Well, in a little over a week we will be flying out of this country to gorgeous Florida for a well earned break, then home to Australia in the new year after 3 1/2 years living back in the UK…..wow! My Aussie bones are very excited! but I will be sad not to be visiting this great pub for some time, The Cricketer’s Free House, in the village of Shroton, Dorset.
I have loved this place as it’s always consistent….great fresh food, presented beautifully and the staff are always so friendly and attentive….and the owners care so much.
Thank you to Sally, Joe and all the wonderful staff, yours is a pub we will remember forever……but soon we will be visiting ‘Surf Clubs’ on a Sunday! feasting on grilled seafood with a sea breeze cooling us down!……..a long way from an English Inn for sure, but certainly fitting for the heat and sunshine experienced on the magnificent Queensland coastline of Australia! The Cricketers free House is truly a gem of a place.
We have been meaning to try this pub out for a while now, and I am so pleased we did. I love this place already and I’m so sad we didn’t find it sooner. We just stopped by for a drink today to check it out! as we were having roast lamb later at home for dinner.
Sarah, who was working wonders behind the bar was very professional and as we approached the bar, she immediately acknowledged us and said ” I will be with you in a short moment.” She was delightful and friendly and a breath of fresh air to be honest as service in country pubs can be disappointing.
I was looking for a special pub to have lunch on my birthday next weekend and I found it today. The Sunday roasts on offer on the menu board today were…Beef, Chicken, Pork and Lamb!! Wow! Four roasts on offer is pretty special. Menu looks and sounds brilliant too with variety and all food locally sourced and cooked fresh to serve daily. We sat in the wonderful bar full of character…..very clean and a wonderful wood burner was a brilliant feature of the stone and wooden floored room. The sunshine streamed in from the windows as we enjoyed our drink; we even had one of the regulars bring over a plate of wonderfully prepared finger food the landlady Gail served complimentary for her loyal friendly locals drinking in the bar. If only this wonderful pub was in our village!
A great atmosphere in this place with a lovely ‘looked after’ feel about the place. These people care…just wonderful, can’t wait to visit again soon.
A wonderful treat again of the beautiful drive back to Compton Abbas was passing this farm again selling gorgeous cherry tomatoes and sweet red peppers! We bought a few!!
It’s the weekend, yippee! and we are going out to lunch today to The Cricketers Free House in the near by village of Shroton in beautiful Dorset.
The game season is upon us and they are now serving wonderful game birds on their menu. Today they have roasted partridge…a very lean little delicate bird and if cooked well, an absolute delight. They are serving this with gorgeous thin game chips, bacon & bread pudding, sweet & sour red cabbage and a white wine sauce, at £12.95, an absolute bargain!
Well, this did not disappoint as the bird was beautifully cooked and the bacon and bread pudding was simply gorgeous, similar to stuffing but with a wonderful, light texture, The game chips were expertly made, non greasy and light as a feather. The red cabbage was a wonderful compliment to this delicate game bird and I loved it all.
We had a drink at the bar first and the lovely girl behind the bar gave us a sample ( a couple!) of the honey chilli nuts they have on offer. I would highly recommend these moorish little morsels, made fresh in the pub’s kitchen.
There were many other specials on offer including a number of fresh fish dishes……..and Joe said they will be serving pheasant soon…..unreal!
Great food, service and atmosphere…..
Just back from a lovely lunch at The Cricketers and it didn’t disappoint, in fact it was the freshest, beautifully cooked pub food I have had in a long while…fantastic! We sat outside in the sunny beer garden and the tables were filling up quickly. Steve had one of the famous pies (pork and beef today) and it was just sensational with crisp, homemade short crust pastry. Presented beautifully it came with a decent serving of veg (bu…ttered new potatoes, peas, beans, carrots and mange tout.) I chose the Cod in Beer batter which was cooked perfectly, served with a generous serve of crisp, golden chips and a lovely mixed leaf salad, along with tatare sauce and fresh lemon….extremely good (and I was pleased I missed breakfast and walked the dog up Melbury Hill this morning!!) The menu is so reasonably priced, not over complicated and many daily specials were on offer on the blackboard inside. We drank wonderfully chilled Stowford Press Cider and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The staff are wonderful, a breath of fresh air really…so polite and the attention to detail is just fantastic (our plates were cleared in no time with a friendly smile)….but all good things must come to an end, but we will be back again soon!!! Magic place.
