Dorset is full of foodie treasures awaiting your discovery and delectation, including these five insider’s finds from the Trencherman’s Guide
Millside, Lyme Regis
This contemporary restaurant, which is under new ownership by wife-and-husband team Georgina and John Baker, has swiftly distinguished itself as a treasured seafood restaurant on the Jurassic Coast.
John oversees front of house, while Georgina leads a small team in the kitchen. Her globetrotting career – which includes working for Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson – is reflected in the cooking.
Pleasing menus, with a natural leaning towards local seafood, include delicious classics such as coquilles St Jacques: a Lyme Bay scallop tucked beneath layers of whipped potato, parmesan and Lyme Bay Winery Brut cream.
The Club House, West Bexington
This Chesil Beach restaurant is set in a 1930s Olympic‑pool clubhouse and retains many of the building’s original features.
The Club House’s interiors are best described as mid‑century modern meets New England nautical and provide a fitting backdrop for new head chef Liam Smith’s seafood‑focused seasonal menus.
The freshest ingredients from local fishermen and farmers, as well as from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden, form the basis of the AA rosette dishes. The menu features local favourites such as West Bay lobster and Chesil smoked salmon, alongside plenty of globally inspired meat and veggie options.
Brassica Restaurant, Beaminster
After running a series of successful restaurants in London, in 2014 chef Cass Titcombe relocated to Dorset with his partner, designer Louise Chidgey, to establish a business that would blend their skills and passions. The result is this design‑led, family‑run restaurant which puts provenance front and centre.
Cass’ cooking is best described as modern European, and he combines local produce with specialist ingredients and influences from Spain and Italy to create dishes that sing with flavour.
The menu changes daily depending on what the kitchen team can get their hands on, as they endeavour to source all fresh ingredients from within 15 miles of the restaurant. There’s also a commitment to serving organic-only meat and dairy, alongside the dayboat fish and Dorset‑grown veggies.
Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen, Bradstock
At this award-winning dining pub, talented Dutch chef‑patron Jaap Schep runs the kitchen while his wife Hannah manages front of house, the pair delighting diners with an offer steeped in local seafood.
Pan‑Asian flavour profiles are Jaap’s go‑to, and diners chasing chilli thrills will find them in dishes as diverse as crispy smoked‑Chesil‑mackerel bao bun with mango, peanut and thai‑basil salad, and a storming bang bang cauliflower with firecracker sauce.
The latter is one of an exciting list of bar snacks which, in quantity, could kick plans for a starter, main and pud into touch. Who wouldn’t enjoy working their way through small plates of Dutch bitterballen (beef croquettes), Poole Bay oysters, and kibbeling (lightly spiced battered fish bites) paired with wines by the glass?
WestBeach Restaurant, Bournemouth
From its smart deck overlooking Bournemouth Beach, family‑owned WestBeach Restaurant guarantees dining with a sea view.
Amazing seascapes are not the sole attraction, however, as its design-led open kitchen gives diners the chance to watch the team of innovative chefs craft flavourful creations from top‑notch ingredients. Fresh fish and seafood are the stars of the show, and the fishermen’s catch from local waters around Bournemouth and Poole form the lion’s share of the enticing menu.
Choose from crowd‑pleasers such as plump mussels cooked in tom yum spices, lobster with chilli and lime butter, and fantastically fresh fruits de mer. And, of course, there’s no shame in embracing the classic British fave of golden beer‑battered fish and chips with mushy peas and tartar sauce.