The New Inn, Cerne Abbas

The shooting parties have hung up their tweed for the season and there’s a couple of months until the Dorset holiday crowds pitch up – take this as your cue to book a greedy weekend at Cerne Abbas’ ancient boozer, writes Kathryn Lewis

The New Inn’s history may stretch back to Tudor times, but this village pub is firmly rooted in 21st century hospitality.

It’s a safe bet that the countrymen of yonder year, who sought shelter at the coaching inn, weren’t flocking for the same kind of contemporary luxuries that lure 2019’s roadtrippers to this rural corner of Dorset.

Sleep and sustenance for modern day adventurers includes spacious suites, roll-top tubs and beautifully presented seasonal food.

VISIT for the best of the countryside. The Dorset coastline receives more than its fair share of attention and, while its seafood is great and the views spectacular, the county’s countryside deserves some appreciation.

Local game, meat and dairy get their moment in the spotlight at The New Inn and the confident kitchen team like to play around with flavours in dishes such as Wookey Hole cheese soufflé with forced rhubarb, stem ginger and savoury granola.

DON’T VISIT for crowd-pleasing pub grub. They don’t play it safe in this kitchen, so you won’t find gourmet burgers or fish and chips on the ambitious evening bill. Tradition, however, is upheld for lunchtime visitors who can tuck into beer-battered Brixham cod and homemade pies.

WE LIKED the HUGE two-floor suite complete with Chesterfield sofa, feature bath tub and flickering fireplace. The inn’s ten luxe bedrooms are the perfect base from which to visit local sights such as the famous chalk man.

Insider's

There’s a spacious beer garden in the courtyard if the first splashes of spring sunshine make an appearance.

What we ate (dinner)

Starter Venison meatballs, crispy shallots, onion sauce, juniper jus
Main Skrei cod loin, smoked scotch egg, cauliflower, chicory, roscoff onion
Pud Pistachio and white chocolate rice pudding, florentine, pistachio ice cream

3 courses from £27.50; B&B from £100

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