Discovering a favourite new restaurant is an absolute thrill; sharing that place, with its delightful ambience and incredible food, can be even better. With our round-up of quality local restaurants and cafes, you'll be able to explore somewhere new or rediscover an old favourite - the choice is yours.

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant

Bournemouth Echo:

Set within the enchanting village of Evershot, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant epitomises the ultimate in genuine warm service, offering innovative menus to rival the best in the world.

Three-rosette fine dining in the restaurant showcases the amazing local produce available on the Summer Lodge doorstep, while the exceptional chefs create menus that carefully reflect their philosophy of 'farm to fork'. By only using the highest quality and most seasonal produce, Summer Lodge champions the best that Dorset has to offer. From wonderful local cheeses to Dorset truffles, the chefs are never short of delicious produce, enhanced by ingredients grown in the kitchen gardens and polytunnels.

In the summer, dine al fresco on the terrace, or enjoy a leisurely afternoon sampling Summer Lodge's traditional Dorset afternoon tea.

9 Fore St, Evershot, Dorchester, DT2 0JR

01935 482000

The Oyster & Fish House

Bournemouth Echo:

Enjoy the best of locally caught fish and seafood, overlooking the famous Cobb Harbour in Lyme Regis with panoramic coastal views. Mark Hix's menus of local seasonal food and drink change daily depending on what the fishermen have brought in. Throughout the winter you can enjoy a weekday set lunch menu from £26 as well as happy hour oysters, Wednesday to Friday.

Each month, Mark collaborates with renowned chefs and special guests to co-host unique events. Coming up this year chefs including Angela Hartnett, Rick Stein and Mitch Tonks are expected to appear. The Fish House also welcomes large groups and exclusive hires, hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions for up to 40 guests.

Event dates and latest news are announced via the newsletter, so sign up today on the website.

Cobb Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset, DT7 3JP

01297 446910

The Coffee Loft

Bournemouth Echo:

The Coffee Loft is situated on the spacious first floor above the garden department at Harts of Stur in Sturminster Newton. Seating up to 60 people, the Coffee Loft is a light and airy space that’s just perfect for meeting up with friends and family or to take a well-deserved break from your shopping whilst enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a slice of homemade cake.

Serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, the Coffee Loft regularly includes seasonal dishes, and all ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible. The Coffee Loft is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm and from 8.30 to 4pm on Saturdays (closed Sundays and bank holidays).

Harts of Stur, Station Road, Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 1BD

01258 472420

Sculpture by the Lakes

Bournemouth Echo:

Set amongst the backdrop of a lakeside retreat where art and nature are celebrated, is a special eatery serving food as fresh as it comes. The Kitchen at Sculpture by the Lakes aims to deliver 90 per cent locally sourced fresh ingredients in every dish - most of it sourced from its on-site kitchen garden - serving everything from hearty breakfasts to delicious lunches, luxurious afternoon tea and beyond. 

Working to the garden's harvest, the menu is as flavoursome as it is diverse, catering to all tastes and diets. Part of the free-to-enter Makers Yard, also home to the store, gallery and pantry, this is some of the best food you will find in a beautiful part of Dorset's countryside, with regular events held celebrating all manner of culinary delights.

Pallington Lakes, Dorchester, DT2 8QU

07720 637808

Secret Garden Cafe

Bournemouth Echo:

A hidden gem in Gillingham, North Dorset situated in the heart of Thorngrove Garden Centre. The Secret Garden Café features a diverse menu of breakfasts, lunches, sandwiches, and sweet treats. From classic options to others that may surprise and delight you. Enjoy in a fully climate controlled indoor lounge-style setting, or outdoor patio, this is the perfect spot to catch up with friends, and possibly treat yourself to cake or cream tea.

With regular seasonal tweaks to the menu, there’s always something new to discover. Buy one lunch get one free every Monday-Friday. Free parking on site. Dog friendly. Receive a FREE piece of cake with every hot drink purchase – just quote “Dorset Magazine offer” when visiting! (subject to availability).

Thorngrove Garden Centre, Gillingham, Dorset. SP8 4RE

Telephone: 01747 822242

The Acorn Inn

Bournemouth Echo:

In the heart of the beautiful Dorset countryside, The Acorn Inn is an award-winning 16th Century Gastro-pub with a traditional bar, 10 individually decorated bedrooms, restaurant and beer garden, serving the best local produce from the land and sea.

The largest draw to the Acorn is the exquisite menu designed by the talented chef team using the best ingredients that Dorset has to offer. Combine this with the attention to detail from the front of house team – this is the place to be!

28 Fore St, Evershot, Dorchester DT2 0JW

01935 83228