Spring time is wonderful – longer days, warm sunshine and buds appearing everywhere. Yet our discovery of The Acorn Inn at Evershot made us want to cling on to the cosiness of the cold just a little longer.
Having no idea what to expect as we wound down small country lanes, we ended up in the most picturesque village imaginable. There’s a village shop, beautiful cottages, and this utterly charming 16th century coaching inn. In fact The Acorn Inn is steeped in history and was even featured in Tess of the D’Urbervilles written in 1891 by Dorset’s most beloved author Thomas Hardy.
Checking in, we were checked out by Baxter, the resident dachshund. The welcome – both canine and human – was warm and informal – yet this is an efficient operation where everything is carefully executed and beautifully presented.
Amazingly, the management team have managed to maintain a true village pub feel to this spot. They haven’t simply paid lip service to wanting to be a part of the village – they really are. Just head to the bar at around 6pm for evidence – the locals are there, enjoying an after work drink and chatting. Instead of bowing to temptation and switching over the stunning skittle alley to an events space or extra seating, managers Natalie and Richard Legg have even helped to continue the pub skittle team who meet and play regularly.
With this in mind, you might wonder whether food here is likely to be cheap, cheerful and second fiddle to the vibrant community around it. Absolutely not.
In fact The Acorn Inn proudly displays its ‘Best Country Dining Pub’ award from The Good Pub Guide in 2021 in the relaxed but extremely well respected restaurant.
You can start your dining experience in the lounge with a roaring fire (we’re very much still in winter mode, but rest assured the summer would be beautiful here too with lots of outside space). Ideal for a Gin and Tonic, a local ale or even a glass of Dorset Cremant this is a lovely way to kick things off.
Moving through to the dining area, you’ll get the treat of a stunning wine list with a whole host of unexpected surprises (they also had a brilliant selection of non alcoholic options – we spotted a couple clearly on a babymoon enjoying these). If you want to stick local there’s a Dorset Chardonnay, or if you want to explore, try the ‘Orange Wine’. Definitely ask for recommendations too – the team here are incredibly knowledgeable.
We found ourselves soaking up the atmosphere and marvelling at the space – think old beams, low ceilings, oak panelling and flagstone floors. Granted, we had time to do this as we enjoyed a full three courses.
The menu changes regularly but everything was delicious – we particularly loved the fish and steak options and the Cheese Board to finish, but see what you fancy because it will almost certainly delight. You could equally opt for one of the Acorn Classics such as Traditional Ham Egg and Acorn Fat Chips – there’s no right or wrong here.
If you’ve got the option, book a room so that you can enjoy a relaxed meal and tumble upstairs to bed. With the luxury of a little added time, you’ll want to also explore the surrounding area – there are endless walks to do, country houses and castles to look around and the entire South West coastal path to discover.
Clearly perfect for romantic getaways or short staycations away from the hustle of real life, The Acorn Inn is actually just a lovely spot for any occasion. Whether you manage to incorporate a lunch or dinner here amidst other plans, or you visit for a night or two and indulge in their fantastic hospitality, it’s a magical spot that will revive and restore the weariest souls.