7 of the best Christmas day lunches in Dorset

We've rounded up some of the best places to go for a festive lunch on the 25th. Photo credit - Sam E

We've rounded up some of the best places to go for a festive lunch on the 25th. Photo credit - Sam Edwards/Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

Give yourself a break from the cooking and washing up this Christmas, and head to one of Dorset’s many pubs and restaurants on the 25th – we’ve rounded up some of the best places to find excellent food and the atmosphere to match

The Pig on the Beach, Studland Bay

If you're in search of a touch of luxury this Christmas, head to this glorious coastal hotel and restaurant which comes complete with a walled kitchen garden, uninterrupted sea views, a path down to the beach and roaring log fires - what's not to love? On the 25th you can feast on a three course meal with all the trimmings, and better still, all produce has been sourced within a 25-mile radius. Expect dishes such as their special smoked haddock tart followed by Cobley Farm free range bronze turkey as well as less traditional options such as Jim Adami's venison with smoke Crown Prince puree. Leave room for pudding too…we love the sound of their dark chocolate slice with rum and prune ice cream…

£130 per person.

The Wise Man Inn, West Stafford

Venture deep in to Hardy country and you'll find this idyllic pub, which was a finalist for the Best Dorset Pub in the Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2019 as a result of its fantastic homemade cuisine and cosy atmosphere. On Christmas Day, they're offering a delicious menu that showcases the very best seasonal, local produce: starters include a wild mushroom, chestnut and truffle soup or beef carpaccio with pepper and radish salad, whilst for you main you might choose the grilled Dover sole or the slow-roasted Dorset turkey with wild boar and pancetta roulade. The dessert menu is just as tempting, with the traditional Christmas pudding, as well as a smashed meringue with raspberries and toasted almonds.

£85 per person or £30 for children aged ten and under.

Isabel's Restaurant, Poole

For a Christmas Day lunch with a French twist, Isabel's in Poole should be your go-to. The Michelin-recommended restaurant is set within a converted 19th century pharmacy, offering an intimate, candlelit setting that is perfect if you're after a decadent but relaxing celebration. Lunch will be served between 12 and 2, and you'll be greeted with welcome drinks and canapés on arrival before dining on the likes of duck and apricot terrine followed by a gateaux of roasted vegetables served with a chilli and spring onion dressing.

£97.50 per person.

The Lambs' Green Inn, Corfe Mullen

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For those who are looking for a cosy, family-friendly atmosphere, The Lambs' Green Inn will tick all the boxes. After a glass of Prosecco on arrival, you'll be spoilt for choice with an extensive menu on offer, which includes the likes of wild boar ravioli to start, followed by the traditional hand carved turkey breast with all the trimmings (including the all-important pigs and blankets). Alternatively you might go for the roasted monkfish, which is served with tempura prawns, mussels and dauphinoise potatoes. There are a number of options available for little ones, too.

£73.95 for four courses, or £30.95 for children.

The Plantation, Poole

This coastal hotel, which sits just outside of the village of Canford Cliffs, is renowned for its fantastic Sunday roasts, so you can be fairly sure that Christmas Day lunch here is going to be the stuff of dreams too. There are plenty of mouth-watering options to choose from on the 25th, which put a modern twist on the signature classic dishes; for example, you could have a roast apple and parsnip soup with picked apple and chestnuts to start, followed by a crown of English turkey with honey glazed gammon and roasted duck breast. We think we could eat their entire pudding menu too - the winter apple, fig and chestnut crumble with custard is making our tummies rumble. Better still, you'll be treated to glorious wintery views of the Dorset coast whilst you dine.

£80 for adults or £35 for children.

The Alexandra, Lyme Regis

If you're looking to steal some peace and quiet over the Christmas period, there can be few better places to stay than The Alexandra - this boutique hotel sits right by the sea, overlooking Lyme Bay and the famous Cobb harbour, so it's the perfect place to enjoy Dorset's Jurassic Coast. On Christmas Day you can feast to your heart's content with their 7 course lunch, which features decadent dishes such as seared diver caught scallops with chestnut veloute, followed by a champagne sorbet pallet cleanser before you move on to your main. Then you can choose from the likes of a roast Devonshire turkey with all the trimmings, or a carmalised shallot and rosary goats cheese galette. You can satisfy your sweet tooth with indulgent puddings such as dark chocolate and orange mousse cake, with coffee and mince pies to finish (if you have room left).

£99 per person.

The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury

This ultra-stylish former coaching inn is set within a Georgian property, but the inn itself is thought to date back as the far as the medieval times; as a result, it offers a quirky, character-packed setting for Christmas lunch, but the menu has been given a modern twist. Expect starters such as marinated Brixton crab with a Bloody Mary dressing, followed by innovative main course such as spiced roast duck with wild mushrooms and marsala sauce. There are 16 beautifully appointed rooms here too, so there's no need to limit your visit to one day only.

£80 per head or £50 for children under ten.

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