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Yalbury Cottage, Dorchester, Dorset
In the heart of Thomas Hardy country, this small restaurant with rooms punches above its weight, especially when it comes to the food. Owner/chef Jamie Jones uses the excellent produce available locally to create incredible French-inspired dishes. Jamie has worked in top hotels around the world, and it shows. His wife, Ariane, takes care of front of house. Jamie and Ariane have found a winning formula and after 14 years of trading have a loyal following of regular guests. With just eight rooms and a small restaurant it's an intimate, homely place where you can expect a genuinely warm welcome. Thomas Hardy fans will enjoy the location, a short distance from Hardy's birthplace and the church where he is buried.
Thomas Hardy fans will enjoy visiting the places that inspired the locations in his work. His birthplace is a mile away.
The town of Dorchester is only two miles away. Visit the Sculpture by the Lake, Hardy's Cottage and the Military Keep Museum.
By car: around 3 hours 30 minutes from London, 2 hours from Bristol and 4 hours from Birmingham. Free parking available.
By train: trains from London to Dorchester take 4 hours. The hotel is 10 minutes' drive. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It's a peaceful, unpretentious escape, ideal for foodies who will love the outstanding French-inspired cuisine. It has everything you'd want in a country cottage - thatch, low ceilings, beams, inglenook fireplaces and a flower-filled garden.
Service & Facilities
This is clearly a family home and it feels as if you're visiting friends rather than staying in a hotel. Dogs are allowed for a small additional charge.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Room Six has the advantage of being dual aspect with views of both the garden and fields. We loved the homemade treats left in your room to enjoy with a cup of tea.
Room, Family Room
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, bottled water, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The menu offers just enough choice to be interesting without being overwhelming. The presentation is beautiful. Try the duck breast with duck croquettes, carrot purée, Dorset honey and red wine sauce.
The Restaurant: relaxed dining room. British cuisine, locally-sourced ingredients. Dishes include gurnard fillet, rack of lamb and braised beef brisket. Open Tue-Sat, 1-3pm and 6-8:30pm. Open Sun, 12-2pm.