On our last night in Dorset, we decided to book a table at a pub which had caught our eye. The Golden Fox is located on the edge of the village of Sturminster Marshall and each night it is open, is illuminated with bright colours. It beckoned us in, so I called and secured a table for us and Ted.
From the outside, The Golden Fox looks classy and appealing. I love the fencing and pergola you have to walk through to enter the pub. We entered into a small bar area, with ladies and gents toilets on the right, then approached the bar. There are three tables in a corner next to the bar which are used for dog-friendly dining, and we were sharing the space with another family with a terrier. Ted made an instant friend.
We sat down and surveyed the decor. The lighting was dimmed and cosy. I loved the exposed brickwork and wood panelling too. The table was very minimalist – just a small vase of pink flowers, and a salt and pepper shaker. I do prefer tables lightly dressed, as opposed to some pubs that have menus, cutlery, and sauces readily available on the table.
Although we were trying to manage Ted’s focus on his new buddy, we were approached by the waitress. She was friendly and enthusiastic, and seemed as though she actually enjoyed her job. She gave us two menus, explained the specials available, and took orders for drinks. Dan opted for a lager, and I had to settle for a lemonade and a lemon water. I desperately wanted a glass of wine.
It only took us a few moments of perusing the menu to decide on what we wanted. Both of us opted for the slow cooked Welsh lamb, with mash, veg, and red wine gravy. Dan wanted the prawn and crayfish salad, and I was lured in by the goat’s cheese bruscetta.
I can’t speak for Dan, but my starter was delicious. The salad was fragrant and had a variety of flavours (although I avoided the green olives) and I was a big fan of the cress included. The goat’s cheese genuinely tasted so, so good. It was smooth, flavoursome, and had a perfect texture – I was devastated when it was all gone.
Then, in what seemed like no time, our mains arrived. It wasn’t as visually pleasing as the starter, but my was it tasty. I was a bit concerned that the gravy would be a bit too boozy, but it wasn’t; there was just a hint of red wine that lingered. The lamb itself was so tender it was almost flaking apart.
Even better, the portion was never ending. We realised that we hadn’t been given just one chunk of lamb, but two, and I was glad I’d been a little more disciplined with my garnish!
Just when we thought we had eaten all we could, our waitress arrived with a dessert menu, and I couldn’t resist. I even managed to peer pressure Dan into getting one too. Again, the quality of the food was fantastic, and the presentation looked as good as it tasted. Dan was particularly impressed by the long spoon that accompanied his crème brulee.
Now that we’re home, I keep having flashbacks to our dinner, and feel a little disappointed that I can’t cook food so delicious. I genuinely am so glad that we were able to secure a table, as it was the perfect way to end our week on holiday. I can’t wait to return in the future.
Where have you eaten in and around Dorset that are dog-friendly and serve quality food? Let me know in the comments!