Food and Drink in Swanage

Where can I eat and drink in Swanage and Studland?

There’s no surprise that excellent seafood almost comes as standard in Swanage and Studland.

About as close as you can get to the sea in Swanage without getting wet, Gee Whites and the Top Deck Oyster and Seafood Bar both serve terrific seafood and some of the finest fish and chips in Dorset can be found at the Fish Plaice and Harlees takeaways.

In town Chilled Red boasts an interesting menu of well-prepared contemporary dishes and the long-established La Trattoria has refined its menu of Italian classics over many years. There’s first-rate bar food available at The Cabin under the Grand Hotel, Tawny’s wine bar and Down the Beach café, while overlooking the town from Durlston Castle in the country park, Seventh Wave bar restaurant boasts views to equal its food.

Swanage pubs including the Black Swan, Globe, Red Lion and Bull & Boat, not to mention the Kings Arms in nearby Langton Matravers, are notable for the warmth of an old-fashioned welcome and hearty food.

Studland is a big hitter when it comes to scenery and punches well above its weight in terms of eating out as well. The Bankes Arms does great pub food and has its own microbrewery, but from a wooden shack on Little Beach, Joe’s Café is one of Purbeck’s best-kept secrets with homemade cakes, fresh sandwiches and a commitment to local, organic and Fair Trade ingredients. 

At the other end of the gourmand’s scale Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant is deservedly rated one of the three best seafood restaurants in the country by the Sunday Times; while a steady stream of celebrity guests have ensured the Pig on the Beach in Studland’s historic manor house has a national profile with food and views to match.

Finally, no trip to Purbeck is complete without a visit to the Square and Compass in the old quarrying village of Worth Matravers. A fixture on nearly every list of the ‘Best Pubs in Britain’ it has changed little since it opened in the 1770s and has been run by the same family since 1907, producing its own cider on site. There’s a year-round programme of live music and festivals and the only food available is a range of home made pasties.

Take a little time to browse through our selection of holiday cottages in Swanage and Studland. We’re certain you’ll find something just right for a truly special Dorset holiday.