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20+ places to eat out(side)

The Muddy pick of the pubs, restaurants and other eateries around Somerset and Dorset with cool outside spaces.

Where to dine al fresco around the two counties. 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. The pub is 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.

The Litton, near Wells

Kitchen Garden patio

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

dorset pub garden

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.

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 reservations@hareandhoundsbath.com 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. Book online.

Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George

outdoor dining

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. Book online.

The New Inn, Cerne Abbas

dorset pub garden

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

outdoor dining

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. 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. Book online.

The Swan, Wedmore

outdoor dining

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. Book online.

The Bear of Burton, Burton, near Christchurch

outdoor dining

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!). Their south-facing, sun trap terrace and menu of pub classics for outdoor dining awaits. Book online.

Homewood, near Bath

outdoor dining

These guys are ready and waiting, with generous sharing platters, West Country and Mediterranean combo classics and cocktails. Book online.

The King’s Arms, Charlton Horethorne, Somerset/Dorset borders

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. Seven days a week. Booking essential, call 01963 220281.

Candlelight Inn, near Chard

outdoor dining

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). Call to book 01460 234476.

The Castle Inn, West Lulworth

outdoor dining

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. Book online.

 Tarr Farm Inn, nr Dulverton, Exmoor

outdoor dining

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 is serving great food outside every day, 12pm to 5pm. A new Trailer Bar will be down by the river with hot drinks, sarnies and soups to take away.

Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock

outdoor dining

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. 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.

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