glamping (glamorous camping) for those in attendance. For those who simply passed through or planed their holiday for the area, this proved to be a unique opportunity to experience the luxuries of The Pop-Up Hotel in conjunction with unique, one-of-a-kind meals prepared by chefs and chefs-in-training at this renowned school.
Crab House Café
The Crab House Café in Wyke Regis serves freshly shucked oysters harvested from the restaurant’s own private oyster beds. The beds are right outside the front door, and the owner buys fresh fish every single day from the fishermen of Portland and Weymouth. Razor clams are a specialty here, served with broad beans and chorizo. About 2 miles away is the Shambles bank, which provides the restaurant with fresh brill.
Watch House Café
In West Bay, Bridport, you’ll find another dog and child friendly café called Watch House Café. This is often referred to as the little sister of the Hive Beach Café previously mentioned. Excellent coffer, local beers, and tea in nice, big pots accompany your Lyme Bay crab sandwiches and your bowl of Exe mussels. This informal dining opportunity has plenty of room inside and out, and provides tie-up hooks for your dogs.
These great restaurants are a destination in themselves. Work them into your daily travel plans, and you won’t be disappointed.