Friday, 13 February 2015

Four reasons why Dorset is great for foodies

When it comes to food, Dorset really has it all.

Whether you're after fish and chips by the sea, a visit to a traditional tearoom, an upscale restaurant or something else, the county will not disappoint.

Dorset is well known throughout the UK for both the quantity and quality of food it has on offer. While there are plenty of traditional choices - you haven't lived until you've tried Dorset apple cake or Blue Vinny cheese - eateries in the area have embraced flavours and styles from Europe and Asia.

So bearing this in mind, let's have a look at some of the best options.

1. Celebrity chefs
Some of the UK's best-known chefs have chosen Dorset as the base for their stunning restaurants. For example, Alex Aitken (pictured above) cooks at The Jetty in Mudeford and this has been awarded the title of 'Taste of the South West'. Sienna in Dorchester is another superb location, as the Russell Brown-run establishment has one Michelin Star and three AA Rosettes. Lesley Martin and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall also have eateries in the county.

2. A relaxing tearoom
What could be better than visiting one of Dorset's many tearooms for a lazy afternoon lunch? Abbots Tearoom in Dorchester offers homemade scones and Duchy Originals Strawberry Jam - the perfect combination. The Worth Matravers Tea and Supper Room in Swanage is also worth a visit, as it provides a beautiful setting in rural Dorset. You can even eat outside during the warmer months.

3. Pub lunches
There are a whole host of traditional pubs in Dorset offering top-quality food at reasonable prices. Rural gastropubs will offer unique takes on classics such as prawn cocktail and the ploughman's lunch, while one of the local delicacies is the crab baguette. These establishments come alive during the summer months, as you can call in for a relaxing bite to eat - and a glass of delicious scrumpy cider - after a hard day spent exploring the local countryside.

4. Night time dining
Obviously you'll be looking to have some memorable meals on your trip to Dorset, which is why you're lucky there is such a comprehensive selection of eateries. Seafood plays a big role in the local menus due to the county's location, so make sure to go somewhere like Captain's Club Hotel Restaurant in Christchurch or the Riverside in Bridport. But Dorset really is a place for everyone, as places like The Corner in Swanage offer a dining experience you will not forget and rivals anywhere else in the UK.

Regardless of the duration of your trip, be it a long weekend or a two-week holiday, Dorset can cater to your dining needs. The county has the perfect mix of fine establishments and relaxed eateries, meaning you can choose your destination based on how you are feeling on the day.

Read more information on our inspected and star-rated Dorset holiday cottages.