Eat Out to Help Out – in Somerset and Dorset
Sick of cooking? Good news - throughout August, you can get a 50% discount on your dinner and drinks when you eat in. Here are the pubs and restaurants to call to make your reservation.
Finally, you can now pay for someone else to feed you and do the dishes. Thanks to the new government ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – which runs to Mon 31 Aug, FYI – you can get a whopping 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to the value of £10 per head when you eat at participating pubs, cafes and restaurants. There are more details here, but as the offer is only valid on Mon to Wed reservations, we’d start booking date nights in, stat!
Here’s where Team Muddy will be eating…
One of Taunton’s best restaurants, serving French-influenced fare, and hidden away in a courtyard close to the river and Riverside Place independent shops.
The White Horse, Haselbury Plucknett, nr Crewkerne
17th century village pub outside, Michelin Guide listed restaurant inside, with a chef from The Oxo Tower and Racine cooking up superb British/Mediterranean food. Read our review.
A daily changing menu, depending on the catch, featuring small plates of fish and shellfish paired with carefully chosen wines and beers. You can buy fresh fish and seafood from their fishmonger, too.
Super laid back cafe-bar-bistro in Wells, quirkily decorated with the owner’s vintage finds (available to buy) with an eclectic, inventive menu – and the best coffee in the city. Read our review. New barrel bars and outside seating.
The Scallop Shell, Bath, Somerset
Seafood grill starters and plates to share plus grilled and battered fish with proper chips (peep through a window of the potato room to see them being prepared) for mains, on Monmouth Place in the centre of the city.
The Marlborough Tavern, Bath
A city pub with good pub grub and a local vibe. It’s spacious and open plan, with black and white photos of old Bath and original artworks on the walls and a courtyard strung with fairy lights. Read our review.
Kitchen at the Wharf, Langport
Cooked breakfasts, brunch, soup, sandwiches, burgers, quiche, pies, salads and cakes, pastries and cream teas inside the converted wharf or outside alongside the river Parrett, where you might spot a kingfisher – or kayaker – or two.
The Kings Arms, Charlton Horethorne, nr Sherborne
The classic/modern British menu at this pub has a soupçon of international flavours and everything’s made in house – even the pasta. Read our review.
Beckford Bottle Shop, Bath
Delicious small plates (a bit like tapas), cheese and charcuterie boards, all washed down with a choice of 350 wines, plus beers and wine. Read our review.
Roth Bar & Grill, Bruton
Combine excellent, laid back food – much of it made with produce from local farmers, foragers, gamekeepers and gardeners – with a visit to the international acclaimed art gallery Hauser & Wirth.
The Barrington Boar, Barrington, nr Ilminster
Modern British comfort food with European influences – two and three course set menus and lighter bites cooked by the chef who comes with experience from the Michelin starred Chez Bruce. Read our review.
The Kitchen at Kimbers, Charlton Musgrove, nr Wincanton
Simple, honest – and super local – home-cooked food with a farm shop next door. Read our review.
The Hive Beach Cafe, Burton Bradstock, nr Bridport
Local fish, seafood (and wood-fired pizzas) right on the pebble beach with views over Lyme Bay. Everything from a crab sarnie through fish and chips, whole fish dishes to a whopping seafood platter. Lobster Fizz Wednesdays sound good: half lobster and fizz £30; whole lobster and fizz £50.
Rick Stein, Sandbanks, Poole
Rick’s classic dishes – Dover sole a la meunière, Singapore chilli crab and lobster thermidor – in Rick’s (we’re on first name terms) restaurant overlooking Poole Harbour. With main menu, weekday set menu and weekend breakfasts.
The New Inn, Cerne Abbas
Cut above pub food, in a courtyard to the side and a large orchard garden at the back at this 16th century former coaching inn, located in one of Dorset’s prettiest villages (the one with the naked giant on the hillside). Read our review.
Crab House Cafe, Wyke Regis, near Weymouth
With its rustic wooden shack, pebble garden, palms, succulents and menu of excellent local fish, seafood, crab and oysters (from their own oyster beds), and overlooking sparkling blue waters – you could almost be at a surfer’s cafe on the West Coast of the US. Almost. That’s Chesil Beach you’ll be looking at, not Big Sur.
The Eastbury Hotel & Restaurant, Sherborne
The Georgian townhouse hotel’s restaurant, Seasons, holds two AA Rosettes, has a terrace and looks out onto the pretty walled garden. Very civilised. Read our review.
West Beach, Bournemouth
Fish from Smithfield, Brixham and Billingsgate markets and local waters cooked in an open plan kitchen in this beachside restaurant. Breakfast, a la carte and kids menu
The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury
Executive chef Tom Blake (ex River Cottage) oversees the menu at this former Georgian coaching inn with a courtyard, which includes wood-fired sourdough pizzas and stuff like steaks, herb-encrusted chicken, beetroot risotto, tikka-spiced mackerel and sumac-roasted cauliflower.
The Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis
Risen like a phoenix and on the same site of the recently defunct Hix Oyster House comes local boy Mark Hix’s newest venture. Same ethos as before: fresh, local fish and seafood with panoramic views of The Cobb and the Jurassic Coast.
Summer Lodge, Evershot
Pinkies out for traditional afternoon tea, with finger sandwiches, freshly made scones with Dorset cream, a tower of cakes and delicacies and selection of specialty teas. Read our review.
Fresh fish and seafood caught on their own boat ‘Rockfisher’ from the waters around Brixham and from local fish markets, to be enjoyed on Weymouth’s Esplanade.
The Museum Inn, Farnham, nr Blandford Forum
Two AA rosetted British dining with a twist – like beer battered haddock with triple cooked chips, roast cauliflower with Persian-spiced lentils, Moving Mountain Vegan Burger – in the Dorset downlands (so you can walk it off afterwards).
Still hungry? Search for restaurants near you participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme here.