Hidden away down a leafy lane in West Dorset is Down House Farm, a quirky garden cafe with the most delicious of home-cooked food.
Mostly it’s walkers on the coastal path between Eype and Seatown, who stumble on the delights of Down House Farm, from signposts directing them on a short walk inland.
Honestly if you drive down the lane you can’t help but question if you’re in the right place so narrow and long is the road – but perservere, the rewards are worth it.
A quiet, secluded courtyard with a mass of ferns, tables and chairs dotted across, a gazebo if its raining, cushions, rugs and a huge chalkboard menu.
The cafe describes its fare as “good home-made, unpretentious and wholesome comfort food made using our own organic meats, herbs and veggies”. It’s a description we agree with.
Dishes such as: bubble & squeak patties topped with a fried egg and bacon; Lyme Bay crab in a seeded bap; a trio of their own pork and wild garlic sausages with Colcannon mash and caramelised onion gravy; or mushrooms in a creamy blue vinney, garlic and thyme sauce served on crusty bread. There’s a vegan menu with the likes of spicy lentil dahl, a butterbean and vegetable casserole or a full-on vegan breakfast to set you up for the day.
In inclement weather, you can shelter in the gazebo with its nautical paraphernalia and the food warms you from the inside, but in sunny weather this is a little corner of sun-dappled cafe heaven.
Downhouse Farm produce is showcased and when ingredients can’t be sourced from their own farm then local producers or suppliers fill the gaps.
Meat is free-range from the farm, chicken from Rawles Butchers in Bridport. Veg comes from the Down House gardens or from the nearby Washing Pool Farm Shop. Fish comes from Davy’s Locker sourced from West Country ports. Blue Vinney and mature cheddar as well as Dorset clotted cream comes from Leopard Dairy in Blandford, while Purbeck Ice Cream provides ices from milk from their own dairy herd. The kitchen uses too many eggs for their own hens to supply (apparently no matter how hard they squeeze them) so free-range producers from Somerset help meet that demand.
This is one of those quirky, wholesome options for a fun feast and is definitely worth hunting out if you’re in Dorset. Delicious, wholesome food, eaten outside and guaranteed to leave you with rosy cheeks on your cheeks and a warm glow inside. Definitely worth hunting out. Higher Eype Bridport DT6 6AH.
You can read more about this area in our blog ‘Family and dog-friendly break in Dorset.’