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Eating and drinking at Hardy's Cottage

A family sat enjoying drinks and snacks outside the café and visitor centre at Hardy's Cottage, Dorset
Enjoy a drink and a snack outside the Visitor Centre at Hardy's Cottage | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

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.

Local produce

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.

Visitors enjoying hot drinks inside the café at Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre at Hardy's Cottage, Dorset
Visitors enjoying hot drinks inside | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Dogs welcome

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.

Allergen information

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.

Thank you

Every cuppa or tasty treat you buy helps us to continue looking after places for everyone to enjoy.

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