Three Great Dog Friendly Pubs near Gillingham in North Dorset

We love dogs – and of course, we’re a dog friendly bed and breakfast! So we enjoy meeting your canine friends and making everyone in your group feel welcome and at home. Your dogs are welcome to join you in the bedroom and we even provide complimentary dog treats, handmade with love by my friend Julie at Dorset Dog Delights. Please see our dog friendly page for more details and remember to use offer code MYDOGGY to receive a discount on stays of two or more nights in Room One – Church View. Click here to book.

Our eating out page contains suggestions of local Dorset eating and drinking spots and those which are dog friendly are marked as such.  But here’s a couple of pubs which we really recommend as being both dog and human friendly!

The Ship Inn, on the A30 at West Stour

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Our dog Peggy at The Ship Inn

This is our personal favourite pub – we go there a lot and always take our own guests for meals or just a drink.  It’s an independent pub with a wide range of beers available (it won the Wessex CAMRA Pub of the Year award in 2016) and it even has a gin menu! The food is also great and booking is a must. We love it for Sunday lunch – Steve is a big fan of the three meat roast (and so is Peggy, our dog!). Open daily, but closed for dinner on Sunday evenings. Dogs are welcome in the bar (not the restaurant) but the food, service and menu are the same in both. It’s owned and run by Gavin, a really friendly and welcoming bloke.  The car park is opposite the pub and you’ll need to cross the A30 on foot to get to/from your car. There are some nice fields opposite the pub for a pre or post pub visit dog walk.

The Coppleridge Inn, Elm Hill, Motcombe (between Gillingham and Shaftesbury)

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The view from the Coppleridge Inn, looking towards Shaftesbury

It’s worth visiting this pub just for the superb drive – the daylight views between ‘Sunflowers’ and your destination are absolutely stunning and you get a beautiful view of the Blackmore Vale once you arrive. (Ask us for directions,  as your sat-nav/GPS may send you a different way). Another favourite of ours, again for Sunday lunch or weeknight specials. Booking suggested at weekends. Dogs are allowed in the bar and conservatory. The restaurant area is quite ‘old school’ in terms of décor and atmosphere, so previous guests have told us that they prefer the vibe in the bar and conservatory; you may also prefer to book a table in there instead. Beautiful views towards Shaftesbury, a lovely lane for a dog walk and lots of on-site parking.

The Grove Arms, Ludwell, near Shaftesbury (on the A30)

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Menu options

Boutique style pub on the A30, just outside Shaftesbury on the road to Salisbury. Fairly standard pub grub on offer for humans but there’s a special doggy menu available, with a “doggy dinner” on offer for £3.95!

 

 

Restaurant review: The Grill House, Gillingham, Dorset

The Grill House is the most recent addition to the selection of restaurants available here in Gillingham – and today we paid it a lunchtime visit in order to check it out and report back.

Based on South Street, an easy walk from ‘Sunflowers’, The Grill House opened in June 2017 on the site of what was the very popular SSK restaurant. The old building still retains many of the stripped back SSK features (exposed brick walls, vintage light fittings, lots of wood) and has a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

wp-1505396496704.The Grill House is currently running a very good “early bird” promotion; from 12 noon to 6pm, there’s a choice of a number of popular main dishes (burgers, mac and cheese, chicken, lasagne and so on) available for £10 including a drink (beer, house wine or a soft drink). The full menu is available to view here.

 

We tried out the burger (huge, and supplied with fries, onion rings and coleslaw) and the BBQ chicken and chorizo skewer (served with fries and a large green salad).  It was all very filling and was delivered by a really friendly waitress who provided us with great, prompt service.

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The Grill House burger

 

We’ll definitely be happy to send our guests there and to add The Grill House to our list of suggested local eating spots.

As always, our blog reviews are unbiased, are our own personal opinions and are based on a personal self-funded visit to the venue. Thank you to our recent guest Rebecca for her shot of the burgers!

