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Dorset pubs with pretty beer gardens

PUBLISHED: 15:02 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:02 02 July 2018

The Anchor at Seatown. Picture by Ian Wool/Getty Images

The Anchor at Seatown. Picture by Ian Wool/Getty Images

ian woolcock

Summer is fast approaching and warm weekends are perfect for sitting in a pub garden with good beer and even better company. In no particular order, we pick ten of the best Dorset pubs with beer gardens

1. The Anchor Inn, Seatown

Famed for its exceptional menu cooked up by Head Chef, Jean Paul De Ronne, The Anchor deservedly won the coveted title of ‘Pub of the Year’ at our Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2017. The dining pub and its terrace overlook Seatown beach so a stunning sea view is guaranteed. It is the perfect spot to refuel after a ramble on the beach with a beer and a delicious plate of food made from the ingredients of local suppliers.

2. The Scott Arms, Kingston

This historic pub can be found at the heart of Kingston and it has a beer garden with far-reaching Instagram-worthy views of Corfe Castle ruins and across the bucolic Purbeck countryside. From June through to September (weather permitting) the Jerk Shak in the garden serves up authentic jerk chicken and curried goat made by co-owner Nicky who is from Jamaica.

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3. The White Post, Rimpton

Nestled on the Dorset/Somerset border, The White Post has the best of both counties when it comes to ales and ciders. The large beer garden and balcony terrace is a great sun trap for sipping a pint and soaking up the best of British weather.

We can’t mention this pub without talking about Head Chef Brett Sutton. Brett won ‘Chef of the Year’ at the Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2017. His menu is listed in the Michelin guide and the highlight of the week is the Sunday lunch.

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4. The Greyhound Inn, Sydling St Nicholas

This traditional pub can be found in the chocolate box village of Sydling St Nicholas with its pastel coloured cottages and thatched roofs. As welcoming in the summer as it is in winter, the pub has a small but very pretty beer garden perfect for those long hot and sunny days we don’t see often enough.

On the menu you’ll find an ever-changing list of daily specials and hearty British classics. We like to sit outside in the summer with a charcuterie board and a bottle of wine for two.

5. The Old Granary, Wareham

The Old Granary is a beautiful pub on the banks of the River Frome. It has seen a recent and complete refurbishment and the pub has only just reopened up this spring. There’s plenty of outdoor space here including a large roof terrace so you shouldn’t struggle to get a seat out in the open and the pub has been known to hold al fresco cinema nights in the past. The menu comprises lots of small plates and sharing boards; ideal for grazing in the summer sun with a beer or a glass of wine.

6. The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury

This Georgian coaching inn has a reputation for brilliant food thanks to exec chef Tom Blake (previously Head Chef at River Cottage) and there are a number of menus to suit any occasion. From ‘Late Afternoon’ menus (think wood fired pizzas and small plates), to Sunday lunch; there is plenty to sate the appetite. We like to enjoy an aperitif in the courtyard garden before retreating to the conservatory for supper.

7. The Old Thatch, Wimborne

The Old Thatch is a great find for avid walkers due to its close proximity to the Castleman Trailway. Work up an appetite with a ramble before you arrive as the food portions here are very generous!

Surrounded by large gorgeous gardens, there’s plenty of seating to accommodate everyone and you’re bound to find a sunny spot somewhere. The pub is dog, cyclist and rambler friendly (this is our kind of haunt).

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8. The Langton Arms, Tarrant Monkton

A 17th century family friendly pub with a large and beautiful beer garden that blossoms in the spring and is home to flora and fauna in the summer. There’s a play area to keep children entertained whilst parents can enjoy a large glass of Pinot and some summer sun in peace. The menu is à la carte with ingredients from local suppliers and there’s a ‘Garden Menu’ for those wanting to dine al fresco.

9. The Thimble Inn, Piddlehinton

Cosy in the winter and welcoming in the summer, the pub has not one but two gardens, both surrounded by views across the Piddle Valley. A number of live music events, open mic nights and summer festivals take place at the pub every year. It’s one of our favourite places to relax with our shades on, a beer in hand and some live entertainment.

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10. The Springhead, Sutton Poyntz

Known for being a rural pub, the beer garden of The Springhead doesn’t disappoint. It is surrounded by rolling hills and the chalk downs, and the pub garden sits aside a duck pond providing a peaceful setting to enjoy a drink in the sunshine. Don’t miss the summer ‘Gin and Sin’ festival taking place in June, when punters can look forward to over 60 gins, live music and lots of tasty food.

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