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Jan 16, 2010 09:01 AM

Good Eating - Dorset/South Somerset/West Wiltshire

Hi all,

I need somewhere good to eat for a lunchtime meeting with my family, basically needs to try and be joint distance from central Hampshire and Western Devon. Current thoughts are Bridport area, or somewhere just off 303, any top tips much appreciated


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  1. There is Mat Folas' place "The Wild Garlic" in Beaminster. I was underwhelmed but other reports have been good (see Matthew Norman's review in the Guardian). Best to check to see how limited the lunch menu is before you go, I wasn't inspired by the options on offer.

    In Bruton in Somerset there is "The Chapel" very well though of locally, and just got a Michelin bib. If you want sea views there is Mark Hix's fish place in Lyme Regis which I enjoyed, simple but good, on a hillside overlooking The Cobb at Lyme.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PhilD


      thanks for the suggestions, very much enjoy your writings on the site. Wild Garlic was a thought, can only find dinner menu on their site which looks a bit pricey for my folks if lunch follows suit. Am tempted to revisit Bruton as had very pleasant lunch there in the past. Hix could be a goer as on the FT lunch offer, but possibly a bit far from us for a day jaunt, the view is defintely worth a revisit at some point though

      1. re: stanleyk

        Stan - happy to oblige. IIRC correctly the lunch was quite inexpensive; my criticism was it was probably too simple as a result. For example he has Water Buffalo steaks on the dinner menu but only does a far cheaper Water Buffalo burger for lunch. Give him a call, he is a really really nice guy, his TV image was quite genuine, and he will come out and chat during service.

    2. Don't know if you've searched the board, but here's an old thread with good recommendations:

      1. There is a lovely pub called The Flintlock Inn at Marsh just before Honiton and just off the 303. Whenever in the area, and I mean Bruton and Wincanton which was a 30 minute drive away, we would go there for their Sunday lunches which are just fantastic. It was all local meat and fish, beautifully cooked vegetables, with traditional recipes, like roast potatoes, and cauliflower cheese but the standard of cooking was superb and the portions very generous. I still dream about a homemade vanilla ice-cream with rasberry meringue they had on the desert menu. We never had breakfast before we went. 3 courses are now just over £13 and you get a choice of starters, different starters and desserts. I know they have a different type of menu in the week but it would be worth calling them to see what they offer. tel 01460 234403. The owner is Portuguese and both he and his wife are extremely hospitable. There are some very good reviews of the Inn at I am sorry but I don't know how to insert the link.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cathodetube

          FWIW - It's easy to insert links. Just type out the link and they magically appear in blue.

          1. re: cathodetube

            That Inn sounds great - will have to check it out when I'm next down that way.

            Just a word of warning about Sugarvine - they have a policy of having no negative reviews, so even really rubbish places get rave reviews.

            1. re: Theresa

              Thanks for the warning about Sugarvine. What I wanted to do was insert the link that went straight to the review of the Inn, not just the Sugarvine one. I had never heard of that site before but it came up when I googled the Inn. I have a feeling that the Flintlock Inn doesn't need any publicity. It was always packed when we got there and we've always had to book to be sure of getting a table on Sundays. I spend a lot of time in the Somerset/Dorset area and now compare all the pub meals to the Flintlock's unfortunately. I also meant to say that as well as a choice of starters, they have a choice of roasts for the Sunday lunch. Think they also do a fish choice. They do run out of the most popular choices. Bizarre thing is that we found it completely by accident on the way to Honiton one Sunday and were desperate for lunch before 2 pm. Saw a sign while driving on the 303 and after the first meal there couldn't believe our luck in stumbling upon it. Had a very meagre Sunday lunch inLondon yesterday for £13.50 which consisted of a thick piece of roast beef, one yorkshire pudding, 2 roast potatoes, a few small parsnip pieces and some baby carrots. No gravy, no starter unless you count 2 pieces of bread as one, and no dessert. And this was at a very well respected and well reviewed restaurant in East Dulwich called Franklins. It wasn't bad, but quite indifferent and I thought the meat wasn't particularly succulent. No greens were served either. A large dollop of horseradish plopped on top of the yorkshire pudding, so I had to scrape it all off and put at the side of the plate. How could a restaurant offering Sunday lunch not have gravy if you are serving yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes? I asked for some gravy and got a teeny tiny ramekin of jus/juice - whatever you want to call it. Now I really feel like taking a trip down the 303 and enjoying a proper Sunday roast dinner.

              1. re: cathodetube

                You are right - a roast dinner without gravy is an abomination. I can't believe you had to ask for it - and then just to be given a tiny amount of jus. They've missed the point I think .,..