Another quick visit to the cottage last week. Lucky for me to be able to visit in midsummer with such sunny weather. It felt a little too hot for one of my tasks though… steam cleaning the stone floor. On my last visit I planted some annuals in the back garden to add a bit of colour. I was keen to see how they were doing. Oh dear, they were all shrivelled and the only colour they were adding was brown! Victims of the amazing weather we’ve had so far this summer. Let’s hope it continues into the school holidays.
I went for a wander around the harbour early evening. There was a holiday atmosphere about the place. This was perhaps helped by the fact that England had already qualified for the next round of the World Cup so we didn’t have to agonise over the final group match! It was so warm that people were still in the sea. Of course the water wasn’t warm when I dipped my toe in (frankly it was cold).
My other photo here (below) is of my favourite house by the harbour. Look at the lookout and the weather vane on the roof, and the ship’s wheel on the front. It makes me think of the film Mary Poppins. We just need an old admiral character firing a cannon twice a day!
I was mulling over writing a post with ideas of how to make the most of a weekend in West Bay. A rough plan of where to go and what to do with a bit of a timetable too. Then I came across one that someone had made earlier. I like it. It suggests roughly the same things that I would. There’s lots more that I’d like to try to squeeze in but realistically it’s a good itinerary if you only have two days. I mean the weekend is meant to be enjoyable, not a mad race against the clock. The post has also got a nice little film, which is more than you’d get from one of mine. So rather than write my own post this time I thought I’d share this one with you: Click here.
Thanks to Claire, the owner of the blog. That’s a photo from the post at the top here (picture copyright Weekend Candy).
It almost goes without saying that our cottage is perfect for a West Bay weekend. By arriving on a Friday it means you wake up on Saturday ready for action. This is great as you really should visit Bridport Saturday morning / early afternoon with the market in full swing and Bucky Doo Square at it’s liveliest.
Read about 10 of our favourite things to do locally here.
Thinking of a weekend break in West Bay? We’d love to welcome you to West Bay Cottage. Please take a look inside the cottage or head to our Enquire and Book page for availability, the rates and how to book.
Are you interested in finding out about West Bay’s history? Then please read on. Best make yourself a hot drink and find a comfy chair before you begin, you have a lot of years to get through…
Thanks to the author of the westbay.co.uk website. Much of the information was gathered from it, as well as a couple of the vintage photos. If this post leaves you wanting more then just go to that website where you will definitely find a lot more. A labour of love I think.
I have highlighted all the buildings which are still around in BOLD so that next time you wander about the harbour with other people you can make yourself look extremely knowledgable and clever by pointing out the landmarks whilst you impart a little bit of their history!
Do you want to whisk someone off on a fabulous romantic break? West Dorset is a perfect destination. Perhaps some of these ideas will inspire your romantic escape to our cottage for that special getaway!
Enjoy a countryside walk and the dreamy scenery of gentle rolling hills.
Stroll around the harbour together with an ice cream or a bag of chips.
Simply take to the South West Coast Path and gaze at the beautiful coastline.
Feast your eyes on the blanket of bluebells across Eype Down in late spring.
Make the most of Dorset’s dark sky and gaze at the stars together.
Snuggle in front of the wood burner in the cottage.
Feeling the love? So why not channel your inner Bridget Jones and visit West Dorset for a Full-Blown Mini-Break Holiday Weekend, or stay longer and explore all that the area has to offer. If you haven’t yet booked accommodation we’d love to welcome you to West Bay Cottage. Take a look inside the cottage, or head to our Book With Us page for availability, the rates and how to book.
Did you see Saturday’s Telegraph article about how West Dorset has become a modern gastronomic capital no less? Read it here if you are lucky enough to be in the area and looking for a special meal. The focus is understandably on the more top-end restaurants but it mentions West Bay’s Watch House Café and Seatown’s The Anchor Inn so they’re not all very pricy. The picture above, pinched from the article, is of Dorshi in Bridport, open since 2016. It’s Asian style cooking, so lots of small dishes, dumplings, noodles, using local Dorset produce. Cocktails too. It’s getting great reviews on Tripadvisor. I read about it a little while ago and filed it away in my head as somewhere to try to go to when next in Bridport, then promptly forgot about it when I was actually there. D’oh
Fancy a girls-only weekend away? A chance to get together, to chat, laugh, catch up, relax, reminisce and recharge your batteries. A getaway to our cottage is great for just that. I speak from experience as, at least once a year, I’m lucky enough to spend a weekend there with three of my oldest friends (in every sense of the word oldest, ha ha!).
