11 reasons to enjoy a visit to Café Newt in Gillingham, Dorset

Book securely and directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little free extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

|| We love walking to local coffee spot Café Newt from ‘Sunflowers’ – it’s an easy ten minute stroll from us and here are just some of the reasons to pay them a visit:

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    Welcome to Cafe Newt

    Located in the stunning, listed Old Brewery Building on Wyke Road – Café Newt is at the rear of the property and is the in-house café for motorcycle Moto Corsa dealer Mirus 55, home to some beautiful and rare motorcycles. Even if you’re not into bikes, the space is fantastic and is a stunning backdrop for a wide range of motorbikes, clothing and vintage biking artefacts.

  • We can give you directions on how to find the café – it’s an easy walk, drive or motorbike ride from ‘Sunflowers’.
  • The café is run by Steve and he and his team are very friendly and helpful, with a smile for everyone.
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    Flat white? Yes, please.

    The coffees are great! Like us, Steve is a big fan of local produce,  so you can enjoy our delicious local coffee (seen here in a flat white) as supplied by Gillingham firm 918 Coffee.

  • There’s a wide range of Specials and you can enjoy sandwiches, cakes, soups and other hot lunch options.
  • Plus gluten-free bread, cakes and soya milk are on offer.
  • It’s dog friendly! Your canine friend is welcome in the conservatory area at the back of the café and in the garden too. And Steve’s team will even offer Fido (or Peggy, in my case) a doggy treat upon arrival.
  • There are colouring sheets and crayons for the mini-visitors ….
  • And lots of books and magazines about bikes for the motorcyclists.
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    PS: yes, we are a dog friendly B&B!

    Finally – our guests can enjoy a free Americano coffee or a cup of tea when they visit Café Newt: we’ve been supplied with some free vouchers (Peggy is guarding them) which are here for you if you let us know that you fancy a trip to Café Newt during your stay. Available until 20th April 2018, whilst our stocks last.

  • PS: It’s called Café Newt because there’s a rare and protected colony of newts in the pond at the rear of the property. All of the building work at Mirus 55 was done in order to preserve and secure their habitat.

Café Newt at
Mirus 55
The Old Brewery
Wyke Road

Tel: 01747 811 196

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday
9.00am – 4.30pm

Restaurant review: The Wine Bar, Gillingham, Dorset

The Wine Bar has been around for a while here in Gillingham but is now under new ownership and receiving rave reviews for the food and service – so last week we paid it a visit in order to check it out and report back.

Based on Queen Street, an easy walk from ‘Sunflowers’, The Wine Bar is open for lunch and dinner (closed on Mondays) and also offers a Sunday lunch carvery as well as a Wednesday evening “Steak Night Special”: two steaks with all the trimmings plus a bottle of wine for £30.00.

Upon arrival, we ordered our drinks in the “wine bar” part of the venue – a spacious room with lots of seating and comfortable sofas,  before being shown to our table in the HUGE dining area at the back (and there’s also a garden and a decked area for use in the summer).  Whilst we waited we were brought warm home made bread, hummus and baba ganoush, prior to the arrival of our main courses.

Fillet of sesame crusted sea bass

I ordered a sesame crusted fillet of sea bass, which was served on a bed of ginger and coriander noodles and Steve opted for the house burger, which came stacked high as pictured here, complete with onion rings, chips, coleslaw and pickles. Both were excellent, in terms of both taste and presentation. We were served by the extremely friendly and helpful Sarah,  who handles front of house whilst her husband Arnie presides over the kitchen.

The Puddings Board

We also checked out the puddings – on offer the week that we were there were the items listed here, of which we sampled the really excellent crème brulee,  but these change regularly (yum!)

Crème brulee and blackcurrant sorbet

We’ll definitely be happy to send our guests there and to add The Wine Bar to our list of suggested local eating spots. A copy of the menu and walking directions on how to find the restaurant may be found in our in-room folders.

As always, our blog reviews are unbiased, are our own personal opinions and are based on a self-funded visit to the venue. 

The Wine Bar
20 Queen Street

Tel: 01747 825 825

Opening hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – 10.00pm
Wednesday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – 10.00pm
Thursday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – 11.00pm
Friday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – midnight
Saturday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – midnight
Sunday: 12 noon to 4.00pm; 7.00pm – 10.00pm

Facebook page: click here

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.

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

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)

Why not base yourselves at our Gillingham Bed and Breakfast and explore the hidden gems of North Dorset?

We have now opened the doors of our bed and breakfast to guests from 27 different countries! In August (2017)  alone, we welcomed visitors from France, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Russia and Australia. Thank you all.

