Situated in the stunning countryside town of Beaminster in Dorset, the recently relaunched The Ollerod is an exceptional restaurant and hotel operating out of a charming 13th-century country house. Newly renovated and under new ownership since March 2018 (formally The Bridge House Hotel and Restaurant), this establishment deserves your attention. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to this picturesque part of the world, dining out here truly is an unforgettable experience.
Owned and run by the immensely talented Chris Staines, who held a Michelin star at his previous venture in London, and his experienced partner Silvana Bandi, you can rest assured that the food that leaves the kitchen is nothing short of first class, using only the finest local, home-grown fare. Whether you’re joining The Ollerod for lunch, dinner or drinks in their restaurant and bar, or you wish to stay in one of their 14 cosy rooms, this characterful establishment is guaranteed to impress.
Deriving its new name from the old Dorset dialect for cowslip, adorning its walls and tables with artwork from local Dorset-based artists, and using the best of the county’s seasonal produce in their dishes, The Ollerod is hugely passionate about respecting its roots and honouring the beautiful area of the country it calls home. When you step through the doors, you’ll be enchanted by unique and original architectural features like its medieval mullioned windows and flagstone floors. On a nice spring or summer evening, breathe in your beautiful countryside surroundings on the spacious garden terrace complete with heated lamps and woolen blankets when the weather gets a little cooler.
As wonderful and welcoming as this establishment is, it’s the food here that will truly impress. With an ever-changing menu to take full advantage of the best seasonal produce, each dish showcases the amazing diversity of the county. Passionate about international cuisine, Head Chef Chris’s innovative culinary creations will entice and surprise you, introducing subtle Asian flavours throughout his delicious dishes that will leave you wanting more and more. Alongside the à la carte, there’s also a small plates menu encouraging a lively and social dining experience. Sample and share a selection of scrumptious delights which may include the likes of soba noodle salad or Middle Eastern spiced lamb shoulder with hummus, yogurt and pomegranate.
The ever-changing menu is never lacking in choice. Expect to see the likes of starters such as flame-grilled mackerel, kimchi and smoked mackerel bone broth, or glazed sweetbreads with ricotta, white asparagus and smoked grelot onions, and mains like their 55-day-aged Middle White suckling pig with pea risotto, wild garlic, morels and roast lemon purée.
Open every day for breakfast (8am to 10am), lunch (12pm to 3pm), small plates and cakes (3pm to 6pm), and dinner (6pm to 9pm), if you’ve never visited this establishment before, due to its recent relaunch and renovation, now is the perfect time.