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The King’s Arms, Dorchester

Former guests at Dorset's newest foodie pub with rooms, include Queen Victoria, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones – now it's your turn.

Weekend Escapes

The 300-year-old former coaching inn, reincarnated in September 2020 as a super laid-back foodie pub, has links with Thomas Hardy and previous guests include Queen Victoria, King George IV, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But we don’t think any of them would recognise the place after its swanky £5 million (yep!) refurb.

The latest addition to Stay Original’s portfolio of boutique West Country inns, which includes The Swan in Wedmore, The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury and The White Hart in Somerton is looking very good indeed.

The Stay Original ethos is authenticity, so the inn’s historic architecture is complemented – not swamped – by contemporary interiors, up-cycled lighting and antique finds. The menu’s along the same lines, with award-winning exec chef Tom Blake and head chef Steve Yates overseeing the locally sourced, inventive but not poncy menus; you can try something new or go for a more classic dish.

Eat in the spacious restaurant, bar and Old Smoking Room on the ground floor. Kids are welcome, with their own dedicated menu or smaller dishes from the main menu. Dogs are welcome in the bar, Old Smoking Room and out on the terrace.

Come for breakfast (the harrisa’s a nice touch on the smashed avocado, roasted tomatoes and toast; homemade granola; full English with veggie version). Lots to tempt on the main menu: stuff like crispy wild mushroom & chickpea pakoras with caramalised onion, tahini and pomegranate; grilled scallops with cauli puree, smoked chorizo and pickled apple to start; rotisserie chicken with romanesco sauce; beetroot and horseradish arancini with goats’ cheese, daily fish dish, chargrilled beef beef burgers and steak for mains; and cheesecakes, affogata and tarts to finish.

Sleepover in 20 fab bedrooms, with a further 14 to come next year.

Watch this space for our review.



This month in dorset

30 High Street, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1HF
01305 238238

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