PLACES TO EAT
PUBS AND RESTAURANTS with links
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Festivals and Markets
Restaurants and cafes
Dorset has become well known as a 'foodie county'. Marnhull is situated in the Blackmore Vale (referred to by Thomas Hardy as the 'Vale of Little Dairies' and is proud of it's local cheeses celebrated annually with a Cheese Festival at Sturminster Newton. You can find out more about this and the various entertainments that happen on the day on the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival site. Similarly Shaftesbury has a thriving food and drink festival with the famous (and slightly bonkers!) Cheese Race up Gold Hill. Read about the Festival on the Shaftesbury Food and Drink Festival site.
There is also much local and enterprising meat and fish production, and chefs like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Lesley Waters revel in the local produce. The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival brings together champagne and seafood around Weymouth's picturesque harbour in July. The Old Bank is close to many of these festivals which makes it a perfect centre for exploring local events taking place.
Dorset's coastland produces crab, lobster and bass to name just a few. The downs give us the most delicious lamb whilst the vales give us our dairy and beef cattle. The expression 'chalk and cheese' originates from the variety of countryside that lie alongside each other. Dorset farmland has it all!