Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Notes from a weekend in Dorset

Old buildings, old books, rolling hills, reclaimed breathing spaces, inviting seawater, fun fine dining, recycled jars, Dorset apple cake, Bridport, Colmers hill, Symondsbury Estate, Millennium Green, the Lucombe Oak, Lyme Regis, Durdle Door, Chesil Beach, River Cottage and the Station Kitchen.

Best bits from a weekend in Dorset. From the high street in Bridport is a view of a steep little hill with a few distinctive trees on the top. 

Just behind the high street we followed the trail to Millennium Green. As dusk fell, warm evening sunlight highlighted a gate in a break through the trees. Beyond the woodland track we emerged at the bottom of Coneygar Hill where a grand old Lucombe oak still stands after three hundred years.

A trip an hour further west took us to Axminster and by mistake, River Cottage. We were meant to be going to the Canteen and I didn't realise they were in different places. I was glad to peek around the corner at the much watched River Cottage, as idyllic in real life as it looks on tv.

In Lyme Regis we found an old mill with shops of craftspeople and we bought a glazed bowl direct from the potter, Harry Anderson, who threw the bowl at The Town Mill Pottery. As we wound up and down the hill we found another great shop called Ryder and Hope on Broad Street where a local florist was selling these beautiful colourful bouquets.

Back in Bridport we discovered how to reach the picturesque hill and headed to Symondsbury Estate, which was a little haven of calm and neatly self-contained, with self-catering accommodation, a cafe, shop, cycle hire and very large home and garden store in tithe barn. The path up to Colmers Hill wound around to the right and as we followed the route, we spotted a cottage that wouldn't look out of place on the pages of a fairy tale. We made it to the top and amidst the Caledonian Pines, we had a moment of blissful peace admiring the view.

For fine dining we were lucky to get a late booking at a truly unique restaurant. We had the most friendly service and the fish of the day, sea bream was delicious. My Welsh One went for lobster and steak and loved it all. The interior was a fun mix of railway station waiting room and kitsch. The Station Kitchen is worth seeking out and definitely booking in advance, ask for a table in the train!

Driving along the B road, hugging the coast, the spectacular Chesil Beach stretched off into the distance.

After what seemed like a long trek, we reached Durdle Door. The car park was vast and took me by surprise. After a weekend with relatively few people wherever we went, Durdle Door was a stark contrast. The car park is about £4, so have some coins ready, go early and wear your cossie! The path down to the beach was too long and steep for us to go back and get our swimming costumes, but what a shame, the water was so clear, warm and inviting. 

Back in Bridport we parked for the last time in the long stay car park and headed down King Street, with its family of chickens that happily wander about in and out of neighbour's gardens. 

MBB Address Book:


The Station Kitchen, West Bay


Symondsbury Estate, DT6 6HG,


Ryder & Hope, Lyme Regis, DT7 3QE

Old Albion, Bridport, DT6 3RR


Millennium Green,

Colmers Hill, DT6 6HG,

Durdle Door, BH20 5PU

Chesil Beach, DT4 9XE

Sarah xx

Sarah Agnew
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