The Grill House
South Street
Gillingham
Dorset
SP8 4AP

Tel: 01747 824 278

Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 12 noon to 9pm (8pm on Sundays). Booking strongly recommended for Friday and Saturday evenings.

Websitewww.thegrill-house.com – and there’s currently some money off deals on the home page (as at September 2017)

New restaurant opens in Gillingham, Dorset

… and it’s just a short walk away from ‘Sunflowers’! So we are delighted to welcome the owners and staff of The Grill House on South Street, Gillingham to the town,  as it’s always good to have another eating place to recommend to our guests.

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The Grill House restaurant, Gillingham, Dorset

The Grill House, pictured here, opened last week and welcomes guests from Wednesday to Sunday, serving food from 12 noon to 9pm. We’ll post a review once we’ve checked it out for ourselves but in the meantime, here’s their menu and you can book online, too.  We were also pleased to see on their Facebook page that they’re using the garden for a spot of al-fresco eating – always a plus in the summer months.

wp-image-217163504The previous restaurant on this site was extremely popular with our guests, particularly those who travelled to us by train, foot or bicycle, so it really is great news that it’s re-opened in a new incarnation.  It’s about a 10 minute walk away from ‘Sunflowers’ – perfect! We wish the new team lots of luck and look forward to calling in soon.

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Want to come and stay in a B&B which is top rated and reviewed across Facebook, Airbnb and Google?  Just click here to book directly with us for the best price, instant availability and lots of little extras. Ann and Stephen from Ireland recently came to stay for two nights on a visit to Dorset to see the legendary RICK WAKEMAN perform as part of GillFest 2017 and wrote in our guest book:

We have never before experienced such a wonderfully attentive and friendly B&B – everything is such excellent quality and Cleo and Steve are so hospitable. We highly recommend ‘Sunflowers’!

Thank you so much!

How to make limoncello

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Home made limoncello

Continuing the blog theme of cooking with fruit … I am currently in the process of making my own limoncello, both to use as an ingredient in cocktails at home and to bottle to give away as Christmas presents.

Limoncello has always been one of my favourite liqueurs – it’s a lovely, lemon infused spirit, which is Italian in origin and can be used in lots of ways. I love it as a drink and my mum uses it to make an absolutely delicious blueberry and lemon tart (I’ll post the recipe here if enough people ask me to!).

I  decided to have a go at making it myself after I had trouble finding it in the supermarket – “how hard can it be?” I  thought. And sure enough,  it is quite straightforward; you just need time and patience.

Taking a Very Sharp Peeler,  all you do is zest about a dozen lemons and then leave the peelings to marinate in vodka for as long as possible. I set mine to infuse on November 5th and the jars pictured here are now sitting peacefully in a dark cupboard, allowing alcohol and alchemy to turn them into limoncello. In about a week’s time,  I will strain the liquid and then complete the process outlined here to add sugar syrup and bottle the resulting sunshiney liqueur.

So, any guests who visit us after Christmas – ask to try my home made limoncello.  As we say in Ireland: slainte!

 

 

On a favourite local eating spot

wp-1479763153517.jpgToday I walked past local restaurant South Street Kitchen and snapped this picture as I did so.  It’s one of our favourite places to eat and drink here in Gillingham and is just a short walk from the house;  this of course makes it very popular with guests who fancy trying one of SSK’s legendary cocktails or who are in the area without a car due to arriving by train, bicycle or foot!

I saw the SSK team comment on Instagram today that they’re now doing certain menu items (burgers, I think) to takeaway,  so I must find out more about this and see if they have menus that I can share with our guests.  Jane and Terry who stayed here last week came home raving about the delicious pulled pork and squid and chorizo dishes they had at SSK – I need to make a booking and call in again myself!

Check out where else we recommend that you eat and drink when you’re staying with us – there are some absolutely fabulous pubs and restaurants in the area.