Christmas day dinner 2021: 11 delicious places to go in Dorset

A table adorned with wine glasses, pinecones, and Christmas decorations

Pick from a range of courses and treats this Christmas Day - Credit:

We've found the best places to eat and be merry with family this December 25th across Dorset.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but there is also a lot of pressure to make it perfect. Getting that turkey moist, the Yorkshire puddings risen, and all the vegetable cooked at the same time can be a huge strain whilst you're also trying to spend time with family.

But fear not... there is an alternative. Many have already chosen to swap the saucepans for serviettes and enjoy dinner at a hotel, restaurant, or pub this Christmas Day. It means you can relax and make memories with loved ones without having to dash off to put the sprouts on.

In no particular order, here are 11 delightful places to go this Christmas for dinner, where the food is plentiful and the drinks flow, but there's no washing up after desert is finished. 

The Wise Man, West Stafford

Price: £85pp, under 10s £30pp

Menu: Five courses including cheese and port

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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.

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The Canford, Poole

Price: £85pp, children £40pp

Menu: Five courses and a glass of bubbly on arrival

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

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A table is laid with cookies plus festive glass and dinner ware with a Christmas Tree in the background

Take the stress out of Christmas at one of these venues - Credit:, Pexels

Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury 

Price: £85pp

Menu: Three courses

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. There are 16 beautifully appointed rooms here too, so there's no need to limit your visit to one day only.

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The Lamb's Green Inn

Price: £75.95pp

Menu: Five courses including Amuse Bouche to begin

For those who are looking for a cosy, family-friendly atmosphere, The Lambs' Green Inn will tick all the boxes. They have an additional dedicated children's menu so the little ones can regain all that energy lost opening presents.

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The Grasshopper, Poole

Price: £70pp, add champagne for £8.75

Menu: Three courses

Enjoy Christmas is style at our next venue. If you're not a fan of traditional roast dinners, then this is definitely the spot for you. We particularly like the sound of the Korean-style fried tofu followed by the tropical fruit crumble.

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Arbour Restaurant, Bournemouth

Price: £85pp

Menu: Seven courses

This is a mouth watering option that will leave you as stuffed as the turkey this Christmas. Arbour are well-known for their incredible food with a chilled atmosphere. They are also offering a two night package with dinner starting from as little as £260.

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A platter of Christmas cookies decorated as reindeer, trees, and snowmen

Don't forget to finish off with pudding - Credit: Nicole Michalou, Pexels

Miller and Carter, Poole

Price: £82.95pp, children £39.95

Menu: Five courses followed by coffee and chocolates

Our next venue promise to make this a Christmas to remember with a lovingly created set-menu. There are also dedicated children's menus and a gluten free option to ensure the whole family can enjoy.

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The Curlew, Bournemouth

Price: £79.50pp

Menu: Four courses plus amuse bouche and chocolates

Spend this Christmas Day doing what truly matters most: spending quality time with family, sharing stories around the dinner table, and creating those special memories together. The Curlew cannot wait to welcome you and promises a host of delicious delights.

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La Fleur de Lys Restaurant, Shaftesbury

Price: £125pp

Menu: Five courses followed by coffee and mince pies

The menu at La Fleur sounds truly luxurious with options ranging from a traditional roast to a spiced sirloin of angus beef. This restaurant with rooms is situated in an old girls boarding house and comes highly recommended so think about adding an overnight to your visit.

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The Cliff, Poole

Price: £86.95pp, children £41.50

Menu: Four courses

There are several options for each course at our next Christmas Day lunch including a seafood sharing platter to start. They also have a separate menu for children with something to satisfy even the fussiest eater. Upgrade to their extra special menu for just £13pp and receive a glass of champagne on arrival and a cocktail after the meal.

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A table has been set for dinner and decorated with festive colours, flowers, and candles.

Make this Christmas special and stress free by going out for dinner - Credit: Libby Penner, Unsplash

The Cumberland, Bournemouth

Price: £95pp, children £47.50

Menu: Three courses

The Cumberland was recently awarded the highest AA 4-star rating in Bournemouth and is located in the iconic Art Deco resort hotel on the East Cliff. This means that not only will the food be delicious, but the view will take your breath away. Their menu is full of tasty treats and can be swapped for a vegan, gluten free, or dairy free options should you need it. 

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