Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Coppleridge Inn

This is another pub we visited in the summer soon after we had moved here. I used google search with "family friendly pub garden Dorset" words and the Coppleridge Inn was one of the pubs that came up.

It was a lovely summer Sunday so we chose a table in the garden near the swings where the kids played until the food came. Food portions were big (I think I should say huge as I don't often leave food!) and tasty! The garden was so nice we didn't really get to see much of the pub inside other than going to the bar to order the food. I'm not sure this comes close to becoming a regular, we'll have to wait and see what else Dorset has on offer I think!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Stourhead Estate

I wasn't sure whether to include Stourhead on this but as it has become one of our favourite outdoor places around here I thought to list it even it is obviously more than just a place to eat. We have stopped at the Stourhead restaurant quite few times now but the pub (the Spread Eagle Inn) on the estate is still on our list to try.

I like National Trust places, you know what you are going to get: a great day out with good coffee and cakes / lunch. The restaurant at Stourhead is always a busy one but we have never failed to get a table in or out depending what we have wanted, they do the usual lovely cream teas and hot lunches. Kids are well catered for and they can choose the box to fill up with their choices if not choosing hot lunch.

Over the winter time the little cottage by the lake has been open serving hot drinks and little snacks - it has been a lovely stop walking around the gardens with the kids!

Stourhead must be one of prettiest National Trust places I have visited although from children's point of view there are a couple that beat Stourhead with their fabulous play areas (Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and Attingham Park in Shropshire to mention couple which have the best play areas we have visited).

We must try the pub on the estate soon!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Walnut Tree Inn

The Walnut Tree Inn is currently the only pub I have visited without any members of my family (stops at cafes do not count!) but I'll include here anyway as it's a family pub. I was invited for mums night out just before Christmas for a meal. We needed to make our food choices beforehand and as the other mums discovered I don't like deciding my choices of food days in advance - I don't know what I feel like having on the night! But I suppose pubs need to do this around Christmas time when big parties book in.

We had all chosen turkey as it was Christmas time and we all had to queue for it as it was set up same way they apparently set Sunday carveries (I prefer having my food brought to the table when I'm dining out). Dessert was very good, I had chosen panna cotta. I did not have a look at their normal menu but their website appears very good and informative and few people have said the Walnut Tree Inn is a good place with children.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


This is another one which we found through a magazine and reviews - I just cannot remember which  magazine, sorry! It was Saturday lunch time in the late summer when we visited Turnbulls cafe and it was busy!

It's a cafe in with a deli so kind of place my husband likes and was happy to try out. Me and the children were happy with our food and drinks and the service we had but my husband was little disappointed with his plougham's. He felt it missed the chutneys and usual things although cheeses were good. Another point was that for a small lunch it was little bit pricey feeding a family of four, but lovely setting still.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Gillingham Tandoori

My husband's friend was visiting us for the weekend and somehow these things always seem to require curry & beer. We hadn't tried any Indian restaurants in Dorset yet so we had no idea where we should go. Google helped us and we decided to try Gillingham Tandoori last night.

I am not a great fan of Indian type of food but when it's cooked well (by my husband at home) I enjoy it occasionally. I didn't take photos as I don't think curries ever look great... We had chicken tikka masala and chicken lagan (new one I hadn't tried before) and a dansak dish with all the usual pilau rices, nan breads and onion bhajees.

I must say that this was one of the nicest curries (the lagan one) I have had. I actually enjoyed a curry! Husband says he really liked his chicken dansak (too hot for me). So if I feel like having another curry I would be happy return here.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Salt Cellar

We hadn't planned to stay out until lunch time today but as we were still out we popped into Salt Cellar in Shaftesbury. We had stopped there for coffee & cakes previously so sort of knew what to expect. Lunch menu covered everyone's individual tastes (we had baked potato, sandwich and paninis) and we all had quick easy lunch topped with friendly service. Salt Cellar was not too busy but it's January, I would think it gets busier in the summer months due to its location on top of Gold Hill!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Stapleton Arms

When we moved no fridge (beer fridge does not count!) or cooker moved with us and while we waited for deliveries of new ones we googled pubs to dine in. The Stapleton Arms was the first pub we tried after our relocation to Dorset. We hadn't booked a table (note for future to do so) but the staff was very accommodating and found us a table in a very busy pub. Food was good and kids were catered for. I think the Stapleton Arms has come closest to one of our old favourite pubs in Devon and although we haven't made it back to the Stapleton Arms since the summer it's on the list to revisit!

(There is an added bonus of community playground very close by where we stopped at after having our lunch.)


We have returned to Stapleton Arms and they are provided consistently fabulous service and excellent food. It is definitely one of our Dorset favourites!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

At the Chapel

We visited At the Chapel a little while ago - it was that Sunday when it unexpectedly snowed. I had booked a table after reading reviews and seeing an article in a magazine (I cannot remember which one!) and At the Chapel was what the reviews said about it. The setting is lovely in an old church, we were a little bit early and were given drinks and colouring things for the children to keep them entertained until our table was ready.

Food was lovely, my old notes do not list what we all had. They had kids menu and service was very friendly. I would like to see what this place is like in the evening (without the children) but as it's a little distance away in Bruton (Somerset) it may remain just a lunching place for us.

The Udder Farm Shop

The Udder Farm Shop was one of the first places we visited after we had moved to Dorset. A new friend introduced it to us and we have been back lots!

This is just the best place to have a coffee & cake with children in tow. The outdoor area is fabulous, we always got wellies in the car boot just in case! Cakes have been yummy each time we have visited and service is friendly. We actually haven't had lunch / dinner here yet but I'm sure we will!

The shop next to the cafe has lots of good food to buy and I think we haven't left the Udder Farm Shop without some shopping as well. This place has already become one of our new favourites and with views like this how could it not be everyone's favourite?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Shed

We tried out a new restaurant in Gillingham on Saturday night. I hadn't thought about starting a blog then but from now on I will try to remember to take few pictures as well! Me & my husband had child free dinner at The Shed. I had chicken risotto and my husband had mixed grill and both very plentiful and tasty. We decided to skip starters (I often do this as I check the dessert menu first!), service was very friendly and unrushed. I definitely want to go there again, probably child free when we get another chance! Husband pointed out that it feels like an evening sort of place as there are no windows!

it's the first posting...

I had mentioned to a few new Dorset friends I had started to write down places we have eaten at and what we had thought about them. Discussions followed and I had few suggestions to share our "findings" so here we go: I have created a new blog! I will transfer my word-document notes of places we have already visited on to this blog and I will keep adding on as we visit new places. I would like to read your comments about the places we have visited and even more we would like you to recommend us new venues for good food with a friendly service so please leave your comments below!