This year we have bought a 10 foot Christmas tree and it looks so amazing, standing tall in the barn at Compton Abbas in Dorset. It is adorned with glass snow flakes/stars and the fairy lights and tinsel give it a silvery glow….we love it!
I had the day off work today…. so we planned a West Coast Path walk, starting at the Beautiful Lulworth Cove in Dorset, finishing with a pub lunch at The Swan Inn on the way back in Sturminster Newton. Wonderful….
How much do I love Dorset? So very much and I will make the most of the gorgeous sunny weather we are having today, with a walk from Brynmor Acres down into Cerne Abbas, taking in part of the Wessex Ridge way and magnificent countryside views. It’s around 9kms round trip, perfect distance before lunchtime. Unfortunately Steve is still limping from an achilles tendon strain, so I’m on my own again!
Perfect conditions for a long walk with full sun and only a slight breeze…..beautiful. Bring on the vitamin D!
Steve enjoyed a great Birthday lunch last weekend at the Greyhound Inn, Sidling St. Nicholas in Dorset. It was gorgeous sunny day, but a little too cool to sit outside!
We booked a table in The Conservatory which was lovely….we ate in this wonderful, bright and airy room when Steve’s mum Gina and husband Ken were visiting recently from Florida. I love this place, it has a great atmosphere and the food is pretty good. Advisable to book though as it can be quite busy, especially on the weekends.
I chose a scallop and bacon salad (scallops were cooked to perfection) and Steve had a Blue Vinny Wellington. Tender vegetables were wrapped in philo pastry and served on a bed of Blue Vinny sauce. He thought there could have been a little more blue cheese flavour in the sauce, but other than that, cooked and presented beautifully. We ordered a side of lovely green veg and french garlic bread.
This is a great country pub in a pretty village, down the hill from Brynmor Acres. If only they left there doors open on a Saturday afternoons as it would be great to walk down and back to Brynmor for a pint!
The sun is shining today, which has been rare lately, but I’m making the most of it. I’m walking from Brynmor Acres to Sydling Saint Nicholas and back, just before lunch. It is a spectacular walk with picture perfect vistas in every direction. The hill back to Brynmor is a killer, but definitely worth the effort!
Blue cheese is my favourite cheese, a close second is the well ripened Pont L’Eveque. Steve secretly bought some of this luscious cheese for me for my Birthday while driving through Crewkerne the other day. Wonderful treat…..thank you!!!
This traditional blue cheese is made near Sturminster Newton, in Dorset. It was a rather common farmhouse cheese for a few hundred years, but production of this favourite cheese of mine dried up in 1970 and it eventually became extinct. Woodbridge Farm in Dorset revived this lovely old recipe in the 1980’s and lucky for me, it is now producing the cheese again. Thank you Mike Davies from Woodbridge Farm! Produced from the milk from his own herd of Friesian Cows. I believe this cheese was Thomas Hardy’s favourite too!
It has a wonderful strong, long lingering taste and because it’s made from skimmed cow’s milk, it is lower in fat than the traditional Stilton cheese. I love it served with some finely sliced onion or even better, a little quince jelly with crusty bread or a cracker…..along with a glass of red wine to cut the richness. A marriage made in heaven in my opinion.
After a days rest walking 20 miles (around 32kms) on the South West Coast Path, we decided today we would walk one of our favourite stretches of this Jurassic Coastline.
We started off just as the sun was rising, a beautiful sight on a rather frosty clear morning. I wasn’t expecting to see so many cows taking over the path! They are quite harmless stupid creatures. As long as you don’t disturb them or go near their calves, the are OK.
Feeling like mountain goats again, we made our way up some decent slopes to Golden Cap. It was a stunning bright morning.
It was a very wet summer in England this year and the rainfall has continued into the Autumn, causing many landslides on the south coast due to the unstable, damp ground.
We made it to the highest point on the south coast, Golden Cap in Dorset. Well worth the steep climbs for sure. We added a rock to the pile that someone had started and headed down into Seatown.
