Dorset is home to some of the best food and drink producers in the country. It superb location close to rich farmland and the waters of the Jurassic coast, provides an ideal environment for farms to thrive. In addition to a number of esteemed eateries, you will find a delicious array of locally made produce at farm shops and food festivals across the county.
Blue Vinny has a rich history and was a favourite across Dorset until production stopped during the Second World War. Nearly 40 years ago local farmer Mike Davies, sought to revive this once loved cheese and began experimenting with a 300-year old recipe in the family kitchen at Woodbridge Farm. Using the milk from his heard of Fresian cows on his farm near Sturminster Newton, Mike has perfected the recipe over time and developed a range of soups and chutneys to compliment the cheese. Today, Blue Vinny is multi award winning and a crowd pleaser at events and food festivals across the UK.
Palmers are considered one of the best independent Brewery’s in the UK and have been brewing real ales from their base in Bridport, West Dorset since 1794. The historic building is set on the banks of the River Brit and natural spring, which continues to play an instrumental role in the brewing process today. A mix of traditional and modern methods are used to ensure a consistent and brew. Head brewer, Darren sources the finest ingredients to ensure that each of their 5 ales and seasonal brews has a distinctive flavour. They have also just started to brew a craft keg called The Dorset Pale which is proving very popular.
Dorset produce doesn’t get much more delicious than Purbeck Ice cream. The company was started 30 years ago by husband and wife team Peter and Hazel as a result of farm diversification. Over the years they have developed more than 40 tempting flavours, including unique combinations such as ‘Rhubarb and Rosehip’ and ‘Dorset Truffle’. All of the ice cream is free from artificial flavours and additives and produced using rich double cream. Ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible and efforts are made throughout the process to reduce waste and be mindful of sustainability.
Dorset Sea Salt is the brainchild of Jethro Tennant, who founded the company in 2017 with mentorship from the Princes Trust. Jethro endeavoured to reintroduce this once thriving local industry using a mix of traditional and contemporary production methods. Salt is hand harvested from the waters around the Isle of Portland. The water is believed to have unique mineral properties due to it’s close proximity to the Jurassic Coast, making the salt clean, pure and incredibly flavoursome.
Thomas Fudges specialise in making sweet and savoury biscuits from their base in Dorset. The company was founded in 1916 and has come a long way since braking bread and delivering it to local farms via horse and cart. Despite its expansion over the decades, craftsmanship is the heart of all that Fudges create. A team of Artisan chefs batch bake and today Fudges boast major supermarkets as some of their stockists.
Fordington Gin is distilled in Dorchester, the home of its founder, Ros Nelmes. Ros, is a gin enthusiast who frequently holds talks on the process of gin making and how it has changed over the course of time. The gin itself is a unique blend of juniper, star anise, lemon balm and absinthe botanicals. They is also a stronger seafaring strength gin which is 50% ABV called Gurt Lush.
Filberts produce a range of products including honey, balms and polishes using bee’s wax harvested from 74 hives across West Dorset. All products within the Filberts range are handmade from scratch in small batches using only natural ingredients. Honey is extracted in small quantities to preserve the unique taste and texture, which is produced as a result of the unique location close to both the coast and the countryside. Beekeeper, Mark explains that each pot will have a different flavour, which is dictated by the season.