The Seaside Boarding House
Jurassic coast cliff top restaurant and rooms, with an Alistair Little menu and views across shimmering Lyme Bay
Perched high up on the golden cliff top above the beach at Burton Bradstock, a couple of miles outside Bridport, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Singer-songwriter Billy Bragg lives next door.
Seaside holidays of yesteryear re-imagined for the 21st century by a former MD of the Groucho Club, with light-filled bar, dining room and terrace and idyllic views over the shimmering Lyme Bay. On a sunny day you could almost be in the Med. Very laid back. No one will be hurrying you off your table here.
Trad white table clothes and bone-handled cutlery in the dining room.
Tables by the cliff edge, if you dare.
SCOFF AND QUAFF
Alistair Little devised the menu, using local West Dorset produce and fresh fish caught on the doorstep. All summery and Mediterraneany, with around half the menu given over to fish and seafood – fish soup with rouille, gruyère and croutons; squid, chilli and peas; moules marinière; whole mackerel and turbot as well as very English beer-battered cod, chips and mushy peas. Bavette, pork rilletes and chicken with buttered radishes for meat eaters; double baked cheese soufflé, parmesan pancake with beetroot and fennel, herb, chilli and labneh salad for veggies. Or just a crab sarnie if you wish. Here’s our crab and avocado salad with tom yum (hot and sour Thai) dressing…
… scallops, cauliflower purée and almonds …
… Piedmontese roast peppers and anchovies …
…and super crispy chips.
Oh and a glass or two of rosé. On a sunny day, what else?
Desserts are seasidey too: vanilla ice cream with warm salted caramel; peach melba, assorted ice creams and sorbets as well as local cheeses. We eschewed in favour of a walk with cones along Chesil Beach.
Come for lunch and you’ll want to stay longer. There are nine bedrooms, each in sight and sound of the sea *sigh*.
OUT AND ABOUT
Take a dip in the sea from the pebbly beach at the bottom of the cliff or a stay up top and walk the South West Coast Path: left to the famous Chesil Beach leading to Portland Bill or right towards Golden Cap, the highest point along the coast. You might pick up an ammonite or other fossil on the beach. Bridport’s market on a Weds and Sat is well worth a visit and just a couple of miles away.
Good for: don’t bother with the Med, come to Dorset. Cut above menu (Alistair Little’s the executive cheg, ’nuff said) in idyllic location.
Not for: come to escape the kids not with them. The menu’s not overly child-friendly and you wouldn’t want them toppling over the cliff … would you?
The damage: Not too bad: bar menu, sandwiches Lunch £9 – £12; desserts £5 – £7.50. 2 course set lunch at £15 or 3 course set lunch at £18 Monday to Friday. Cream tea £7.50; afternoon tea £22m with Champagne £30. Dinner: starters £9 – £12.50; mains £12 – £22; desserts £1.50 – £7.50. Double rooms with breakfast from £205.
Breakfast 8am – 11am; bar menu 11am – 6.30pm; lunch 12.30pm – 3pm; tea 3.30 –5.30pm; dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm. Best to book, this place is popular.
The Seaside Boarding House, Cliff Road, Burton Bradstock, nr Bridport, Dorset DT6 4RB. Tel 01308 897 205. theseasideboardinghouse.com