Five of the Best Pubs in West Dorset
In West Dorset, we are spoilt for choice for pubs and inns serving local ale and fine food, but here are five of our favourite picks for you to choose from!
The West Bay Hotel
Just a few steps from the golden beach and cliffs of West Bay (which featured so prominently in ITV’s “Broadchurch”), the West Bay Hotel is popular both with lunchtime visitors looking for freshly-cooked bar meals and well-kept local ales (ham, egg and chips anyone? – one of our favourite casual meals), or fine dining in the evening with wine and cocktails. As you’d expect from a seaside restaurant, fresh fish and shellfish feature prominently on the menu – whether traditional fish and chips or “surf and turf”, or seafood platters and catch of the day specials. Vegetarians are also rewarded with imaginative dishes using local produce, and the team are happy to adapt dishes to special dietary needs if asked.
Visitors comment on the generous portions – so why not reward yourself after an energetic hike up the East Cliff that towers over the pub? Food is served from noon-2pm and 6-9pm in winter, and noon-2.30pm and 6-9.30pm in summer, plus longer hours at weekend.
Call 01308 422157 for a table reservation – essential in high season.
The West Bay Hotel
Visitors to Chideock and its twin village of Seatown are fortunate to have not one but two excellent food pubs to choose from, each with its own special ambiance! The Anchor Inn at Seatown and The George Inn at Chideock.
The Anchor at Seatown
The Anchor has a spectacular location right on the Jurassic Coast, looking east towards the bright yellow sandstone cliffs of West Bay and Burton Bradstock, while behind it’s sheltered by Golden Cap, the highest sea cliff on this coast. Inland, the pretty thatched George is conveniently situated on the A35 between Charmouth/Lyme Regis and Bridport.
At the Anchor, expect a wide variety of fresh locally sourced provender; whether you are looking for a bar snack washed down by Palmers’ beer to help you on your way mid-hike, or a serious seafood dining experience complemented by something special chosen from the extensive wine list. Generous opening hours, with food served from noon till 9pm every day, give you plenty of scope for planning a meal out. Although there are plenty of outside tables on the lovely terrace, it is ‘first come, first served’ with no booking of tables. Their service is excellent (and they have lots of awards to prove it!) so don’t be put off by this.
The Anchor Inn at Seatown
The George Inn at Chideock
The George has an emphasis on local seasonal menus – from light snacks to hearty platefuls, and a warm welcome in the bar, with its winter log fires and outside seating on the summer terrace. Specialities include Sunday roasts, wood-fired pizza nights every Thursday, and music events. Food is served from noon till 2.30pm and 6pm till 9.30pm, and reservations on 01297 489419 are recommended – the pub is very popular with locals even in low season.
The George Inn at Chideock
The Anchor at Burton Bradstock
Another Anchor Inn in another lovely village – this time to the east of Bridport. A whitewashed exterior with pretty leaded windows and a riot of flower baskets in the summer conceals an old-fashioned bar and freshly-renovated restaurant areas.
In the bar, relax and enjoy pub favourites like steak or crab baguettes, home-made pies or grilled fish in an informal atmosphere, or just a glass of beer and a traditional pub game. For a more sophisticated meal, the ever-changing restaurant menu offers crab and lobster caught less than a mile way and hand-dived scallops from West Bay, locally-reared meat, and vegetarian specials, topped off by a delectable range of puds from the kitchen! If you have special requirements (for example, gluten free), just ask. Food is served from from noon-2pm and 6-9pm every day, and the bar is open all day at weekends – call 01308 897228 for a table.
The Anchor Inn, Burton Bradstock
The Pursuit of Hoppiness Bridport
The newest kid on the block in Bridport town centre, this elegant Georgian building on West Street now houses a small but perfectly formed bar, where you can try a range of speciality craft beers, spirits and ciders selected from microbreweries and local makers, and enjoy unhurried chat with friends in a relaxing atmosphere, so often missing from modern pubs. The friendly staff are on hand to recommend a drink to your taste – and with so many to choose from, you won’t be disappointed. A range of moreish nibbles is also on offer to accompany your chosen tipple, including charcuterie and cheeses.
Open Tuesday -Thursday from noon-11pm; Friday and Saturday from noon-midnight, and Sunday from 5-10pm. There is limited seating, so get there promptly on busy days if you want to sit down!
The Pursuit of Hoppiness in Bridport
Article by Lois Wakeman
Images from pubs own websites
Main image and Anchor Inn image by Simon Emmett Photography