Malmo & Moss Goes Jurassic
The last time I went to Dorset I was 9 years old and spent almost the entire time in the garden of our holiday house racing snails with my sister. I therefore can’t remember much about Durdledoor or the rest of the Jurassic Coast but I do recall that I found the Ferrari of the snail world who frequently reduced my sister to tears as he accelerated (in snail terms) past her slippery chap who badly needed an injection of snail steroids. This Easter, having put those heady snail racing days behind me, I returned to Dorest with my in-laws
Where We Stayed
We booked a great Air BnB about 5 miles away from Lyme Regis. Kerb appeal wise from the front it was not exactly a stunner, situated across a narrow road from a working farm, operated by a farmer who would probably not have been chosen to front a Duchy of Cornwall campaign on account of having only 3 front teeth and more hair coming out of his ears than I have on my head. It looked more the kind of place to be cordoned off by DEFRA for starting a foot & mouth outbreak than to feature in a soft focus segment on lambing on Countryfile. However, the rear and inside of the cottage were a very different story.
With 7 bedrooms in total (3 doubles, 3 singles and one with bunk beds) it was once two old workers cottages knocked into one with oodles of period features but decorated with a modern twist with great vintage, statement wallpapers and bold colour choices. The real showstopper was the master suite which was painted a gorgeous dark green which had me mentally scouring a farrow & ball colour chart to work out which shade it was. Green Smoke was the insta consensus. I wonder if doctors trying to diagnose dementia in middle class patients use some sort of system based on how many Farrow & Ball colours you can still name?
I wonder if doctors trying to diagnose dementia in middle class patients use some sort of system based on how many Farrow & Ball colours you can still name? At the foot of the gorgeous raspberry coloured bed was a roll top bath with stunning rattan pendant lights hanging overhead. Downstairs there was a lovely big dining table for family meals, a snug living room with woodburner and then upstairs there was another big family room. If I had any criticism it would be the carpets which were obviously next on the list of jobs to do but in meantime added a weirdly fusty air to proceedings.
However, the garden more than made up for any carpet based disappointment. It was huge and had a sea view over rolling fields (with the abundantly ear haired farmer often strolling past with a herd of sheep). It had a built in trampoline and separate den area with two brilliant treehouses. We enjoyed speculating Lloyd Grossman style “who lived in a house like this” and concluded that they were a London couple from the arts, possibly theatre designers, based mainly on the presence of several feather boas which, in truth, could equally have indicated they belonged to a burlesque troop.
Places to Go
The Rousdon Village Bakery
Anyone looking to book it should make sure to pack a pair of elasticated waist trousers in their luggage as it is a hop and skip away from the Rousdon Street Bakery.
Bear with me when I say it is in a former petrol station, I promise it is not a case of perching on a disused petrol can whilst eating a stale Ginsters. It has been converted into a light modern space with big communal tables and serves, hands down, the best bacon sandwich I have ever tasted. Served on fried brioche bread, I think it might have caused me to suffer my first bacon induced orgasm. There is also a nice shop next door selling textiles and ceramics when you have finally concluded, for the sake of your coronary arteries that two bacon sandwiches in one day would be too much. If you get a second wind you can also pop to the sister branch in Lyme Regis called the Town Mill Bakery.
We loved the slightly old fashioned charm to Lyme Regis. The sandy beach to the west of the town centre is overlooked by lovely pastel coloured beach huts and it is a great spot to grab some fish and chips from Herbies before one of you causes the RNLI to come and rescue the 11,151st person to fall into the sea whilst have a little French Lietenants Woman moment on the Cobb.
Ryder & Hope
I also discovered a rather nice little interiors shop called Ryder & Hope at the top of the High Street whilst my son was blowing his holiday money on an allegedly pre-historic shark’s tooth. It stocks a very insta pleasing mix of botantical inspired products, gorgeous textiles, candles and interiors books. I particularly loved their display shelving made of reclaimed scaffold planks & copper piping.
Further afield, Bridport and the Broadchurch featuring beaches of Burton Bradstock and Westbay are both worth a trip although the single lane A35 is prone to the type of slow moving tailbacks that may cause your children to ask what “cunting caravans” are. If you visit Bridport on a Saturday it plays host to an open air vintage/flea market with all of the bric a brac shops also joining in which is located in the shadow of an old mill.
Having been tasked with finding a café for lunch whilst we browsed the market, the men unexpectedly came up trumps with the Soulshine Café (although they did later confess to also having brought sausage rolls from the Spa which was their preferred preference but for some unknown reason they thought might be mildly unpopular with us). It had a lovely garden area, quirky furnishing and lots of games and toys to keep the kids amused. However, save room for a icecream from the Hive Beach Café on Burton Bradstock beach which is well worth braving the middle class bunfight for.
Burton Bradstock beach is definitely worth going along the coast too. It was used as a location in Broadchurch so is a good spot to go and close your eyes and pretend David Tennant is your husband, but it's real attraction is the Hive Beach Cafe which is justifiably popular offering a winning mix of great breakfasts, delicious cakes and ice cream from a hut out of the back. Although prepare yourself for having to fight off middle class children called Freya who are trying to queue jump you in a bid to get a mango and pistachio sorbet first. The beach also comes with the added bonus of a National Trust Car Park which you can use for free and thus convince yourself that you have totally got your value for money from your £15 a month National Trust membership despite not having been near a Stately Home in 7 months.
Back at the holiday house once we had got the kids to bed of an evening we would settle down for a couple of rounds of traditional family favourite “In the Bag”. As we headed home, sad to leave behind our contemporary coastal country pile, we were all left trying to erase from our memories my husband’s attempted mime of Julian Assange which involved leaping out from behind a curtain whilst thrusting his crotch and dangling a wire. Sexual assault allegations, diplomatic asylum and data leaks are, admittedly, a tough combination to act out through mime.
How do I book?
The property we stayed at is available through Air BnB.