Eating and drinking at Hardy's Cottage
The Visitor Centre's café is an independent family business run by Dorchester-born Sarah Key and her daughter Lydia. Using local produce where possible, they offer everything from freshly prepared soups to homemade cakes and scones.
Sarah is proud to use only free-range eggs, and to source the majority of her products as locally as possible. She creates her own jams, chutneys and cordials, and every morning home-bakes cakes and scones.
She cooks as healthily as possible, using rapeseed or olive oil, and vegetarian and gluten-free items are always available. Her menu encompasses everything from healthy breakfasts and a full English, to baguettes, light bites and classic English afternoon tea.
Dogs are welcome inside the café, and, as a big dog lover, Sarah is happy to provide free gravy bones or biscuit treats.
Eat inside or out
Tables are available both inside and outside on the decking area in front of the café. There is also seating further afield under the shade of Thorncombe's trees.
Most of the food and drink served is prepared on site in our kitchen, using a wide range of ingredients. As a result, we can’t guarantee that any of our food and drink products are completely allergen free.
If you have an allergy or intolerance and would like ingredient information about the food and drink served, please ask the staff, who will be happy to help.
Always check when you visit
Visited before? We sometimes change our recipes to improve quality and flavour, including the ingredients. When you visit, please speak to one of our team to check the current allergen information for your favourite dish.
Every cuppa or tasty treat you buy helps us to continue looking after places for everyone to enjoy.
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If you are planning a visit to Hardy's Cottage, you will need to book your visit in advance. Find out how to book and what to expect when you arrive.
Explore the simple thatched cottage where Thomas Hardy was born and raised, and the surrounding woodland landscape that greatly influenced his work.
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