20+ places to eat out(side)
With pubs and restaurants opening for outdoor eating and drinking from Mon 12 April, you'll want to book your table at Somerset & Dorset's coolest al fresco dining spots right now!
The Muddy pick of the pubs, restaurants and other eateries around Somerset and Dorset opening their doors for al fresco dining from Monday 12 April onwards. Out you go then!
The Cotley Inn, Wambrook, Blackdown Hills
Wrap yourself up in one of their wool blankets and cosy around a fire pit for wood-fired pizzas – pulled pork, goat’s cheese, margherita, chilli prawns and more – from their converted horse box The Picked Pony, on Fridays and Saturdays between 4.30pm and 8pm. As from Mon 12 April, the pub will be open Thursdays through to Sundays from 3pm for cocktails alongside the pizzas (and a Sunday feast) as well as draft beers, ciders and a small bar from a vintage camper van. Call 0146062348 to book.
The Big Outdoor Lunch at The Pig hotels in Somerset & Dorset
Alfresco lunch on the terrace at The Pig-near Bath and The Pig-on the beach in Studland? Yes please! At The Pig, the ethos is famously ‘everything from a 25-mile radius’, so at The Big Outdoor Lunch expect spring harvest Kitchen Garden veggies and salads, meats from local farmers and fresh fish from nearby ports, a classic pud and with wine to match – under canvas. From Mon 12 April to Sun 16 May. Tables are bookable between 12pm and 4.30pm, online or on 0345 225 9494.
The Litton, near Wells
New menu, including breaded lamb breast, orzo paella and a white chocolate blondie – as well as new tented areas in their pretty gardens and seating on the riverside terrace. Blankets and fire pits too. Nice. View the menu and book.
The Greyhound Inn, Corfe Castle
Alfresco nosh – their new spring menu – in the pub’s terrace, gardens with outdoor bar and the iconic Corfe Castle as a backdrop. Book via Eat@greyhoundcorfe.co.uk
The Red Lion, Babcary
The kitchen will be working from their outside pizza area, serving a delicious new menu, a few old faves plus a brand new cocktail menu. Enjoy outside in their gardens or inside in their rather lovely marquee. Book on 01458 223230.
The Anchor Inn, Seatown
Enjoy breakfast, full a la carte (with super seafood) or just a drink on the covered terrace and cliff garden overlooking the beach. It’s first-come, first-served and they’ll always try and find you a place. Every day from around 10am until dusk, from Mon 12 April.
Hare & Hounds, Bath
Food with a view. Book to dine on the top terrace or first come-first served for drinks only or pizza on the bottom terrace – they’ll both be covered but with no sides or heating, so wrap up. Book online, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01225 482682.
The Jetty Restaurant, Mudeford
Good neighbours are so important, right? The Jetty Restaurant think so, as they’ve just teamed up with the Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa next door to serve up the superlative fish and seafood dishes for which The Jetty is renowned, on the hotel’s Upper Deck covered, heated terrace. Wednesday to Sundays from Weds 14 April to Sun 16 May. Book online.
Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George
Re-opening on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for all-day outdoor dining – pub classics including fish and chips, burgers and Sunday roasts – in their stunning French-style garden and purpose-built marquee. From Fri 16 April. Book online.
The New Inn, Cerne Abbas
Lots of space in the courtyard and walled gardens and an enticing spring menu from Mon 12 April. Don’t forget to take a peep at the ancient naked man sculpted into the chalk hillside above the village while you’re there. Call 01300 341274 to book.
Plate, The Bird, Bath
Plate, the restaurant at Bath’s chic hotel The Bird, promises cocktails, catch-ups and all kinds of shenanigans. We’ll take that. The Plate terrace is open from 12pm Wednesday to Sundays from Mon 12 April. Book online.
The Fontmell, Fontmell Magna, near Shaftesbury
The Michelin-listed pub, lying between the Cranborne Chase and the Blackmore Vale (gorgeous location), will be serving a reduced menu in the beer garden with a marquee Wednesdays through Sundays, from Wed 14 April. Book online.
The Swan, Wedmore
The Swan’s turning Inside Out, for five weekends of outdoor dining: farm-to-plate, local food, sheepskin rugs, heaters and romantic lighting on its large, covered terrace. Open Friday to Sundays from Fri 16 April to Sun 16 May. Book online.
The Bear of Burton, Burton, near Christchurch
Named after famous Burton resident Robert Southey, author of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the pub had only been open a month before lockdown one struck (grrrrrr!). From Mon 12 April, their south-facing, sun trap terrace and menu of pub classics for outdoor dining awaits. Book online.
Homewood, near Bath
These guys will be ready and waiting on Mon 12 April, with generous sharing platters, West Country and Mediterranean combo classics and cocktails. Book online.
The King’s Arms, Charlton Horethorne, Somerset/Dorset borders
Re-opening Tues 15 April with a brand new private dining terrace (still under wraps) with amazing views of the Cleeve – and menu of trad and contemporary British grub with global influences. Open from Thursday through to Sunday until Mon 17 May, then seven days a week. Booking essential, call 01963 220281.
Candlelight Inn, near Chard
Eat cut-above food, drink (maybe some of their very own Beau gin) and be merry in their lovely marquee and gorgeous beer garden with fire pit (bring your own blanket). Open Thursdays to Sundays, from Thurs 15 April. Call to book 01460 234476.
The Castle Inn, West Lulworth
Outdoor dining in the large paved courtyard and idyllic terraced garden at this pub in the tranquil village of West Lulworth on the Isle of Purbeck. The views over the village are wonderful and Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic coast is minutes away. From Weds 14 April. Book online.
Tarr Farm Inn, nr Dulverton, Exmoor
One of Somerset’s most picturesque locations, alongside the medieval Tarr Steps over the river Barle in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, the Tarr Farm Inn will be serving great food outside every day, 12pm to 5pm from Mon 12 April. A new Trailer Bar will be down by the river with hot drinks, sarnies and soups to take away.
Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock
Fab, non-tricksy food – fresh seafood, local meat and veg – on a Dorset cliff top overlooking Lyme Bay. On a sunny day, it feels like you’re on your hols. Open for lunch from Thurs 15 April. Call 01308 897 205 or book online.
The Devonshire Arms, Long Sutton, near Langport
Take a seat in the gardens of this former hunting lodge-turned gastropub on the edge of the village green, for pub classics and Sunday roasts. Read our review. Open at weekends only from Fri 16 April until Mon 17 May, when normal hours will resume.