We love this part of the world. The steep climbs and descents along this section of the South West Coast Path require some level of fitness otherwise one will find it quite demanding.
Seatown beach was our half way mark and after fuelling up with water and an energy bar (my home made muesli bars) we were off back up to Golden Cap and on to Charmouth. Nine miles (14.5 kms) wasn’t a bad start to the day!
What a great relief to reach Stonebarrow Lane…..all down hill now from here into Axmouth and back to the cottage in Seaton.
The Fox Inn is a lovely thatched pub, situated in the rural hamlet of Corscombe. A stream runs through the village and in the summertime it’s lovely to sit outside with a cool beverage and watch the ducks mucking about in the water.
I highly reccommend The Fox Inn at Corscombe if you are anywhere around this part of Dorset. Whether it’s just for a quick pint or to sample their lovely Sunday lamb roast.
My love of the Jurassic coast in Dorset and East Devon has taken Steve and I on some spectacular hikes along the Southwest Coast Path. This area around Lulworth Cove is an extremely popular tourist destination, so towards the end of September in England was a good time for us to spend a couple of days hiking.
We stayed in the small fishing village of West Lulworth in a B&B that was the closest cottage to the waters edge of Lulworth Cove, called the Boat House. Views were amazing, we loved this place.
The weather was perfect when we arrived and the forecast for the next couple of days was excellent for walking.
Durdle Door no doubt would have to be one of the most photographed landmarks on the Jurassic Coast. Over a period of time this arch will eventually collapse and leave a sea stack like those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.
What a magnificent sight it was to see this tiny village of West Lulworth again. The cliffs after Durdle Door were undulating to say the least! What a relief to finally make it back! A quite few beverages at the near by Castle Inn was a wonderful reward! The Real Ales and extensive list of Real Ciders at this 16th century thatched free house is sensational…….but that’s another blog!
I absolutely love the hilly countryside around Devon and Dorset and in this area there are some of the most spectacular (and arduous!) Coast Path walks. We’ve based ourselves in Seaton, Devon this week to walk some of our favourite stretches of this famous coast path. Today is Steve’s favourite West Coast Path walk. Surprise, surprise, it’s one of the most strenuous, difficult, physically challenging walks on the coast! Steve has always been one for a testing physical challenge and this walk was just that. The Undercliffs walk from Seaton, Axmouth to Lyme Regis we have walked many times…..so we knew the dangers and how difficult and rewarding it can be.
The Undercliffs are part of the ‘Jurassic Coast.’ This magnificent reserve covers wild woodlands, land-slipped cliffs, fossils, geology and spectacular wildlife. It was declared a National Nature reserve in 1955. It is one of the largest active coastal landslide systems in western Europe and lies within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Rain was forcast to come through around mid morning, so we needed to get an early start to reach our destination without getting too wet. We packed our rain coats and a few supplies and set off in good spirits……..
Yep! This lane up to the Axmouth Golf Course was a killer of a hill that seemed to get steeper as we walked on. When we finally make it to the Golf Course we then had to continue uphill until we made it to level land for a little breather!
The views on this walk are quite breathtaking but soon we would be approaching the Undercliffs where it would be pretty tough going with only a few glimpses of the sea along the way. Weather still looked bright but rain was definately on the way.
I was enjoying this walk so much and Steve was too. The Undercliff’s warm and sheltered micro climate was a different world away from the windy cliff tops and pebble beaches surrounding it. Steve spotted a lizard and we passed a tiny Hazel Dormouse that unfortunately had passed away earlier that morning. There were so many beautiful butterflies and the bird life was wonderful too.
We were so lucky as it was still very dry underfoot as there hadn’t been much rain over the past week. This path can be treacherous when wet….very slippery and muddy, so we were thankful of the conditions.
The wildflowers were wonderful on this walk….yellow Wort, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Rock-Rose, Yellow Horned Poppy and some beautiful Lilac.
Wow! We were nearly there…..eight miles of difficult, strenuous terrain was coming to an end. The sense of achievement was massive! The rain had started now but we didn’t care. Our delight in the walk we completed (without injury) was enormous and getting a little wet was not a concern.