I haven’t spent any time in Dorset since childhood holidays in Boscombe. We popped down for a flying visit to see intrepid bebe’s fairy godmother, who has a holiday flat there.
Beautiful Bridport is a Dorset coastal town of around 13,000. It’s only a little over two hours from London (dependent on the M3).
The town is beautiful, it took forever to walk down the main street because there were so many lovely buildings, eye catching shop fronts, and brightly painted front doors. Not to mention the pop up market stalls scattered along the pavement. Fortunately when you’re walking at ‘toddler with backpack’ pace, it’s not exactly speedy. Unfortunately, three pairs of eyes are required to stop said toddler from roaming into the bakery, or climbing into an antique suitcase. You many know I love doors! And this town has beautiful doorways aplenty!
One of the things which strikes me in England, compared to Australia is the prevalence of chains. be that cafes, restaurants or shops. i appreciate set up costs, and rents are so large, especially close to London, it must be very difficult for new business’ to get a start. So it was lovely to walk down a high street which still boats and independent butcher, bakery, florist and multiple cafes, bars and restaurants.
Coffee is a bit of an obsession in our family, so I had already asked around for where was the best place to head. We had breakfast at the lovely Soulshine Cafe. A great spot with amble toys, in their clever converted under stair space, to keep IB happy. They also have a lovely outdoor area and spacious changing area.
Oh the food? Isn’t it funny how once you become a parent the food features quite far down the list when selecting where to eat! Power to the parents who say, sod it, I’m going fine dining with my kids and don’t care what anyone thinks. Or perhaps they have those mythical babes who sit content lay colouring? But for me, IB having space to roam, and the staff being warm (rather than eye rolly) ranks pretty highly. Fortunately Soulshine have big ticks for both.
Then we headed towards West Bay. The striking Jurassic Coastal Cliffs create a beautiful backdrops for a beach walk.
The outdoor play area is fabulous for for kids of a broad age range. One of the best I’ve seen.
Seeing as the sun was out, we headed to Baboo Gelato, for salted caramel ice lollies, and a generous scoop of mint chop chip. we like to make sugar a treat, and this was well worth it.
We also stopped for a lunch at West Bay Cafe
It was a shame we weren’t staying longer, there were so many lovely spots to explore, such as:
The Venner Cocktail bar at Bull Hotel was unfortunately closed for a function on the Saturday night. But their boutique hotel and restaurant look so lovely, we may have to stay there next time we are in town.
June sees Bridport Food Festival which the locals we chatted to all spoke very highly of.
On our way home we stopped for lunch at the Ilchester Arms in Abbotsbury. A stunning little town, and an excellent pub. Seeing the sign on the way in welcoming ‘dogs, kids, and muddy boots’, and the friendly service and delicious food made this the perfect choice.