calder news

so you only care about eleanor’s safety when video evidence surfaces of her literally being attacked…interesting.

“ Liam and Sophia break up”
“ Niall and Selena”
“ Louis and Danielle”
“ Harry and Kendall”
“ Louis we support you”

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Inside England's best pub

Half the customers at VisitEngland’s Tourism Pub of the Year will miss one of the artistic features that helped it win a prestigious award: above the urinals in the Gents is a collage of old maps, driftwood and rope, entitled ‘How to tie your knot’.

Yet there is plenty more to appreciate about the Anchor Inn in Seatown, where coastal tradition is infused with a 21st-century sense of style.

It would be easy for the Anchor to be mediocre, yet also profitable. The Dorset location is a publican’s, and drinker’s dream: this former smugglers’ haunt occupies a cleft between two of the mightiest cliffs on the South West Coast Path.

From a driver’s or cyclist’s perspective, it’s at the end of a cul-de-sac just west of Bridport. But the ideal mode of transport to and from the pub is hiking. The stout white structure with a slate roof gradually takes shape as you approach along the South West Coast Path.

Lyme Regis is three hours’ walk from the east, West Bay (Bridport’s beach resort, and setting for ITV’s Broadchurch) two hours from the west. Indeed, the beer garden almost merges with the long-distance trail. Tables and benches extend uphill towards the highest point on the South Coast, Golden Cap at 627 feet.

Throughout spring, summer and autumn, there is plenty of footfall here. So the owners would be forgiven for not trying too hard. To their credit, they aim to excel.

The choice of beer, the staple for any good pub, can’t have taken too long. The Old Brewery, a few miles away in Bridport, has been supplying west Dorset since 1794 — and trading as Palmer’s since the 19th century. A pint of the IPA (4.2 per cent) won’t put you off your stride.

Next essential: food. The theme of farm (or sea) to table runs through the menu.

“West Dorset is a wonderful place in which to run a kitchen,” says the head chef, Jean Paul De Ronne, “It’s home to so many interesting and dedicated people who grow and nurture plants and animals”.

So the Ploughman’s Lunch goes beyond the usual ham’n’cheese platter, with pork pie and a cider-thyme vinegar pickled egg. Premium product, premium price: £14.

I opted for butter-roasted hake with a wild garlic-and-pea puree risotto and hispi cabbage. Early on a Friday afternoon during the Easter school holidays, the place was packed. But my order was taken swiftly at the bar, and served within 15 minutes. Packing protein and carbs as well as flavour and texture, it provided excellent value at £16 — with a free sea view from my cliffside table. When the wind is from the southwest, at around 15 knots, parascending aviators walk off the cliffs to the east to dance around the skies.

Like any proper inn, the Anchor also offers overnight accommodation — well reviewed in The Independent a couple of years ago. Such is the demand for the bright, boutique rooms that a two-night minimum stay is stipulated (though if there is a one-night space between other bookings, the bed can be yours).

Brags the management: “You simply won’t find anywhere you would rather wake up.” And you’d be hard pressed to find a better pit stop along the 630-mile South West Coast Path.