Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Dorset
Hardens guides have spent 15 years compiling reviews of the best Dorset restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 119 restaurants in Dorset and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Dorset restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Dorset Restaurants
. Guildhall Tavern
Fish & seafood restaurant in Poole
15 Market Street - BH15
“Very good fresh fish and seafood” – “landed in the harbour 50 feet away” – is the USP at this French family-run operation, where staff “keep the entente as cordiale as possible”. It’s been “a favourite for more than 10 years”, and “early booking is recommended”.
. Shell Bay
Fish & seafood restaurant in Studland
Ferry Road - BH19
A “stunning location – especially as the sun sets over Poole Harbour” (“you could be in the South of France”) – is the main asset of this “casual” operation (shack-like without, rustic within), but it’s no one-trick pony: the seafood is also “superb”.
Pan-Asian restaurant in Bridport
6 Chancery Lane - DT6
Mix ‘DOR’set with su‘SHI’, and you end up with this well-known, hipster-ish destination down a narrow alley, where “local ingredients are given an Asian twist” – “always a great meal” with “delightful” service.
. Summer Lodge, Summer Lodge Country House
British, Modern restaurant in Evershot
Under the Relais & Châteaux banner, and partly designed by Thomas Hardy no less (an architect before he was an author), this “gem” of a country hotel is “a little out of the way but well worth the effort”. When it comes to its “comfortable fine dining” offer, “no doubt the price reflects the amazing surroundings” but, given that “everything is beautifully done”, only the odd reporter raises any complaint.
. Yalbury Cottage
French restaurant in Lower Bockhampton
“A real treat for foodies” – this thatched cottage in Thomas Hardy’s home village of Bockhampton serves “the best food in the area”. “You’ll pay London prices, but it’s great value for cooking of this standard”.
. Rick Stein
Fish & seafood restaurant in Sandbanks
10-14 Banks Rd - BH13
A “stunning location” by Poole Harbour (“if you can bag a table by the window upstairs, the view over the bay is superb”) is an undisputed plus of this three-year-old outpost of the Stein empire. but the consensus over its other attractions became weaker this year. Most reporters feel that “the food is a match for the setting” and say “this is one of the better, non-Cornwall Ricks”. The size of the bill, though, is a sore point for a fair few dissenters who feel it’s becoming “overpriced, chainified and no longer of particularly good quality”.
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