Margaret and Ian from Australia stayed with us for two nights whilst visiting distant cousins in Gillingham and Shaftesbury and wrote us this review:

“This charming B&B hidden away in the little town of Gillingham is perfectly located for exploring Shaftesbury and the many picturesque villages nearby. Cleo is a delightful hostess who takes extra care to ensure that her guests have every comfort.”

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury Dorset

Saxon hill-top town Shaftesbury is of course famous for the iconic 1970s advertisement for Hovis Bread – here’s a reminder of the commercial, complete with the voice over which led many to believe that it was actually filmed in Yorkshire, rather than on Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill!

The actor who plays the young delivery boy still retains an association with Shaftesbury; he was here a few years ago to turn on the town’s Christmas lights and then again more recently in order to recreate the original commercial by way of using an electric bicycle in order to ride up Gold Hill – read all about it here!

Book securely and directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little free extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

Gillingham Dorset – B&B feedback from The King!

Thank you Elvis!

This week,  we had a fabulous guest by the name of Elvis staying with us for One Night (only), although as you can see from his feedback,  he did promise to come back again (thank you very much).

He stayed here on his own and we hope he wasn’t Lonesome Tonight, or All Shook Up when our Hound Dog Peggy came over to say hello.  As he was travelling on business, he wasn’t wearing Blue Suede Shoes, unfortunately.

You can see from the guest book comments that he had a great time here and didn’t regard us as Heartbreak Hotel – phew.

We loved meeting Elvis – he booked His Way so if you’d like to do the same and be treated  like a King (or Queen), It’s Now or Never to be sure to get your preferred dates – just click here !

(These song title puns are going Way Down now,  so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead).

So, as the King himself would surely say: thank you very much – we look forward to meeting you soon.

Review share: Sunflowers BnB, Gillingham, Dorset, as reviewed by Luxury Travel Diary!

Room 3 – Blackmore Vale views

Wow! We’ve been reviewed by the team at the Luxury Travel Diary website and are delighted to read what they have to say about us. Here’s the highlights – accompanied by a photo of room 3, as taken by London Backline Photography on our recent professional photo shoot with them:

A peaceful, luxury boutique retreat awaits in the beautiful north Dorset countryside at Sunflowers Bed and Breakfast.


[Sunflowers] is located in the beautiful town of Gillingham, the most northerly town in Dorset. It is the perfect base for a trip exploring the West Country; lying on the borders of Somerset and Wiltshire. Gillingham is located close to Shaftesbury, on a direct train line from London Waterloo with a journey time of under 2 hours. The B&B is a short walk from the railway station, or ten minutes’ drive from the A303.

Style & Character

This boutique B&B is set in a beautiful contemporary house which inside oozes country chic. It is luxurious, comfortable and stylish. The stunning gardens and the views of the surrounding countryside add a lot to the appeal of staying here and make for a relaxing stay.

Service & Facilities

There is ample free private parking here, a beautiful garden, a private living room and dining room space that includes Sky TV and a DVD player, complimentary Wi-Fi and the pièce de résistance; a hot tub; set in a private, covered area of the garden it is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of something chilled and bubbly while soaking the day away. They even provide the fluffy robes and towels, just bring your swimwear! It’s the little homely touches that you really notice when staying here; be it the complimentary dog treats (this place is definitely dog-friendly and they’ll spoil your four legged friends rotten given half the chance!), the Dorset Tea served in the guest rooms or the toys and books that are available for little guests. You are guaranteed to receive a wonderfully warm welcome at Sunflowers; depending on when you arrive, you’ll receive a fresh pot of Dorset tea served with locally made biscuits or cake, or maybe a glass of wine if the hour is right! They have a comprehensive pack of local information for you to pore over to help you decide how to spend your days in this delightful part of the country.


There are just three en-suite rooms at this intimate B&B. All include high thread count cotton sheets and plenty of pillows; black out blind; Freeview TV with built in DVD player, tea, coffee and hot chocolate making facilities (with a choice of bottled water and fresh milk), fluffy bath robes, hairdryer, alarm clock and assorted toiletries. Room 1 is a large en-suite double room with a view looking over the church, Room 2 is a single room looking over the garden and Room 3 is also an en-suite double room with views over the Blackmore Vale. Rooms 2 and 3 are right next to each other and are popular with families, Room 1 is the largest (plenty of room for a travel cot or an extra single bed which they will provide) but my favourite would have to be Room 3.

(c) Luxury Travel Diary 2017

Want to come and see for yourself? Please check availability online here, contact us or call – we look forward to welcoming you to our “peaceful, luxury retreat”.