Eat out in Dorset
Eat our lovely Dorset food!
Dorset is a haven for locally produced food. Being such a rural county we are fortunate enough to have some of the really good food producers of the country in the area.
Can be found every weekend in one of the Dorset towns.
Each week there is an array of local producers at a market in one of the many Dorset market towns.
www.dorsetfarmersmarkets.co.uk and www.bestindorset.co.uk/diary.htm show where you can find a market. The range of produce varies from meat fish bread vegetables cakes pies chutneys cheese eggs coffee and ready meals made from locally produced ingredients.
Local Food Shops
The interesting market towns in Dorset have a wealth of independent shops and many of these are food shops stocking local food. An example of this is Bridport where you can still find butchers shops selling locally reared meat, West Bay where there are fishmongers selling fresh fish caught that day, Blandford where there are butchers shops selling farmed meat and local wild meat and game, Dorchester where there are small shops selling locally produced delicatessen products, Lyme Regis, also famous for its fish shops with the freshly landed catches, Poundbury with its cake shops, Weymouth with not only fish shops but also great bakers. There is so much to choose from.
With so many good producers in Dorset we are blessed with a number of excellent thriving Farmshops in West Dorset where you can find so much of your weekly requirements. Abbotsbury has the excellent Bride Valley Farm shop which is stocked with local meats and cheeses www.dorsetlonghorn.co.uk and Modbury Farm shop at Burton Bradstock which not only stocks their own dairy and meat products but sources and promotes other local producers. www.modburyfarm.co.uk. There is also the award winning Washingpool Farm Shop at Bridport, well worth a visit.
With the wealth of local producers and locally produced food come the food fairs and Dorset certainly has a terrific array of food fairs ranging from the 2 day Weymouth Seafood Festival in July to the Eat Dorset Fair at Beaminster in October. Shaftesbury hosts an excellent food Fair in June and Sturminster Newton has the very popular Cheese festival in September.
So many producers are passionate about what they do and how they produce the food we all love to eat here. There are too many to mention but some can be found on the Direct from Dorset website.
Great Restaurants and Pubs with Excellent Food
We are so fortunate to have so many good and great restaurants in Dorset, using fabulous local food, from the small beach huts serving very fresh fish at West Bay to the Michelin star Sienna Restaurant in Dorchester or Yalbury Cottage which has just been voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the Times We have good food to suit everyone’s taste.
If you do a search for Dorset Cookery schools there are so many to choose from and all have so much to offer. There are of course the famous chefs who have chosen to make Dorset their home but a few to consider are Christine McFadden’s The Dorset Foodie, Lesley Waters Cookery School the Olive Tree Cookery School in the Purbeck hills and of course River Cottage is found on the Devon Dorset borders.
Locally Caught Fish
With our extensive coastline and fishing ports along the coast fresh fish is a must when visiting Dorset. West Bay is a local favourite place for fresh fish. Not only are there fish shops and restaurants in the small town but there are also small beach hut stalls around the harbour selling fish and chips. Rachaels stall is definitely one to visit. If you get to the harbour around noon its likely you will be able to buy fish direct from a boat as the fishermen come back into port with their morning catch or their hand dived scallops. If you are not going to West Bay but are looking to buy fish from elsewhere then Lyme Regis and Weymouth have fresh fish shops or boats coming into port.
The abundance of fresh ingredients combined with the scenery and environment in Dorset has attracted a wide range of celebrity chefs to the area. Some of these have restaurants or cafes so eating at one of these is a real treat and some have cookery schools. If you are a foodie person then Dorset is a treat to be enjoyed.