Why Dorset’s varied cuisine draws huge numbers of visitors in 2016.

Did you know that 1 in 10 of us chose our holiday destination based on the local cuisine? It’s true that Dorset is known for its delicious cream teas, freshly caught local fish and seafood and deliciously smooth Blue Viney Cheese. However in the food narrative there is so much more to be said.

Cheese Festival Stur Newton

Food & Drink

As a holiday maker you have probably been looking forward to relaxing in front of a large roaring fire in the local pub with a platter of beer battered fish or sitting in the comfort and harmony of your carefully chosen holiday retreat with your favourite glass of wine but how about being a bit more adventurous?

Now you may be a little concerned about the slightly unusual sounding delicacies on offer. I mean who really feels the need to participate in the world nettle eating championship (if you do please visit Dorset AONB) or competing in the hottest chili eating competition whilst on holiday? What is Knob throwing all about anyway? Yes and there is a beer called Piddle! Go figure! There is, however a whole area of the delicious unknown waiting out there for you.

Food tourism is a fast growing industry and we are all literally hungry for new tastes and experiences. We in Dorset have a wealth of local food and drink suppliers waiting to meet you. Our friends at Dorset Area of Natural Beauty have put together a food guide and a calendar of events taking us on a culinary journey through the Dorset year from March to December covering the whole of the region.

If an adventure is what you are after then why not join one of the groups going on a foraging and wild food course with Fore Adventure based on the Studland National Nature Reserve. The next foraging event is on December 3rd 2016, Foraging and Feasting with Guest Chefs. The evening will involve a foraging walk & some demos to show you on the spot how your super supper and all the trimmings & wild cocktails are created and to talk through some of the foraged ingredients. Take a look at their foraging film. Other dates for foraging are:

Spring Feast- May 6th
Summer – July 8th
Autumn – September 9th
Winter – December 2nd

Fore Adventure also provides bushcraft, beach school, wild food, wild camping, coasteering, kayaking, and snorkeling for the junior adventurer.

For those of you who are keen to take in the view from a bicycle then our friends from Dorset Area of Natural Beauty have another offering with West Dorset Pedal, a collection of beautiful routes with local eateries where you can stop for food and inspiration! Sign up for their newsletter as they will soon provide this information for the whole of Dorset.

If you would rather less of the adventure and more of the food then why not visit The Salt Pig in Wareham. The Salt Pig has a café and restaurant on the high street but also brands itself as an urban farm shop. They supply produce from all around the Purbeck area and are proud to say that they can say exactly which farm and where every animal has been reared. They are open seven days a week and provide breakfast as well as other local specialties such as Dorset rustic pate and real ale chutney, warm Dorset apple cake with custard. The Salt Pig can provide outside catering such as BBQ’s and hog roasts.

If after a ramble along the Priest Way or along the Jurassic coast path you fancy a lovely cuppa and a generous slice of cake, then there are plenty of lovely stop offs to satisfy this need. Should you find yourself in the village of Worth Matravers then why not visit the Worth Matravers Tea & supper Rooms. Winner of the Dorset Food & Drink best Tearoom of the year 2016. They describe themselves as a quirky restaurant and a gem of a tearoom with an eclectic collection of vintage china. That is code for nothing matches but it is totally charming. This is a perfect spot to sit and feel your long awaited holiday truly hit you.

If you find yourself down in Swanage then the slightly more urban alternative is Love Cake and you will! Love Cake is Cafe-Deli-Cake Emporium in the centre of Swanage. Providing a warm and friendly environment in the centre of town, so you can watch the world go by. Bakers of the most devilishly delicious cakes, brownies and puddings. You may spot Doris at any one of our festivals. Doris is Love Cake’s vintage ice cream van who visits all of the festivals selling freshly produced cakes and scones. Doris can also be hired for private parties selling jam jar cocktails, ice cream, vintage teas and street food.

dorset-food-2-1“But what is there for us poor wheat intolerant campers?” I hear you say, well there is plenty. Honeybuns Bakery in Dorchester can offer you a choice of gorgeous gluten free cakes as well as lots of tips and tricks on how to produce lovely gluten free meals. You can find Honeybuns at Sturminster Newton Food Festival in September which is a great foodie day out. Why not sign up for Honeybuns newsletter? I hear you can win some lovely gifts in their Tinker Tuesday competition. Something else for all you ale lovers? Yes Piddle have just launched a gluten free ale! (Piddle Brewery) Their Cocky Hoppy Beer is the newest addition to their already impressive 19 other beers. I’m told by Jon Lavers of Piddle Brewery that they can match one of their beers to any meal. My favourite is April Showers fruity Blonde beer but you’d probably have to try them all to find your favourite.

If after all that you do still prefer to stick to just what you like, (and why shouldn’t you it’s your holiday after all,) then why don’t you visit some of our traditional providers who have been bringing us the best of what our beautiful countryside has to offer for decades. Why not visit Clavells Café and Restaurant in the charming Purbeck village of Kimmeridge. The Lamb, Pork and Beef all come direct from their farm. The venison comes from the Dorset game larder Blandford and most of the fish comes straight up from Kimmeridge bay curtesy of local fisherman Nick Ford. Kimmeridge also boasts the newly opened Etches Collection which is home to an amazing collection of fossils found in the Kimmeridge bay clays. Steve Etches, a plumber by profession, was a prolific fossils hunter in his spare time amassing over 2,000 specimens over a 30 year period and earning him an MBE.

If you want to visit Dorset during 2017 and sample the delicious prepared delicacies or forage for yourself visit our website www.dhcottages.co.uk