It feels like it had been a while since Neil and I had a weekend break away, so when I spotted a Groupon deal just before Christmas for a 2 night break in Dorset I jumped and leapt at the chance.
After all the mess and stress of our first stage of our house renovation I treated Neil to this as one of his Christmas presents. Neil grew up in Dorset you see, so I always hear happy stories of his childhood there hence us always saying we would visit one day. And of course, it's the home of Farrow & Ball and stunning jurassic coastline so it's no surprise that I've wanted to go for years.
It was a fleeting stay but we got so many things ticked off our list :)
We set off in the car super early at about 6am to avoid traffic between Brighton-Chichester. I packed us some bacon sarnies for breakfast and we hit the road. It was the first time I'd ever really been to the New Forest (or driven through it) so when sat nav took us to around the Burley area on the trip, there were squeals in the car every time I saw a pony.
And there were a lot of ponies. Sorry Neil.
We were booked in to stay a couple of feet from Lulworth Cove, but rather than head straight there (check in wasn't until 3pm I think) we stopped off and drove through all the spots Neil used to visit as a child. Burley, Verwood, Wimborne.. we even went back to Neil's house that he grew up in. Nostalgia!
Wimborne is such a cute town. We arrived quite early desperate for a coffee after the drive so once we had a quick nose in all the charities shops we walked past (does anyone else love charity shops that aren't local to you?? Just me maybe!) we found a gorgeous café right opposite Wimborne Minster called On the Green.
This place was a decorative dream for me. Higgledy piggledy cottage beams, super low ceilings, stone floors, tight staircases and Farrow and Ball print wallpaper everywhere. Just perfect! We stayed for a scone and a cuppa then made our way on to Lulworth Cove.
Our B&B was a short walk from the main Lulworth Cove car park, and when we arrived we realised we were about an hour too early for check in, so we had a mooch around the village and stopped in the Lulworth Cove Inn for a delicious sausage sarnie lunch and a pint of Dorset's finest Badger ale.
That pint turned into quite a few more... I guess we were just happy to be away from everything to do with plastering and decorating and finally on holiday and with each other for once :)
Lulworth has a very limited amount to do when the weather is as freezing cold as it was this weekend (like, almost too cold to be outside full stop!) with only really 1 pub in the whole village and 1 visitors centre where we learned a bit about the rock that made up the coastline, and I picked up a pack of cards for us to play back at the B&B via the pub (again).
The show stoppers of the village and surrounding area has got to be the thatched cottages. Honestly, why do people visit London to experience British culture? Dorset villages are the heart of England. The stone fronted cottages and thatched houses we found in Lulworth, Kimmeridge and on the drive to Durdle Door are England. Not smokey, polluted buildings in London (although they can have their beauty). I was in awe...
We checked in at our B&B, Bishops, which was about 20 steps away from the actual cove itself. It was so nice to see that we were given the big annexe part of the B&B as there weren't as many guests during winter months – so it meant we pretty much had a whole contained studio-type apartment to ourselves.
My God it was cold though. We quickly got the heating fired which helped, but with there being snowflakes in the air it took a long time for me to warm up.
Neil packed some Old Rosie cider for us which we left outside the door to keep cold, and we played cards for the afternoon whilst trying to warm up before dinner.
For such an incredibly well located B&B minutes from the cove and in the heart of Farrow & Ball land, I thought this place had so much more potential decoratively and in terms of service. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice place to rest of heads for the cost (it was about £200 in total for 2 nights with a meal, bought on Groupon) but if it was mine, I would have gone as far out as my budget could handle and charge a premium on rooms.
This place was big enough for a bath plumbed into the room overlooking the cove, it was big enough for a woodburner in the corner, but it felt a bit half done. The curtains clutched onto the rails... I did really love that wood clad wall though, and that artwork is stunning. Imagine a rolltop bath underneath it? How wow would that be. I am not complaining though, it was all fine for the deal we got on it.
We had dinner in the B&B which came as part of the Groupon deal. It was DELICIOUS food. But when we walked into the main house where the restaurant was, the first thing I clocked was that there were no radiators on any of the walls, sash windows to let the sea air creep through the cracks and one wood burning stove which was way too far away from us to feel any heat. The room, again, had so much potential to be a Farrow & Ball, Modern Country palace with bay windows and period features but lacked that cosiness. Again, not complaining I just got so passionate about wanting to decorate it!!
This was my view at breakfast. I was wrapped up in 2 jumpers and a scarf haha but it was pretty simple, peaceful and delicious... The chef is the best thing about this place.
So that was Part 1 of our Dorset Detox. I'll be sharing our trip to Durdle Door, Kimmeridge, and Corfe in part 2 :)