The Mariners Hotel
The friendly staff greet you with a warm welcome, leading you to the sumptuous garden room or the sophisticated bar for pre-dinner drinks. Choose from the extensive wine list or try a Mariners cocktail - the 'Pig Robinson' makes for an interesting choice, named after the book by Beatrix Potter, who would frequent the hotel in 1904 and sit under the tulip tree to draw and write. Add to all this history and stunning surroundings some delicious food from award-winning chef Richard Reddaway (chef profile page 46), and its no wonder The Mariners shines like a star on the south coast.
At lunchtimes you can enjoy a less formal bar menu, while evenings sport a more refined selection that changes according to seasonality. Exceptional meat, vegetarian and fish dishes, presented with concise care using a palette of rainbow colours, are designed to amaze. Dorset goat's cheese with a rich hazelnut crumb, accompanied by an onion and pineapple chutney, is a delectable starter, only to be surpassed by a main of wild sea bass on a bed of spinach with saffron potatoes and a nutmeg, chilli and lime oil. Almost too good-looking to eat is an artistic summer trio of pavlova with a summer berry compote, fresh mango parfait and fruity Pimms jelly. Coffee is available in the garden room with stunning views towards Lyme Bay (complimentary binoculars provided).
If you wish to stay at the hotel (and it's highly recommended), there are 14 relaxing en-suite rooms to choose from, some with sea views.