A day off with Mr P may be a rarity but is a real treat when it happens. With limited babysitters available we've changed our tack on spending time together these last few years, taking the opportunity to use the time when the girls are at school to do something instead. Often last minute, when there's a window of opportunity in the diary and usually taking advantage of a sun-filled day, whatever the season. My only two caveats are that it must include a nice lunch and it needs to be somewhere where Mr P won't bump into lots of people he knows. Running a local business as he does, I can't send him out for a pint of milk on a Sunday morning without him running into a client, let alone sit in the local pub without somebody interrupting my time with him. I'm not complaining, I'm really not. It's the nature of the beast of being the local estate agent and I am very accepting of that. But just once in a while, it's nice to have his undivided attention.
So with the girls back at school, a day free of appointments and the September sunshine gracing us with a last few wonderful days of summer, we headed off to the Dorset coast a few Wednesdays ago.
A coffee stop is always essential and we made ours at The Bull Inn at Bridport. It has the prettiest courtyard garden with just a hint of being in a Mediterranean cafe from the buildings that surround it. And if that didn't make me feel like I was back in Majorca, then the floor tiles in the ladies cloakroom certainly did!
Coffee levels topped up we then drove the short distance to the village of Burton Bradstock which sits on the Jurassic coastline, our destination Hive Beach Cafe. A discovery on Instagram, it is simple and unpretentious and located right on the beach with stunning views across Lyme Bay.
And when you turn up and see this sign, you know you're going to be in for a real treat!
You know when you have a meal that's just so utterly delicious; that the setting, the company, just everything about it couldn't be more perfect and your mind files it under "the best meals you've ever had"? This was one of those occasions. Not one to turn down lobster or fizz EVER, it would have been rude of me not to oblige and partake in Lobster Wednesday. And oh my, I am so glad I did! The photo's speak for themselves but I don't think I've every had a more meaty, juicy, just sublime lobster ever and I know that a certain Mother of mine would have tucked in with the same gusto that I did!
Mr P opted for a plate full of good old fish and chips
The kitchen is open - always a good sign in my book!
After lunch it was straight onto the beach to let Sammy stretch his legs and take in the breathtaking golden cliffs that line this coastline.
What can I say, if you love lobster or seafood for that matter as much as I do, then the Hive Beach Cafe needs to go on your list of of places to visit. And it has a sister cafe just down the road in West Bay. I'll definitely be adding Watch House Cafe to my list. I can't think of anything better than cosying up with a glass of wine on a blustery autumn day, watching the waves crashing in whilst tucking in to a big plate of freshly caught Hake and chips.
If I've tempted you enough to visit Hive Beach Cafe, then here are a few pointers just to make sure you really have a wonderful day:
Get there early! They don't take reservations and the tables fill up quickly. By 12.30pm on the day we went the place was full and people were waiting for tables.
Canteen Style - Having found yourself a table and decided what you would like to eat, they operate a unique canteen style service whereby you select your drinks yourself, queue up to give your food order and pay for it all there and then. Your meal is then brought to your table once it's been freshly cooked for you.
Pop into the shop - They have a gorgeous little shop full of homemade treats and local ice cream. We bought a little tub of "Hive Honeycomb" each and took it down onto the beach for our desert.
Don't forget a beach rug! It's a stoney beach so if you do decide to sit and take in the stunning views tucking into an ice cream then a beach rug is essential!
You can take you're four legged friend - This is one of deal makers for me when choosing where to go for lunch as more often than not we take Sammy with us. Dog's are very welcome in the cafe and there are plenty of water bowls on hand for them and of course being on the beach there's plenty of space for them to run around, albeit specifically designated parts of the beach.
Now where's Mr P's diary!