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Eating out in Dorset - Best restaurants

PUBLISHED: 10:06 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:19 24 March 2017

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Copyright:Arkady Chubykin/arkadiic@mail.ru

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Dorset really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Looking for a location for a meal out? Below are restaurants of all sorts right across the county featured in Dorset Magazine over the years.


Harbar Bistro, Sandbanks

A great meal starts with great ingredients, says Loic Gratadoux, Executive Head Chef at the Harbar Bistro. His policy is simple: if food is not fresh and in season, it’s not on the menu.


Ventana Grande Café at The Cumberland Hotel

A new innovative locally inspired menu has John Billington’s taste buds dancing with delight.


Schpoons and Forx, Bournemouth

Having cooked in Marco Pierre White’s fiery kitchen, and worked with a stellar cast of culinary names, you know the menu at Matt Tebbutt’s Schpoons and Forx will be something very special and seasonally inspired.


Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Award finalists

Pubs, restaurants, the lot. Take a trip to one of our 2016 finalists.


A. S. Sushi + More, Dorchester

Myra, of A. S. Sushi + More, tells us about bringing her authentic Japanese food experience to Dorchester’s high street.


Tiien Thai, Bournemouth

John Billington talks authentic Thai flavours with Medi Vahdati, owner of Tiien Thai in Bournemouth.


10 restaurants in Dorset perfect for vegetarians and vegans

Sue Quinn, author of Easy Vegan, has rustled up a lip-smacking range of plant-based dining options in Dorset that are perfect for full or part-time herbivores


Summer Lodge, Evershot

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Evershot, near Dorchester has recently received not one but three very exciting accolades. In November they were voted No.1 Hotel in The UK’ in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015/16. This award is voted for by hotel guests who have stayed in hotels throughout Europe during the year. In December their Restaurant was included in the coveted Sunday Times list of their ‘Top 100 Restaurants in the UK’. Summer Lodge was the only Dorset restaurant to make the list and it is especially pleasing as the vast majority of those listed are stand-alone city eateries rather than hotel restaurants.


Rick Stein, Sandbanks

Rick Stein’s latest venture is a harmonious blend of family talent and fabulous local seafood at a stunning waterside location. Sue Quinn went to meet the first family of fish at their newly opened Sandbanks restaurant.


La Fosse, Cranborne

Mark Hartstone at La Fosse won Chef of the Year at the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2015.


Soulshine Café, Bridport

Best Family Friendly Dining Experience winner at the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2015.


The White Post in Rimpton

When an establishment wins Gastro Pub of the Year in the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards twice in a row, Helen Stiles wanted to peruse their menu.


10 of the best seafood restaurants in Dorset

From shacks on the beach to fancy dining, Sue Quinn shares her favourite Dorset places where you will find the freshest locally caught fish and shellfish in the country.


Tiien Thai

This Bournemouth restaurant excels at balancing the subtle flavours, aromatic spices and varying heat of authentic Thai cuisine, as John Billington discovers.


14 of the best afternoon teas in Dorset

From farmhouse to country house, tea room to hotel Sue Quinn leaves no crumb untested as she seeks out some of the finest cream teas in the county.


The Seaside Boarding House

Hailed as the hippest hangout on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, The Seaside Boarding House is the cliff-top creation of former Groucho Club co-founder Mary-Lou Sturridge. We take you on an exclusive tour.

Arbor restaurant at The Green House hotel

Andy Hilton is head chef at Arbor restaurant at The Green House hotel which recently won Gold at the Dorset Tourism Awards. He tells us about his locally inspired menu.


Brassica Restaurant

Brassica is a relaxed restaurant, which offers an outstanding experience of delicious food, wine and service in a cosy, stylish environment. A winner ath the 2015 Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards.


Ventana Grand Café at The Cumberland in Bournemouth

Matuesz Nowatkowski is the award-winning head chef of the Ventana Grand Café at The Cumberland in Bournemouth. His Modern British style of cooking has earned the hotel 2 AA Red Rosettes for Culinary Excellence.


Best places for international cuisine in Dorset

Taste authentic fare from a huge range of nations without ever stepping foot on a plane… Alice Cooke brings you her pick of the best.


A selection of Christchurch restaurants

With its reputation for great local food it’s no coincidence that Christchurch hosts a Food and Wine Festival every May. Food writer Sue Quinn tells us where the locals go.


The Dining Room, Weymouth

Winner of the Restaurant of the Year category at the 2014 Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards, which took place at The Exchange in Sturminster Newton.


Pig on the Beach, Studland

Andy Wright is about to become Head Chef at the brand new Pig on the Beach, overlooking Studland. Here he gives us a sneak peek behind the choices for his menu.


Cumberland, Bournemouth

The Cumberland Bournemouth boasts an excellent reputation for outstanding cuisine. The Mirabelle Restaurant offers superb chef driven food with local fresh produce, whilst the Ventana Bar & Brasserie offers a more intimate Brasserie style dining, and has been awarded, Highly Commended for Best Bistro/Restaurant.


Please note: some features linked in this story may be a few years old.

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