Lodge Evaluation: La Fosse, Cranborne, Dorset, England

La Fosse, which is owned by Mark Hartstone and his French spouse, Emmanuelle, is a unusual but unpretentious guesthouse that mixes conventional furnishings with up to date design. What makes it a lower above your common village B&B is the small however glorious restaurant, providing a menu chock filled with recent, native produce.

Who for

La Fosse is equally suited to and households who wish to spend a weekend having fun with the nice outside. We advocate popping to close by Moors Valley Nation Park and Forest the place you’ll be able to lease bikes or attempt the Go Ape expertise. There’s additionally a field of (waterproof) maps and Mark will fortunately advocate his favorite native walks to take you across the village and past.

BBQ Hut at La Fosse

BBQ Hut at La Fosse (c) Lucy Woods

The B&B additionally has a beautiful backyard with a 14-person BBQ hut, the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from a unbelievable collection of meat and salads ready by Mark himself, who’s a totally skilled Chef. The BBQ hut is good for a birthday celebration and will be loved all year long, even in driving snow.


The six rooms at La Fosse are divided into 4 classes: Traditional, Cosy, Spacious and the Suite. All rooms have generously sized double beds and en suite bogs.

La Fosse room

Consolation and tasteful type

We spent two nights within the charmingly named “Dorset Blue” Spacious room, tastefully embellished in blue and white. The room was vibrant and ethereal with giant home windows overlooking the village. The mattress was very snug, though our sleep was barely impeded by church bells that chimed hourly all through the night time.

The lavatory was small however nicely designed, with heated marble flooring and a big tub & bathe. I used to be impressed by the vary of tub merchandise provided by the British firm, Cowshed.


La Fosse is a small family-run B&B so there’s not loads in the best way of spas and indoor gyms. Nonetheless there’s a cosy lounge with comfortable sofas and leather-based chairs. A few of the extra uncommon gadgets embody a hand drum that pays homage to Mark’s pastime as a percussionist.

The restaurant additionally opens out right into a lounge space full with a wooden burner the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from a pre-dinner cocktail and have a go at fixing one of many pesky wood puzzles. It’s a comfy space that incorporates some pretty whacky furnishings – the desk is produced from half of a wood window shutter all the best way from India.

Lounge area at La Fosse

Lounge space at La Fosse (c) Lucy Woods

There isn’t a unique parking on website, nevertheless it’s pretty straightforward to discover a parking spot close by.

Food and drinks

The restaurant at La Fosse has gained quite a few awards within the final two years, together with “Finest Restaurant” and “Finest Meals & Drink” on the Style of Dorset Awards. Impressively, Mark curates the menu and cooks the meals himself, with solely the assistance of a pot washer and sometimes his spouse, if it’s a full home.

The meals consists of rural delights equivalent to Venison Carpaccio with chestnuts and cranberry relish. The starter of cold and hot smoked Romsey trout got here with a sliver of cured whiskey salmon that had a unbelievable chew to it. We additionally sampled the award profitable cheese board which included a superb gouda with nettle, horseradish and garlic.

Dining at La Fosse

Eating at La Fosse: Romsey trout and cured whisky salmon (c) Stephanie Ross

The restaurant is totally licensed and in addition doubles because the breakfast room, the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from a collection of cold and hot dishes together with a Full English and Eggs Benedict.

Replace: resulting from Covid-19 La Fosse can not order a buffet and as an alternative, a continental breakfast and a few sizzling choices are on supply through room service. 

Is WiFi out there

Sure, WiFi is obtainable freed from cost.

Room charges

Rooms begin at a really affordable £89 per night time and the suite is obtainable for £165 per night time (based mostly on two sharing). You gained’t get these type of costs in London!

A 3-course dinner on the restaurant is £29.50 with a £four.50 complement for the cheese board.

To ebook, you can too go to www.la-fosse.com or contact [email protected] / 01725 517604.

What’s close by

Cranborne, with its conventional rural homes and pleasant native pubs, is a pleasant place to spend a weekend, with loads of issues to see and do within the native space.

In addition to the multitude of native walks, there’s the Sixpenny brewery, which has its personal pub serving a collection of native ales. In case you’re a part of a gaggle, they could even take you on a tour by the brewery.

Sixpenny Brewery in Cranborne

Sixpenny Brewery in Cranborne (c) Lucy Woods

The previous walled gardens of the manor have been transformed right into a licensed backyard centre that serves a unbelievable collection of cream teas and muffins. There are additionally two pubs within the village, and the Sheaf of Arrows was buzzing with exercise once we went there on a Saturday night time.

Getting there

Like most of Dorset, transport hyperlinks to Cranborne are pretty dire. There are a few buses per week and it takes about 30 minutes to drive from the most important practice stations (Poole, Bournemouth, Salisbury).

The easiest way to achieve Cranborne is by automotive, and it takes about two hours to drive there from London.

Notice: this assessment was first printed on February ninth, 2018.

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