Looking for the perfect place to enjoy a spot of al-fresco dining in Dorset? Check out our 10 places to lunch, fine dine, sip cocktails or simply enjoy a delicious cream tea sat amongst Dorset’s finest scenery.

Watch House Café, West Bay

This easy-going beachside café in the heart of West Bay offers extensive outdoor seating with stunning views along the coastline, including the imposing golden cliffs well known as the backdrop to the Broadchurch TV series. 

Pizza on a wooden board at Watch House Cafe, Dorset

Watch House favourites include freshly cooked seafood, wood fired pizza and Italian classics.

Symondsbury Kitchen, Nr Bridport

Relax with a drink or meal on the sunny terrace and admire the rural views that surround you and soak up the ambience. Using both home grown and local seasonal ingredients, Symondsbury Kitchen is the ideal location to enjoy the warm sunshine amidst peace and tranquillity.

Outside seating at Symondsbury Kitchen near Bridport, Dorset

Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock

This is a fantastic place to start or end a walk along the cliff tops of the stunning Jurassic coast.  Relax on the wide, comfortable terrace and enjoy a light lunch or evening cocktails. The terrace offers unparalleled views of Lyme Bay. 

Just imagine yourself finishing off a beautiful day with a drink in hand watching the sun go down….life doesn’t get better than this!

Outside the Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock, Dorset

The Priory Hotel, Wareham

Nothing can be more decadent than enjoying afternoon tea on the terrace of a luxury historic hotel overlooking the River Frome. You can even upgrade to a 'Priory Ritzy Tea' including a glass of English Sparkling Wine. 

Enjoy the summer sunshine and watch the passing boats, kayaks and canoes travelling along the river to and from Wareham Quay.

The Priory Hotel gardens in Wareham Dorset
The Hive Beach Café, Burton Bradstock

Hive Beach café is well renowned and located right on the beach at Burton Bradstock. 

Serving up fresh, locally caught fish and seafood with stunning sea views across Lyme Bay and Chesil Beach, this is the perfect location to enjoy a delicious lunch, homemade cakes with a cup of tea or a delicious local breakfast.

Outside the Hive Beach Cafe at Burton Bradstock in Dorset, with the beach in the background

Key West Bar and Grill, Bournemouth

Located right at the end of Bournemouth Pier, Key West Bar and Grill provides unrivalled panoramic views across the bays.  The large terrace allows you to sit back and relax with friends or family and is the perfect location to watch the sun set with a cocktail in hand!

Outside Key West Bar & Grill in Bournemouth, Dorset

The Greyhound Inn, Corfe Castle

You’ll be in awe at the amazing location of this wonderful contemporary pub.  The garden is overlooked by the majestic ruins of Corfe Castle and you’ll occasionally hear the ‘toot toot’ of the Swanage Railway trains as they travel down to the seaside - this really is a great location to enjoy a delicious meal.

Outside tables at The Greyhound Inn with Corfe Castle in the background, Dorset

The PIG on the Beach, Studland

THE PIG-on the Beach is a mellow, country house hotel, perfectly situated along Studland Bay. 

In the summer, you can choose to drop in and dine outside from the Wood Oven menu, soaking up the views of Old Harry Rocks.  Tuck into your flatbread with chilled local ciders and beers, English fizz or a glass of rosé for the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

You can also follow the path down to the beach and dip your toes in the fresh waters of Studland Bay. 

Dining outside at the PIG on the Beach Hotel

The Oyster and Fish House, Lyme Regis

Mark Hix’s latest solo venture serves up the best of local produce, sustainable fish and seafood caught off the Dorset coast, often from Lyme Bay itself.

The menus at the Fish House are built around the long-established, personal relationships that Mark has with his suppliers and use only responsibly produced, carefully sourced and simply served British seasonal ingredients. Mark even cures and smokes the salmon himself at his Charmouth home.

Exterior of the Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis

The Cake House Tea Room, East Creech

All cakes are baked daily in-house made using fresh, locally sourced & free range ingredients. This year, they have added some new vegan sweet treats to the menu. You can also enjoy freshly ground roasted luxury artisan coffee or choose from an assortment of Dorset teas and hot chocolate.

But it’s not all about cake. Stop by for lunch or a Dorset cream tea and don’t forget to look out for the cute farm animals in the nearby fields.

The Cake House Tearoom at East Creech in Dorset

Need a few more ideas?

You can see a large variety of places to eat outside in our Food & Drink guide.

Whether you choose views of Swanage Bay from Coast Restaurant, afternoon tea in the gorgeous gardens at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel or a beautiful courtyard garden at Mortons Manor, we know you'll enjoy the fabulous food on offer.