By August 7, 2014 Read More →

Treat Time: a blogger’s Dorset treats

Dorset treats - Ian Dicks, Dorset DorsetIt’s Thursday Treat Time again!

And as usual I’m linking up with blogger Penny Golightly for a double treat. This time she has got herself a truly amazing food bargain – more details at the bottom of the post.

But first join me on a well-deserved summer trip to the sunny South West of England, to a county that’s popular with both celebrities and us ordinary, everyday folk.

Ian Dicks is a cartoonist and currently produces a weekly cartoon for The Financial Times. He’s also the founder of Dorset Dorset, a blog that provides an insider’s view of local quirky delights, and I asked him to reveal his top Dorset treats:

1. Hi Ian, you live in Lyme Regis, famous for The French Lieutenant’s Woman – what are the main things you enjoy about the town?  
I was born and brought up in Weymouth and as a sea person it was inevitable I’d end up close to the sound of the waves and call of the gulls. 

Lyme, though, is more than that, being just the right size that you can pass the time of day in the street but big enough to avoid people if you so desire. It also possesses a pretty vibrant community so there’s always something going on to sustain through the dark winter months.

Nowhere’s perfect and since settling down here we’ve lost all of our useful shops to be replaced by knick-knackery. I fear the town is also drowning in its own success, and that sheer weight of numbers of visitors are destroying the qualities that make it so special…and of course second homes…not just cottages anymore but large family houses.

Ah! But inevitably the tourists return to the treadmill and an early morning meander along the seafront, sea sparkling and the cliffs marching away to the horizon makes me once more remember my good fortune.

2. You’re an expert on the delights that Dorset offers – why is it a good destination for a holiday or short break?
I’m biased, of course, but Dorset has an incredible variety of landscapes; from chalk cliffs and open downland to wooded intimate valleys, from shingle beach to fine sand. I always find the Dorset countryside incredibly friendly…they are landscapes you can relate to far better than mountainscapes.

It’s also a shame that people make a beeline for the coast while overlooking the North Dorset area, which is a great walking and cycling area and of course is so much more peaceful.

3. What’s your favourite no-cost activity in Dorset? How does it improve your day?
When the sun shines I’m torn by a terrible dilemma- To walk…? To cycle…? To kayak…? I stress I’m no sporty type but I do like to be active.  I find being out on a hill by myself with a coffee and a piece of cake is pure spiritual medicine.

4. What local delicacies do you enjoy when you need a bit of indulgence?
I hate the trend towards pretentious food and unfortunately there is as much of it in Dorset as elsewhere, while simple food done well is surprisingly hard to find.

Lyme’s Fish Bar takes some beating – they still prepare the chips by hand. Cream teas are my downfall but again finding a good one is almost a search for the holy grail. The Alexandra Hotel is good and it has a lovely outlook. I also like The Abbey House tea rooms at Abbotsbury, where you can also get B&B.

5. If you had £10 or less to purchase yourself a little treat in Dorset, what would it be?  
Well, I think the previous question answers that…definitely a cream tea.

Dorset treats - Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay6. If money and time were no object, what would your ultimate Dorset treat be?
The Landmark Trust have recently renovated the Clavell Tower at Kimmeridge Bay …it’s in a breathtaking position high up on the very cliff edge with views both up and down the Purbecks, so a stay there would be perfect.

work from home secrets

#TreatThursday medium badge Do you have any favourite places to go, or Dorset treats you’d recommend? Shaftesbury and Sherborne are within striking distance of us, and are both pretty towns with a long history.

And now click over to Thursday Treat Time on Penny Golightly where Penny has bought a lucky box of goodies for…1p. Yep, just a penny! Find out where she got it, and what was in it.

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