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La Fosse, Cranborne, Dorset
Tucked away in an unassuming Victorian brick house, in a pretty East Dorset village, is a superb restaurant with six cosy rooms. Food is key here - owner Mark Hartstone conjures delicate dishes using the best fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. The addition of homely rooms designed by Mark's wife, Emmanuelle, makes this a tempting foodie retreat. You can walk off the extra calories you'll inevitably consume in the stunning surrounding countryside, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as the Cranborne Chase. The village is interesting in itself too - at the heart of Viscount Cranborne's 5,000-acre estate, it has the unmistakable character of an estate village. Historic Salisbury, the New Forest and sandy beaches around Poole are all within easy reach.
Nearby Knowlton has a fascinating, historic site - a 12th-century ruined church sits atop Neolithic earthworks built 4,000 years earlier.
La Fosse is in Cranborne, a quiet, traditional Dorset village surrounded by stunning countryside including Cranborne Chase AONB and the New Forest.
By car: the hotel is 2 hours 20 mins from London, 2 hours from Bristol and 3 hours from Birmingham. There is street parking in the village.
By train: London Waterloo to Bournemouth takes around 1 hour 45 mins. La Fosse is a 30-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Foodie couples looking for a peaceful escape will enjoy La Fosse. The interior exudes authentic, simple country charm in keeping with the building and the village.
Service & Facilities
La Fosse is a true family affair and the team take pride in providing comfortable accommodation, great food and friendly service.
- BBQ hut
- Free Wi-Fi
The Old Winchester Suite is the largest room and has a separate sitting area and views of the garden. The comfy beds with snuggly linen are inviting, especially when you've eaten a little too much at the restaurant.
Wingreen Cosy Double, Stoney Cross Classic Double, Gold Hill Spacious Double, Dorset Blue Spacious Double, Old Sarum Spacious Double, Old Winchester Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, Cowshed toiletries, local tea and coffee, TV, DVDs, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The dishes are relatively simple but the attention to detail and use of quality local produce make them memorable. We enjoyed roast sika venison, crushed potato and roots with cocoa jus, and Mark prepared a child-friendly version for our toddler.
La Fosse: local ingredients, seasonal dishes, modern European cooking, intimate atmosphere. Open Mon-Sat for dinner June-October and December, Weds-Sat May and November. Two courses from £25.