Last summer, inspired by the TV series Broadchurch, we spent a few days exploring the Jurassic coast, staying at the Bull Hotel in Bridport, Dorset.
The Dorset coast is absolutely stunning with views to die for and beaches awash with tiny fossils. We motored along the coast to Portland Bill to take in the views from the (very noisy) lighthouse and sunned ourselves on Chesil Beach (having read Ian McEwan’s novel we had to step onto the beach). Virtually every pebble I looked at had the tiniest fossil in it. We also visited the seaside town of Lyme Regis with its kooky little beach huts and antiques emporiums.
Bridport itself is just the type of market town I feel right at home in. I’m originally from the Welsh market town of Wrexham, which in its heyday of the 60s, had a proper beast market and lots of bustling independent shops. Sadly all that has gone, but that’s another story. Bridport too has lots of independent shops with a good dose of the hippie chic that I’m drawn to. There is also an abundance of tea shops and of course charity shops: I had to go in them all looking for a bargain!
The Bull Hotel is a fabulous place to stay. We were in room 205, The Black & White room. Decorated with a French armoire and a white four poster bed with the squashiest pillows you could ever wish for, it was an absolute joy to sleep in. We were told that the Broadchurch cast stayed there whilst filming and I’m not surprised at all. All the rooms are individually themed and it was very hard to choose which one to go for.
On to food. The Dorset breakfast was exceptional. Dorset cereals, honey, jams and toast plus of course a full English to set us up for sightseeing each morning. At dinner we ate a couple of times in the onsite Stables Pizzeria and Cider House where you can try a variety of local ciders (or just the one if you are me) and a tasty pizza with salad. Meals are eaten at long communal tables so it all feels very friendly and informal. Our final night, we ate in the hotel restaurant: crab linguine, whole plaice, cheese board, chocolate truffles and a glass of port! Divine. This was followed by a very decadent Dirty Martini in the upstairs Venner Bar which reminded me of a drinking den of days gone by with its dark cosy look and opulent furniture.
The hotel was established in 1593 so I was on the lookout for the odd ghost, but the only thing that disturbed me were the seagulls screeching as soon as the sun came up.
On our way home, we picked up a pie from Leaker’s Bakery and some Dorset honey from a local farm shop. Dorset has such good local produce!
I’d love to go back again! Maybe next year.