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Set in the Dorset hills near the jaw-dropping Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, Limestone Hotel & Restaurant has recently undergone a revamp and makes the perfect base if you’re visiting the coast in search of some peace and quiet.
Sitting proudly on a rather impressive peak in the centre of this little town, the hotel certainly makes quite a statement when you arrive. As well as a fresh lick of paint, the hotel’s food menu has also undergone a total makeover; it focuses on local produce and aims to reduce food waste. I couldn’t wait to get there and try Dorset’s famous seafood…
Why it’s great
Hotels like Limestone come few and far between. Their new slick modern interiors impress as soon as you arrive but you’re still met with a warm welcome from their team. Despite being classed as a smaller hotel, I wondered whether I might have to lower my expectations on the food front but both breakfast and dinner left us seriously impressed.
What’s the food like?
As I had hoped, the evening menu boasted a delicious selection of local fish and seafood. For starters, I ordered the pan-seared scallops (fresh from neighbouring Lyme Bay) which came drizzled with a beautiful zingy dressing and topped with fresh samphire; for a pleasing hit of salt. For main course, I enjoyed a fillet of brill, baked in a white paper parcel, served with lashings of capers and crispy potatoes. If you’ve got room, the puddings are definitely worth investigating, too. Despite being pretty full, I took one for the team and tried their warm chocolate brownie… because I’m a true professional.
Breakfast was lovely, too, with a cold buffet as well as a hot à la carte menu on offer. Having few rooms inside the hotel meant that breakfast was relaxed and never felt manic, like it sometimes can feel in bigger hotels when everyone rushes in. Top tip: try the tasty local Dorset sausages in the full English.
What’s in the rooms?
Limestone offers 12 spacious rooms which all ooze their own personalities. I fell in love with the shabby chic décor of our “Garden room” and rather than treating it as just a place to rest my head, I found myself wanting to actually spend time enjoying the relaxing vibe – the room had juliette balcony doors which opened out directly into the hotel’s gorgeous green garden. Your four-legged friends will be delighted to hear that two of the bedrooms are dog-friendly, too.
You’ll notice that everyone in town gravitates towards the beach. You can get there via a short walk through town from the hotel. On a hot sunny day, join the queue at Jake’s for a creamy Cornish ice cream or stop off at the Dolls House for a proper cream tea where they don’t hold back on the clotted cream portions. There’s an abundance of walking routes and treks nearby – if you’re an outdoorsy type – and there are also plenty of opportunities for you to get on your bike. The kids will love the never-ending supply of white sand to build castles on. It’s also a dog paradise with plenty of access spots for your pooch to jump into the sea for a splash.
What’s not so great?
It’s hard to fault this charming seaside pad. If, however, you prefer a busier hotel with more amenities nearby, Limestone (and to be honest, Lulworth Cove in general) perhaps isn’t for you. The hotel doesn’t really have a bar (just a small corner of the restaurant with a few bottles on display), so if you’re keen for a tipple, cross over to local pub The Castle Inn which has a great selection of gins and super friendly bar-staff. Like many of the buildings, the pub also has a thatched roof which adds to the charm of the entire town.
What’s the damage?
Rooms start from £115 per night including fabulous breakfast.
Find out more about Dorset’s Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site here.