Food and Drink

Dorset is justifiably famous for the quality of its produce, from lazy afternoon teas with plenty of clotted cream to gourmet chefs performing at high-end restaurants.

So there’s a rich tradition of eating and drinking well in Dorset. After al fresco eating with sweeping views, stock up on picnic supplies at farm shops. Come lunchtime, head for country pubs and Ploughman’s Lunch served with crumbly Blue Vinney cheese.
Feeling peckish in the afternoon? Find a village tearoom and indulge in Dorset Apple Cake with a dollop of clotted cream on top. For evening, there are plenty of seafood restaurants serving the freshest of mussels and piles of prawns, and buzzing rural hostelries serving hearty local dishes – and for those special occasions, you’ll find plenty of award-winning restaurants serving fine vintage wines.

Dorset’s Gourmet Heritage:

  • One of the UK’s earliest farmers’ markets was held in Saxon Bridport.
  • Food festivals take over Christchurch and Shaftesbury in May, Bridport in June and Wimborne Minster in September and October. Celebrity chefs Lesley Waters, Mark Hix and Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall have all appeared in Dorset food festivals over the years.
  • Local specialities include seafood and farmed oysters, Portland Dough cakes, Dorset Knob biscuits, handmade chocolates and tingling Dorset Naga chillies.
  • Specialist ciders, scrumpies and perries are produced all over Dorset. Sample Little Thatch, Wolfeton, Gyspy’s Kiss and Cider by Rosie.
  • Dorset-brewed ales such as Tanglefoot and Palmers Dorset Gold can be tasted all over the region.
  • Purbeck Vineyard has been bottling red and white wines since 2000.