Not many pubs can claim that they were opened by the Queen and that the first pint was pulled by the actual Duchess of Cornwall, but this one can! It all happened during the Queen’s visit to unveil the Queen Mother’s statue in the heart of Poundbury October 2016. The Duchess of Cornwall Inn is a most grandiose building dominating the entrance to the Queen Mother Square. It is owned & run by Hall & Woodhouse, Blandford, who have been brewing beer in Dorset since 1777.
The inside is equally as grand, a large open plan bar & dining area, with a huge wooden staircase that leads you up to the next two mezzanine floors. There you meet with a collection large vintage oil paintings, all adding to the grandeur and opulence.
The whole feel of the place is that of a luxury hotel lobby, which is exactly what it is, because they have 20 well-appointed twin and double ensuite bedrooms each decorated with exquisite attention to detail. (well so they say on their website)
With it’s central location and easy parking it was a great place to meet up with Hope Pointing to discuss all things foodie, it also gave us an opportunity to sample their food.
Their menu has good selection of meat & fish, along with a good few vegetarian dishes, but I’m not sure if I’m alarmed or intrigued with their Duck Confit Shepherd’s Pie! You can have starters, sharing platters, puddings and dish of the day. Plus of course a good Sunday roast, it is always best to book a table for this.
We were only having one course each, Hope selected the Fisherman’s Stew and I chose their H&W (Handmade & Wonderful) Burger, with extra Blandford Flyer Thick-Cut Streaky Bacon. Hope’s fish stew sauce tasted of summery tomatoes, with a dash of fennel and plenty of shellfish. She just wished it had a little more fish and a nice chunk of sour-dough to mop up the rest of the sauce.
When my burger arrived, I must admit to being a little underwhelmed, sat on a large plate were some fries and the burger, all looking a little deflated. I think burgers should be dirty and make you feel at least a little guilty for ordering it. They should be oozing stuff, impossible to get into your mouth and with the top bun secured with a large skewer. Saying all this the actual patty was OK, nicely chargrilled and the bacon was well worth the extra £1, I just didn’t feel guilty..
The Duchess is a large pub/inn with plenty of very helpful & cheerful staff, to be fair we only had two dishes to evaluate. But I don’t see myself rushing back in very near future, although I do enjoy the grandeur of the place and it is a fantastic place for people watching.
Duchess of Cornwall Inn
12 Queen Mother Square
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||No|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|