With just a few more weeks left of summer, now is your last chance to make the most of this year’s remaining days of potentially hot weather, and where better to do that than in Dorset!? Known for its jaw-droppingly stunning Jurassic Coast, beautiful sandy beaches, and charming seaside towns boasting tons of lively things to see and do, what would a summer holiday in Britain be without a visit to our spectacular south coast?
After a day spent in the sun making sandcastles or flying kites on Dorset’s miles of gorgeous and unspoilt countryside, you’ll no doubt be looking for a fantastic place to eat and drink. To celebrate the recent release of this year’s Dorset Food & Drink Guide, here at Fed Up & Drunk, we’ve rounded up our 5 favourite coastal dining destinations for you to check out below.
For an even more comprehensive collection of the best places to eat and drink in the county, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of our Dorset Food & Drink Guide here.
There’s no finer way to spend a glorious summer’s day than sat at the end of Bournemouth’s iconic pier, soaking up the spectacular scenery, sipping on a refreshing glass of lime and soda, and tucking into the scrumptious dishes on offer at Key West Bar & Grill.
Boasting plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and providing breathtakingly picturesque panoramic views of the coast, no British summer has truly been made the most of without a visit to this stunning seaside location.
Serving up an enticing and varied menu with something to suit everyone, when we visited this charming restaurant, we enjoyed the likes of incredibly juicy pan-fried tiger prawns, spicy chicken burger accompanied by delicious chips, and their cream tea sundae, generously topped with clotted cream and fresh strawberries.
Visit on a Saturday in August and enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails from 3pm as you listen to live music on the large sun terrace and watch the sun set behind the Channel in the distance, or why not book the best seats in town to enjoy Bournemouth Air Festival taking place on the 31st August and the 1st September this year?
For £75 per person, you’ll be treated like a VIP with package that includes £50 credit per person to spend on food and drink from the Key West menu, a glass of Prosecco on arrival, plus olives and breads for the table, a table on their large sun terrace which is reserved all day from 10am on Saturday 31st August, free pier toll entry and table service until 5pm.
Offering indescribably beautiful views of the Dorset coast and overlooking the nearby Chesil Beach, The Manor House’s coastal location makes the ideal getaway for families or couples wishing to explore all the seaside has on offer.
A beautiful and charming 16th-century building, The Manor House boasts a welcoming bar with a wood-burning fire and exposed brickwork, along with a gorgeous green garden area and outdoor terrace overlooking Lyme Bay which provides the perfect spot to soak up the sun and take in the stunning views on a lovely summer’s day. With the South West Coast Path right on the Manor’s doorstep and Lulworth Cove just a stone’s throw away, coastal dining destinations in Dorset don’t get much more idyllic than this one.
Known for its fantastic selection of locally supplied British fare, the menu adjusts daily but expect to find the likes of halloumi fries with chilli jam and seared scallops with chorizo, spring onion and sweet chilli cream to start, mains like chicken and sundried tomato ballotine and slow-roasted belly pork infused with soy and star anise, and an enticing selection of homemade desserts.
From The Manor House’s cellar bar you’ll also find Otter real ale from Devon and West Country cider, together with a number of local gin varieties.
The perfect year-round retreat, Jazz Café in Poole invites you to bask on the terrace in the summer and watch the surf, or when the weather is a little cooler, unwind in front of the roaring fire and cosy up in the bar and restaurant’s relaxed, informal, and friendly interiors.
Overlooking the golden sands of one of Dorset’s premier Blue Flag beaches, the bar and restaurant’s menu makes great use of the region’s finest produce, resulting in simply cooked but beautifully presented dishes you won’t be able to resist diving straight into.
Tuck into the likes of granola or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for brekkie, sirloin steak or one of their signature chicken or beef burgers for lunch, and for a showstopping main course, you can’t beat their famous sharing dish “The Bucket”, featuring a whole crab, 6 crevettes, 2 corn on the cobs, chunky chips, dips, and dressed leaves.
To complement your delicious feast, expect a wine list which boasts Old and New World wine at competitive prices, along with an excellent coffee selection and their celebrated Jazz Café special hot chocolate, which is particularly popular on cold winter days.
In July and August, summer evenings are also enlivened with live jazz every Friday night, while come September through to June, you can enjoy live jazz every Sunday afternoon, as well as at ticketed evenings on the last Friday of the month.
Situated at the head of Bournemouth Pier, the views from Aruba aren’t the only truly incredible thing at this one-of-a-kind bar and restaurant. Aruba’s mouthwatering menu is worth making the trip here for alone.
When we visited Aruba in Bournemouth, we started with a sharing board of duck spring rolls, barbecue chicken wings, calamari, chilli cheese fries, mozzarella sticks and rustic bread served with dips. We then ordered from their burger menu, which includes the likes of their Texican burger comprised of a 100% beef patty with cheddar cheese, sweet cure bacon, beef chilli, jalapenos and southwest sauce, their southern fried chicken burger featuring sweet cure bacon, cheddar cheese and garlic mayo, and their spicy black bean and peanut burger topped with fried plantain and southwest sauce.
To finish, we succumbed to the temptation of a brownie sundae sharer, adding a shot of Baileys for extra indulgence. A truly special destination with plenty to offer, after enjoying an unforgettable three-course feast, wander out to the terrace to watch the sunset over the harbour as you savour a selection of cocktails including the likes of their spiced-berry Mojito, Espresso Martini or Gin Smash.
With its unsurpassed ocean views, great-value food, and beach vibes, Aruba is the perfect place to bring the entire family. If you’re after something a little livelier, however, make sure you visit on Friday and Saturday nights when Aruba transforms into a late-night bar with a DJ.
Located just metres from Bournemouth’s sandy beaches and pier, West Beach is a beautiful and contemporary restaurant well known in the area for its chic open-planned kitchen and outside deck which offers unrivalled views of Poole Harbour and the Isle of Wight and is perfect for al fresco dining.
Led by talented head chef Matt Cook, the restaurant’s family-run team are masters at creating scrumptious dishes using the finest ingredients from local suppliers. Expertly combining authentic seaside flavours with modern delights, expect to find everything from fruits de mer to their signature West Beach fish and chips on the menu, along with a fantastic choice of breakfast options like their hearty West Beach classic breakfast.
When we visited the restaurant, we began with juicy pan-seared scallops and wild mushroom mille-feuille before moving onto fresh lobster and West Beach moules a la crème, which was served in white wine and shallots with crisp French fries. To finish, we couldn’t resist the indulgent chocolate fondant – the perfect chocolaty end to an incredible seaside meal.
Why not visit during one of their Live Music Nights and enjoy the best local talent while you soak up the restaurant’s spectacular views and savour a drink from the well-stocked bar, offering an impressive selection of draught lager and cider!?
Pick up your FREE copy of our Dorset Food & Drink Guide here.