Blue Vinny, Dorset

We had some truly memorable meals at some great restaurants in England while we were there recently on annual leave. Top of the pile (probably) was The Blue Vinny near Dorchester, Dorset, pictured above. The restaurant was packed on a Thursday night. We overheard one Client saying to a waiter ‘You’re busy for a Thursday…’ ‘Yes’ replied the waiter, ‘we’ve really started to get busy on Thursdays’. Another Client chipped in ‘No bl**dy wonder! No-one can get a booking on a Friday or Saturday!’ Says it all really. Here’s what they write in the blurb on their website.

“Alex and Nicky Ford took over this traditional village pub in Puddletown, near Dorchester in June 2008. Keeping the very best of the old, they set about combining its warm, friendly country ambience with a cool, airy modern interior – part of a style that is reflected in their approach to the food and hospitality. Something for which this bar and restaurant is rapidly gaining a first-class reputation.

The food is home cooked, and where possible the ingredients are seasonal and sourced locally from the family farm, friends or trusted specialist suppliers. The wines have been chosen to complement the menu, and there is always a range of excellent guest ales on tap.

Together with Head Chef John Shrigley and his team, they’ve created a menu that reflects their personal tastes, with a truly international approach – a style that owes as much to the hot islands of the Mediterranean as it does to the classic and everyday dishes of Britain and mainland Europe.

Having only recently returned to their home county of Dorset, Alex and Nicky are passionate about producing the very best food at accessible prices, as well as extending a warm and friendly welcome to locals and visitors alike.”

Couldn’t agree more. I had cod in a delicately light batter served on a rocket salad with lime mayonnaise. My partner had belly pork on mashed potato and my sister had duck. Desserts were a wonderful blueberry cheesecake and a genuine Dorset apple cake. The bill? 75 pounds with drinks and wine – very reasonable for the delicious food and excellent service. Incidentally, for the uninitiated, Dorset Blue Vinny is a type of blue cheese….