Advantages Location, generous portions of good food
|Value for Money|
|Standard of Service|
After walking from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove the long way round on New Year's Eve, we had quite an appetite by mid afternoon. There wasn't a huge choice of eateries without walking back to West Lulworth, so we settled on the Lulworth Cove Inn. It's a large, white-washed building on the main road, easy to spot. I wasn't quite convinced at first, however, as notices on the outside advertised lobster, crab and mussels as well as burgers, none of which are favourites of mine. Nevertheless I agreed to give it a go.I was surprised on entering to see how busy the place was, given that this was New Year's Eve and the usual lunchtime rush should have been over. A waitress was just telling me that we could go through to the restaurant area if the pub was full when my son indicated to me that he had found a table in a corner. I was relieved that the waitress was friendly and welcoming, as the day before we had been completely ignored in a tearoom near Corfe Castle.
The table was actually for four people, but we had backpacks, cameras and a tripod so we needed space to put them down. My son let me have what looked to be the more comfortable, long seat but later said he felt guilty because he could just about see Lulworth Cove from where he was sitting! I didn't mind, as we had already spent some time there. On the table was a wooden container with cutlery wrapped in paper serviettes, but we had to go to the bar to find menus.I was happy to see that there was a varied menu rather than just seafood and burgers to choose from. Starters, tapas and light dishes included baked stuffed potato skins (£4.95), filo-wrapped tiger prawns (£6.50) and baked goat's cheese tartlet (£4.95). Mains ranged from chicken tikka masala with rice and poppadoms (£10.50), home-made wild boar and apple faggots with onion gravy, mash and peas or mixed vegetables (£10.50), spinach and ricotta cannelloni with potatoes and salad (£9.95), paella with crusty bread (£10.95, or a children's portion for £5.95) and deep fried scampi with chips, peas and salad garnish £12.95.
Those looking for a light meal could choose toasted sandwiches, all around the £4 mark with fillings such as cheese and horseradish or cheese and tomato. Ordinary sandwiches included ham (£3.95) and West Country crab (£4.75); baguettes with tuna mayo or brie and cranberry were £5.95. Baked potatoes were available with fillings such as cheese and beans (£5.50) or prawn mayo (£5.95). Salads were somewhat more pricey: there was goat's cheese, beetroot and parmesan (£10.50) as well as chargrilled chicken, bacon and parmesan (£10.95). Omelettes went from plain at £6.25 through ham (£7.25) to cheese and mushroom (£7.95).I was considering ordering the cannelloni and my son was wondering about the wild boar and apple faggots, but neither of us was sure. Then my son said he quite fancied a ploughman's lunch but didn't want a huge amount of cheese. I suggested we order one ploughman's with ham and Dorset pate and another with coastal mature Cheddar cheese and brie, and each have half cheese and half pate. Both versions of the ploughman's lunch are £9.95. This seemed like a good idea, so my son ordered our food at the bar and we each had a drink while we were waiting.
It wasn't too long before the waitress arrived with two huge oval plates piled high with food. A medium granary baguette was cut in half, and there were plentiful mixed salad leaves. On top of these were slices of apple, onion and tomato topped with cress. There were also slices of cucumber, two sticks of celery, two pickled onions and a small bowl of pickle. The cheese ploughman's even had a slice of orange twisted on top of the salad. A veritable feast. We duly swapped half the cheese, ham and pate and began to tuck in. Everything was very fresh, and I particularly enjoyed the pate and cheese with the apple slices and tomatoes. I usually like a dressing on salad, but I was quite happy to eat this one without. However, there was just too much of everything! I hate to waste food, but I just couldn't finish it all.Neither of us had room for dessert, but if you do there is a trio of ice cream (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) at £2.95 which wouldn't be too filling. All other desserts are £4.55 and include chocolate sponge pudding, spotted dick and bramley apple pie. We wanted to go back to Lulworth Cove to take a few more photos before sunset, otherwise we might have stayed for a hot drink. I noticed that the inn serves Fair Trade coffee.
The Lulworth Cove Inn does have children's meals on its menu, such as cod fish fingers (£4.95), ham, egg and chips (£6.95), or beef lasagne with garlic bread and salad garnish (£6.95).The Lulworth Cove Inn offers a Sunday carvery from noon onwards; the price for adults is £8.95 and for children £4.95. The Inn suggests that booking is advisable.
I would definitely recommend the Lulworth Cove Inn as a place to have good pub food with friendly service. I can't imagine how busy it must get in the summer, but there is an outside eating area too. I have to say it was a little noisy from time to time, but that was only to be expected.Lulworth Cove Inn
Tel. 01929 400333www.lulworth-cove.co.uk
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