The Jurassic Coast of England is a part of the country I’d wanted to visit for the longest time. In large part, this is due to amazing natural sights like Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to find myself some dinosaur bone while I there! 😆
Like seriously, this has happened and still happens in the Jurassic Coast and is a huge reason why this beautiful part of England was its first natural UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are also lots of pretty towns and villages dotted across the Jurassic Coast (which stretches from Devon to Dorset – the latter being where we planned on visiting) and they don’t come much prettier or quainter than Corfe Castle.
When I saw the signs for Corfe Castle, I genuinely thought it was just a castle (an impressive one – judging from how it looked up on the hill as we drove up to it) but a castle nonetheless.
Turns out, Corfe Castle is not just a castle but also a very beautiful ancient village dating back over 8,000 years ago! (Yup! You read that right – not 8 hundred, 8 THOUSAND! 😮)
The castle itself is absolutely amazing and rather impressive to look at, even from a distance. The castle actually dates back to almost a millennium ago (it’s an 11th-century castle) and was built by William the Conqueror).
It was destroyed back in 1645 so it’s mostly ‘ruins’ now but boy is it an impressive ruin!
By the way, on our way over to Dorset, we eschewed train travel this time and decided to get a car from London and drive down to explore the Jurassic Coast. For what it’s worth though, you can also take the train down here (you can get off at Wareham station for Corfe Castle).
Corfe Castle was only meant to be a brief stop (we didn’t actually know about it till we drove into it) but it’s a fascinating little place that you can easily spend a few hours exploring!
As the sun slowly dipped, eager to make the most of the daylight, we headed over to a spot I’d been so excited about visiting for ages – Durdle Door!
Excited as I was, my excitement was nothing compared to Lloyd’s though who pretty much ran off ahead as soon as we arrived. Turns out, he’d written about Durdle Door back when he was 12, as part of a school assignment and had been fascinated with it ever since!
There’s a car park here at the Durdle Door Holiday Park, followed by a brief but steep downhill walk to get to Durdle Door.
For the uninitiated, is a natural Limestone arch and is essentially this huge rock in the sea with a huge hole in it. 😀
The beaches here are also pretty great and the water quality here is absolutely amazing so unsurprisingly, this is a big holiday destination for British holidaymakers in summer.
We spent the rest of the evening, till sunset pretty much taking in that amazing view from all angles possible.
Eventually, we hopped into the car – well and truly late for our dinner plans, and headed over to the Hix Townhouse in Lyme Regis, where we would be calling home for the next few days.
The Hix Townhouse is a beautiful Georgia townhouse and the name Hix is one we, and many-a-Londoner, are very familiar with.
We’d spent many evening in London sipping cocktails at Hix Bar in Soho (currently getting flashbacks of an amazing St Patrick’s Day spent tasting pretty much every cocktail on the menu with friends) and dined with friends several times at Tramshed so I’d be lying if I said my expectations weren’t high with the Hix Townhouse.
For what it’s worth, my expectations were exceeded! Funny thing is, when we went to book it, I remember thinking the prices were so much more reasonable (you can check them out for yourself here) and I particularly remember being surprised by it too.
I don’t know if it’s living in London that does this to you but you get so used to having to pay an arm and a leg for things that I just expected (especially given the reputation of Mark Hix) that this would be quite expensive and was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t! (We did book in quite a hurry though, just in case that price was a fluke! 😆😆😆 It wasn’t. 😁)
I got the Hunting Suite… a suite that’s designed, pretty much as the name suggests.
It’s also so quintessentially British and very easy to settle into straight away!
Alas, there would be no settling in as dinner awaited at the Hix Oyster and Fish House.
I was so glad we decided to book dinner close to the hotel. We arrived so late to the townhouse that the idea of hopping into the car and heading anywhere that wasn’t walking distance was just not something I wanted to do by the time we’d checked in.
Not needing to drive anywhere also came with its own perks – one of which was being able to indulge in cocktails and wines for the rest of the evening.
We started with a Hix Fix before diving into a Chilean Merlot and Temperley Sours.
For starters, I went with both the chorizo and buttermilk squid.
The chorizo was the perfect accompaniment for the cocktails and that squid was absolutely delicious. Then again, it’s Mark Hix’s so I guess that comes as no surprise to anyone who’s familiar with him. 😁
Lloyd went for the prawn cocktail to start before going for the piri piri mackerel for mains.
Seeing as we were by the seaside, I went for the lobster (I did also get to taste Lloyd’s dishes too).
Dessert came in form of the steamed marmalade pudding for Lloyd and the apple pie for myself. *licks lips*
All in all, such an amazing dinner. It was just the perfect way to end an already brilliant afternoon seeing some truly fantastic British gems.
So far, the Jurassic Coast was shaping up to be just the brilliant getaway from London I’d hoped it would be.