We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An Absolute Gem!”
Review of Yalbury Cottage

Yalbury Cottage
Ranked #1 of 144 Restaurants in Dorchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$26 - US$52
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: ...with a friendly atmosphere and wonderful views. Stay and relax in our lovely rooms, enjoy a superb freshly cooked breakfast and dine in our award winning restaurant. Small bespoke weddings and parties are a speciality and we offer a great alternative venue for private business meetings with easy and ample parking. Just two miles from Dorchester, Dorset, Yalbury Cottage is set in the hamlet of Lower Bockhampton - the heart of Thomas Hardy's Wessex - walking distance to his birthplace, across the road from his old school house and around the corner from Stinsford church where his heart is buried.
Reviewed 31 December 2015

We had always planned to go but had never got around to it until friends suggested we lunch there just before Christmas. Fortunately they had the foresight to book well in advance of the day otherwise I suspect there would have been no room at the "cottage".

The approach to Yalbury Cottage has a sense of arrival, a roomy car park and a short walk, sign posted "reception", to the restaurant. On entering we were warmly greeted by a young lady who checked our reservation and showed us through to a comfortably furnished sitting area where we ordered drinks and were given menus. The whole ambiance of Yalbury is one of relaxation, warmth and friendly, helpful service.

Having chosen our three courses, we were left to enjoy our drinks and when our table and food were ready we were taken to the restaurant. Gentle efficiency was the order of the day. Our group of six have been friends for many a year so the chat was easy, and laughter plentiful. The food was beautifully presented, skillfully cooked and delicious. The menu had sufficient choices to cover many tastes and likes, was seasonal, predominantly local and fresh.

Monkfish, four-bird roast, venison, salmon, cheesecake and Christmas pud (but not as we know it!) figured amongst our choices and were much enjoyed. An extensive wine list allows freedom of choice and price. It was a long lunch, beautifully managed and declared a real treat by those attending. On our way out the chef thanked us for coming, and we in turn thanked him for producing a stonkingly good meal.

We shall undoubtedly return, several times over.

Date of visit: December 2015
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank JRF178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (430)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

227 - 231 of 430 reviews

Reviewed 19 December 2015

No crackers or silly hats, just really good food cooked to perfection in this delightful thatched cottage tucked away in a tiny Dorset hamlet with Thomas Hardy associations.
From the canapes served in the elegant yet cosy lounge, to the delicious desserts, this was a memorable meal based on the finest west country ingredients. Plaice with lobster ragout; Exmoor venison with red wine sauce and sweet potato crisps - classic combinations imaginatively presented. And an interesting wine list. The staff are friendly, helpful and attentive to detail. We'll be back for an evening meal in the New Year. They have just opened a continental-style cafe/wine bar down the road in central Dorchester. I've heard good reports already.

Date of visit: December 2015
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Hilary V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2015

This is a very tranquil place to visit. Husband and wife team really know their stuff. He is a superb chef. Canapés and Prosecco in their adorable garden before dinner in their cottage restaurant . Not cheap but an experience to savour.

Date of visit: August 2015
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Karan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2015

Romantic surroundings, good food, reasonable wine and attentivie service. Small car park matching the modest portions - consider stopping for chips on the way home.

Date of visit: September 2015
Thank Roger W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2015

Always a great pleasure to dine at Yalbury Cottage.

Delicious fare and attentive staff....Exceptional in all respects!

Will be returning!

Date of visit: June 2015
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Yalbury Cottage also viewed

Piddlehinton, Dorchester

Been to Yalbury Cottage? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing