Summer Lodge Country House Hotel
Food & Drink Breaks in Dorset
If you’re fond of a grub-gathering getaway, then Dorset will not disappoint!
Whether you are after a full-on weekend of sensational gastronomic experiences or you’re hungry for rustic farm-to-table fare, a gourmet break to Dorset will suit you down to the ground.
Just don’t forget to pack your stretchy pants!
Tradition runs deep
There are a few foods that have been produced in the county for centuries and are synonymous to Dorset.
The Dorset Knob Biscuit (yes, really) has been made by Moore’s Biscuits since 1880 and is a hard, dry, savoury biscuit perfect for dunking in tea or eating with cheese. The Dorset Knob’s popularity is such that there’s even a festival dedicated solely to celebrating the humble biscuit!
You can’t leave Dorset without trying our famous creamy, crumbly cheese - Blue Vinny! Made to a 150 year old traditional recipe, you won’t find this cheese in supermarkets – Blue Vinny is now only produced by one local farm (so you’ll have to stock up on plenty while you’re here!).
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ve certainly come to the right place! Our famous Dorset Apple Cake can be found in bakers, delicatessens and tea shops around the county. There’s nothing better than relishing a slice of this delicious cake with a large dollop of clotted cream in a sunny tea garden – it’s a quintessential Dorset experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Top Dorset producers
Dorset’s food scene is fast hitting new heights and there’s a plethora of new local food and drink heroes that are contributing to its growing success.
On your short break to Dorset, you’ll need to make time to try the gin being distilled in Christchurch (Pothecary) and Southbourne (Conker) and the vodka made from cows milk in Beaminster (Black Cow).
You’ll also definitely want to schedule in a visit to Baboo Gelato in West Bay and the vineyards at Furleigh Estate and Langham Winery – producers of some of the finest ice cream and English wine in the country (if we do say so ourselves).
Restaurants to revel in
So, you’ve tasted our finest wares and stocked up on local goodies to take back, but where are you going to eat whilst you’re here?
You’ll need a list as long as your arm to write down all the culinary awards that have been betrothed upon Summer Lodge. Steve Titman has been at the culinary helm of this luxury country house hotel at for over a decade and his Dorset inspired menus showcase the taste of the ‘star’ local produce – well worth a visit.
Celebrity chef Mark Hix owns HIX Oyster & Fish House in his home town of Lyme Regis and is known for his original take on British gastronomy. A seafood supper here overlooking Lyme Bay at sunset is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
The Pig On The Beach at Studland has a 25 mile menu - whatever is not sourced from their own kitchen garden is purchased from local producers, meaning the menu is constantly changing and you get the freshest and most seasonal produce possible.
From artisan producers to world class brands and from heritage breed farmers to leading food innovators, you’ll find them all at Dorset’s many food festivals throughout the year.
Join a flaming fiesta in July at the beautiful surroundings of National Trust’s Kingston Lacy and spice things up with all things chilli, from pepper plants to cayenne condiments, plus cooking demonstrations, artisan food producers, spicy street food, local ice creams to cool the mouth and local beers to slake the thirst. It’s the hottest day out in Dorset!
The Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth brings together champagne and seafood, family entertainment and a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the superb seafood available to us just off our wonderful shores. Enjoy British sparkling wine with fresh oysters, taste different seafood dishes on offer from almost 100 stalls, watch live cooking demonstrations from the region’s best loved chefs and if you’re a budding seafood chef yourself, discover how to buy, prepare and cook underutilised species of seafood whilst fishermen mend their nets and share their salty secrets in the Seafish Marquee.
All this and much, much more.
Dorset’s lush pastures and miles of coastline mean the quality of its locally produce is difficult...
Book an experience day and find out the history behind local producers and their techniques.
Dorset hosts a range of gourmet celebrations from seafood festivals to large scale events.
6 Walking and cycling routes connecting with farm shops, vineyards, breweries, cider farms and lots...