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“Charming and great value” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yalbury Cottage

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Yalbury Cottage
Lower Bockhampton, Dorchester DT2 8PZ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 50 Dorchester B&B and Inns
Norfolk, UK
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
126 hotel reviews
Reviews in 114 cities Reviews in 114 cities
511 helpful votes 511 helpful votes
“Charming and great value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

Yalbury Cottage is a popular restaurant with rooms in a good location. By today’s standards it’s realistically priced.

Our upstairs bedroom, No.8, was spacious and decorated in a nicely uncluttered way. There was a comfy double bed, a single bed, a large wardrobe and good tea and coffee facilities. There wasn’t a proper desk for a laptop though WiFi was free and fast. We didn’t like the bathroom which was old-fashioned and awkward to use. The shower-in-the-bath suffered from weak pressure so my wife was unable to wash her hair. The lack of mixer taps and the shower curtain put it firmly in basic B&B territory. Also, the landing by our room was stacked with rubbish, things in bags, and a vacuum cleaner. And outside in the otherwise pretty garden the kitchen’s propane gas cylinders were a bit of an eyesore.

Yalbury is really about one person, Ariane, the wife of the chef, Jamie. Ariane runs the show, she meets and greets, handles everything, takes your orders and chats. She asks where you are going that day and remembers where you went when you get back. We’ve seldom encountered a more charming or capable hostess - and it must be a struggle to remain so upbeat, to cope with the vagaries of the catering industry, and raise two young children. Yet she seems to. There’s an amusing notice above her little desk in the somewhat ramshackle reception - “Be nice,” it says, “or go home.”

The restaurant is in the oldest part of the building, the thatched bit, which in local lad Thomas Hardy’s time, was four cottages. The decor is not quite rustic and a little short of quaint, almost like a tearoom - at breakfast they use plastic tablecloths with bright spots, the sort everyone had in the 1970s and which always felt sticky.

The food at dinner with certainly pleasant and perhaps erred on the bland side - a starter of crab was advertised with chilli yet lacked any trace of heat and the skin of a chicken breast was colourless and flabby. But there was also good loin of lamb and a juicy duck breast. For such a small place you think they might have opted for a set menu. But, commendably, there were about six starters and mains which changed just enough the next day to make it interesting. Cooked breakfasts were excellent, including a tasty kipper, beautifully presented scramblers with smoked salmon as well as grilled lambs’ kidneys with poached eggs and brioche toast.

We paid about £400 for two nights, DB&B with all drinks. That was excellent value and since Ariane’s charm was thrown in for free we thought it a bit of a bargain.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
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171 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

We loved Yarlbury Cottage, the food is excellent with well sourced local produce. Our room had views over the hill and over the garden and a comfortable bed. We stopped over on our way to the West Country but will come back for a proper weekend.

Room Tip: No 6 has double aspect. All rooms are on the ground floor with a few steps.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

I've been visiting Yalbury Cottage for the past 8 years or so and have fond memories of all my visits. A few years ago I visited with a friend and happened to spot the perfect wedding dress in a shop in Dorchester. I then had to come down from London several times for fittings and stayed at Yalbury each time enjoying the wonderful hospitality that they provide. I have since introduced my husband to Yalbury and we recently brought my Mother in Law for a pre 80th Birthday treat with the rest of the family. A wonderful time was had by all. Our rooms were really comfortable, we enjoyed relaxing with drinks in the beautiful grounds and everyone agreed that the food was PERFECT - including the 6 year old who thoroughly enjoyed his requested meals of sausages and mash and eggy bread with orange syrup! (for breakfast the following morning). We will no doubt continue to visit Yalbury whenever we can and will certainly recommend it to colleagues, friends and family. Many thanks Ariane, Jamie and the rest of the team.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Mawes, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2014

A well located spot, rural but minutes from Dorchester. It was a good base to explore the county for a few days. The main building is the old cottage/restaurant - accommodation in the more modern additions to rear. Rooms overlooking fields or a small garden .This is a relaxed, welcoming and professional team working together and I felt confident from the minute I arrived that the stay would be most enjoyable. Would recommend upstairs rooms, I stayed in a nice well presented and spotlessly clean ground floor room (1) with good en-suite bathroom.. but could hear footsteps and television from upstairs room. Neighbouring room (3) had no problems ....but perhaps mothers hearing not so sharp nowadays. Guests all seemed to be on the retired side, but that's just what I'd expected. Good sized rooms had everything you needed and more, fresh milk, cafetiere, decaff coffee, home made biscuits. Breakfast is a marvellous experience, the usual juices, Dorset cereals, toast ....but brioche with home made rhubarb jam, or home made extra chunky marmalade - both irresistible. Then the cooked breakfasts - PERFECT and should not to be missed! The service and friendliness of Ariane and the team, with the exceptional quality of the food distinguished this place for me.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thame, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

We stayed here for a wedding nearby. We were greeted at midday with delicious warm steak and chicken open sandwiches. We sat outside on the comfortable garden furniture by a bubbling pond in warm sunshine. What a start.

This delightful small hotel is tucked away in a village. Our bedroom was quiet and comfortable - we were woken by the birds singing in the morning. Excellent tray in the bedroom - fresh milk in a small thermos, cafetiere, and home made biscuits.

Breakfast was especially good. Delicious fresh rhubarb jam, home made marmalade- so many wonderful extras.

Only sorry we could not stop for dinner!. Maybe next time.
Thank you

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

From the minute we arrived at Yalbury Cotage we were made to feel really welcome by Ariane.It is a beautiful building in a gorgeous setting and the interior suits the age.Our bedroom looked out onto the pretty garden and we were able to watch the wild rabbits.The facilities in our room were of a high quality and nothing was left out,there was even fresh milk for the tea which is very unusual.The only slight drawback was that the heating is done by storage heaters and this made the room very warm,however a quick call to reception and this was dealt with by a fan that was promptly provided.Also a kingsize bed would have been nice.
The lounge is furnished with lovely settees which make it easy to relax and the restaurant is very welcoming indeed.The jewel in the crown however is the food,the only way to describe it is unbelievably superb.If you appreciate good quality food a stay here is a must.
All the staff were lovely and the service goes the extra mile we will definitely return.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yateley, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

Just returned from a 2 night stay at Yalbury Cottage. What a fabulous experience!
We were greeted on arrival and shown to our room, which overlooked the pretty garden.
Next was afternoon drinks on the patio as the weather was great.
Dinner started with canapes in the lounge, where you are invited to peruse the menu.
There is a variety of choice to suit all palates, and everything is locally sourced.
The meal was a truly wonderful experience, as this is where the owner's passion lies!
Breakfast was equally great ( the scambled eggs and smoked salmon were to die for!!)
Would thoroughly recommend for a complete 'indulgent' escape!
Thanks to Jamie and his very professional team!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yalbury Cottage

Address: Lower Bockhampton, Dorchester DT2 8PZ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Dorchester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 50 B&Bs / Inns in Dorchester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yalbury Cottage is a wonderful Dorset country house hotel, near Dorchester. Offering cozy accommodation and award winning cuisine, serving only the very best local produce available. Set in the heart of Thomas Hardy's Dorset and just a short walk from the cottage where he was born and grew up. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yalbury Cottage Hotel Dorchester
Yalbury Cottage Dorchester, Dorset

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