Eating Out – The Blow-Out
There’s not much actual cooking in the cottage these weekends. Nuh-uh. The fridge is full of bottles and nibbles. With so many places to eat out we are spoilt for choice. Decisions, decisions. We treat ourselves to one blow-out meal each trip. It’s been The Station Kitchen for the last two years. Having sat in the train carriage last year we really had to go back to try the waiting room too. I went very retro with prawn cocktail followed by a great steak. My friends were very happy with their scallops and lamb dishes. Sadly we were too full this time for puddings. One year we made the very short walk to The Riverside for a special treat (we did have “significant” birthdays to celebrate). Another time we took a trip to Lyme where we had a lovely lunch at Mark Hix’s place with the views over the bay. We’ve also over the years had great Saturday evening meals and Sunday lunches at The West Bay Hotel. I’ll gloss over the not-so-good Sunday roast we had a few years ago at another local hotel!
More Eating – Lighter Bites
We need to fit a visit to a cafe or two into the weekend. A few weeks ago we had a yummy lunch (crab sandwich, mussels and two moroccan chicken salads in case you’re wondering) at the Soulshine Café in Bridport. We were lucky enough to stay dry in their little garden out the back. Last year we raved about Rachel’s (one of the wooden huts at The Mound) for Sunday lunch (sadly not possible this year as you do need the weather to behave). We recommend The Seasider too if you fancy fish and chips back at the cottage, Friday evening perhaps.
The Watch House Café fits the bill for a nice breakfast, lunch or brunch on the beach. Or indeed a slice of cake in the afternoon, including Dorset apple cake.
This year we added pasties to our repertoire, with the new kid on the block, The Cornish Bakery, a couple of minutes walk away in the old Harbour Stores building. A pasty and a Portuguese tart provided a cheap and tasty lunch eaten back at the cottage. I really did have to go back the next day, home alone now, for another one.
Another pull to the area is shopping. A wander around the Customs House one time made Kate’s day when she found a vintage book about Richard Burton (she’s his biggest fan). One Sunday we ambled around the Car Boot Sale (Mel is still using her salt pig bargain!). Or Bridport for some proper retail therapy with the Saturday Market and mix of independent galleries, books shops, boutiques and chain stores too.
Things To See
Each year there is something different to visit. A food festival at Hive Beach one year. This year the Open Studios event was being held so we spent an enjoyable hour or two wandering around several of the St Michael’s studios in Bridport as well as the ones in West Bay. It was a Dorset heritage weekend too. We braved climbing to the top of St Mary’s Church with rather a small opening at the top to clamber though, best for Kim the climbing wall enthusiast! It gave us a 360 degree bird’s eye view of the town, down to West Bay and across to Colmers Hill too. Next year the Hat Festival maybe?
It’s not all eating and drinking. We walk, a little anyway. Up to Bridport or around West Bay. The stroll along the pier to breathe in that sea air and get that view of the honeyed cliffs. If we are feeling energetic (or to walk off all the food we’ve been eating) we take a quick hike up East Cliff. We’ve walked the other way too, to Eype with the glorious view of the Golden Cap and Lyme Bay in the distance.
With the Electric Palace and Bridport Arts Centre up the road you might think I’d mention the shows we’ve been to, the variety of film, theatre, music and comedy evenings we’ve packed into our weekends. Nope, we like to spend time relaxing in the cottage, time just to chill. Open a bottle, watch some DVDs. We did have an eclectic mix of them this year, the Good (The Birds), the Bad (Sharknado) and the Ugly (Machete). Don’t worry, we didn’t leave the DVDs behind!
Sound like your sort of a weekend? Well then, book a short break at the cottage, one for just the girls, and start planning now. Take a look inside the cottage, or head to our Book With Us page for availability, the rates and how to book.