six amazing places to have breakfast in Dorset
Down here in Dorset, life always begins at breakfast. So here are some of our favourite local places to indulge in the most important meal of the day, from boutique breakfasts to breakfasts by the beach – and, inevitably, breakfast in bed…
1. for breakfast with a sea view – taste* cafe at Chesil Beach
Situated on the Isle of Portland, a towering block of limestone at the heart of the Jurassic Coast, taste* Cafe (pictured above and top) offers a suitably tasty breakfast, with a stunning sea view to boot.
This contemporary award-winning cafe features a range of locally sourced breakfast options, from West Country sausages to Dorset black pudding, as well as their delicious breakfast smoothie with oats, honey and bananas.
The most southerly point in Dorset, Portland is joined to the mainland by the vast shingle bank of Chesil Beach and overlooked by the famous red-and-white Portland Bill lighthouse.
The Visitor Centre, to which the cafe is affiliated, has viewing windows facing onto the Fleet Lagoon, a haven for birds and wildlife. It also offers a fascinating history of Portland, whose stone has been used to build many a famous landmark across Britain including St Paul’s Cathedral.
2. for a retro brekkie – Steam Vintage Tea Rooms, Bournemouth
Fancy travelling back in time? Steam offers a vintage tea room breakfast experience with quirky twist. You can listen to tunes from Glenn Miller and Doris Day as you tuck into venison sausages on bloomer bread, or perhaps belly pork with gourmet baked beans.
Should there be a very youthful element to your party, there’s a ‘Big Teds’ breakfast to keep the little ones occupied – and there are even free doggie snacks for four-legged visitors.
3. for the hardy breakfaster – Yalbury Cottage, Lower Bockhampton
Image © Peter Trimming
Nestled in the small village of Lower Bockhampton, not far from Dorchester, and surrounded by beautiful greenery and woodland, the cosy thatched chocolate-box-style Yalbury Cottage is around 350 years old and during its history belonged to the local shepherd and keeper of the water meadows.
Now an award-winning hotel and restaurant, Yalbury Cottage offers a freshly cooked, locally sourced ‘Full YC Dorset Breakfast’ – which includes West Country white pudding and Dorset Down mushrooms.
Thomas Hardy portrait (1923) by Reginald Grenville Eves [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Bockhampton itself was the birthplace of Thomas Hardy and the inspiration for the village of Mellstock in his novel Under the Greenwood Tree. So when you’ve finished tucking in to your Full YC, you can pop across the road to see Hardy’s old school, and perhaps pay a visit to Stinsford church where his heart is buried.
4. for breakfast in bed with a difference – HIX Townhouse, Lyme Regis
HIX Townhouse is the first hotel venture for celebrated chef (and Dorset native) Mark Hix, who made his name with a series of top restaurants in London.
This boutique hotel offers eight eclectic bedrooms, each based on a different theme, from the Sailing Room with its sea-blue walls and private terrace, to the opulent Mad Hatters Room complete with a display of hats.
Guests get a 10% discount at the HIX Oyster and Fish House – a short walk away – and can receive delivery of a special breakfast hamper every morning, containing a surprise selection of local produce, fresh fruit and cereals.
5. for the tea-addict – The Courtyard Tea Rooms, Poole
Set in a lovely 16th century building in Poole, The Courtyard offers a great choice of breakfast options, which you can wash down with a cup of tea from their impressive range of 24 teas, tisanes and infusions from around the globe (including the intriguing ‘Dragon’s Kiss’). And you can even buy some to take home.
For those sunnier Dorset days, you can enjoy your breakfast in the secluded courtyard garden – but if the weather is being a bit more British you can cosy up in the candlelit snug.
6. for the world’s best breakfast picnic – Durdle Door, Lulworth
And finally, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, why not bring your own breakfast to the beach?
There’s nothing better than eating breakfast al fresco on a fine Dorset morning. We recommend packing up a hamper with a decent supply of fruit and cereals, a flask of coffee and perhaps a pastry or two (for the journey back) – and heading down to Lulworth Cove to start your day with a picnic overlooking the spectacular Durdle Door limestone arch.
You might even get some nice photos (though probably not as nice as these).
So those are six of our favourite places to begin the day in Dorset – but if we’ve missed yours, let us know!