An impressive half-timbered brick building with a parquet-floored bar and dining room, the Talbot enjoys a lovely setting between Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury, handily placed for anyone undertaking the popular Wessex Ridgeway Trail (which takes you from Ashmore to Lyme Regis, with some wonderful views along the way). You’ll find Butcombe, Otter bitter and Bath Gem on the handpumps, along with weekly-changing guest ales. Begin a meal with breaded whitebait or pan-fried garlic mushrooms, before moving on to an 8oz steak and chips; gammon, egg and chips; lamb shank with potatoes, peas and gravy; or Whitby wholetail scampi. Make sure you save room for dessert, maybe sticky toffee pudding or Eton Mess.
- Children welcome
- Free Wifi
- Parking available
- Main course from: £9
- Open all year
Also in the area
About the area
Dorset means rugged varied coastlines and high chalk downlands. Squeezed in among the cliffs and set amid some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery is a chain of picturesque villages and seaside towns. Along the coast you’ll find the Lulworth Ranges, which run from Kimmeridge Bay in the east to Lulworth Cove in the west. Together with a stretch of East Devon, this is Britain’s Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, noted for its layers of shale and numerous fossils embedded in the rock. Among the best-known natural landmarks on this stretch of the Dorset coast is Durdle Door, a rocky arch that has been shaped and sculpted to perfection by the elements. The whole area has the unmistakable stamp of prehistory.
Away from Dorset’s magical coastline lies a landscape with a very different character and atmosphere, but one that is no less appealing. Here, winding, hedge-lined country lanes lead beneath lush, green hilltops to snug, sleepy villages hidden from view and the wider world. The people of Dorset are justifiably proud of the achievements of Thomas Hardy, its most famous son, and much of the county is immortalised in his writing.
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