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“Incredible dining experience.”

The Gamekeeper Bar and Restaurant
Ranked #47 of 128 Restaurants in Dorchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$19
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Family run pub/ restaurant in the heart of Charminster, two mile South of The County Town of Dorset. Large garden leading down to the River Cerne. We cater for Wedding or functions of any kind. We have very comfortable, clean bed and breakfasts available. Fantastic Sunday Lunch Carvery still at the great price of £9.95 per person. Large Car park. Corporate Functions catered for. Outside catering available.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Incredible dining experience.”
Reviewed 3 October 2012

After visiting the Game Keeper for a birthday meal myself and my partner where simply blown away by the whole experience. The decor was fresh and inviting and the staff friendly and attentive without being intrusive in any way. The food was simply exquisite and we will definitely be returning in the very near future.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ishtea1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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169 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dorchester, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Yes, Finally Just What We Need”
Reviewed 2 October 2012

Where do I start........ I'm so fed up of bland run-down pubs with microwaved vegetables cheap meat and miserable staff just wanting to bung a plate on the table and go home. So many places in Dorset have turned like this until now. We've been waiting for this kind of place for a long time.

The gamekeeper has obviously invested in a quality chef / kitchen hand/s which is most important along with attentive serving staff and and a bloody good manager/owner who knows about their beers, wines and food. The atmosphere in our experience was amazing.

When we first walked into the the gamekeeper, we entered the bar area which is more like a relaxing "meet, great and relax" area with boutique/old English style seating bar area. Its a great spot to break the ice with your friends/partner and have a chat.

Personally, when I go somewhere I like to look at the menu before I commit to having something to eat (in case I don't like what I see as I'm fussy) and this area is great for that. If you don't like what you see, you can just have a few drinks and move on. However, I assure you they have a great choice for those fish/meat lovers and even those rare vegetarians. Even If I had something to eat somewhere else, I would go back there to finish off the night in the bar.

Anyway, to the point....... The bar itself, had a good selection of wines, beers and cocktails.
When we finished in the bar we moved into the resistant area. It was so relaxing. Moments after sitting down we were presented with warm, freshly baked bread with tasty sun dried tomato pesto with olive oil dip. For starters I had a Wiltshire pork kind of parfait (I can't remember the real menu name) with black pudding and vanilla apple purée with garlic potato and micro pea shoots. My partner had Langoustines with garlic and thyme butter. I don't need to say any more than that, It was amazing! For mains I had pan fried duck breast (skin on) with a forest fruit jus and potato purée. My partner had roasted lamb rump with potato & mint croquettes and stuffed courgette which was presented like a museum piece (I was very jealous). Both our meats were cooked to perfection, melted in the mouth, moist, just perfect. The jus and condiments were complimentary without overpowering the flavour of the meat. The vegetables were glazed, sweet and not overcooked or microwave blitzed like everywhere else.......speechless (I loved the sweet red cabbage, very Scandinavian).

Desserts, well.... I can't describe how nice they were. I had a coffee and mascarpone cheesecake with a home-made coffee/vanilla ice cream. I suppose it was a bit like tiramisu, with a modern twist. My better half, had a "chocolate delight" which was like a chocolate brownie with a mint sorbet which looked like a pastel picture from heaven. Amazing and home-made, wow.

I noticed some pointless comments from another tripadvisor member, how sad. I thought I'd expand on them further based on my experience.......

1) The soaps I saw in the gents were not cheap, in fact I looked at them (sad I know) but the were made by "Something" London. That doesn't sound cheap to me, but I don't care as long as my hands are clean (why did she think they were cheap, does she use them at home?).
2) Thank god they don't have high chairs. I don't want to be listening to some screaming dribbling kid whilst having a romantic meal with my partner. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly family friendly but in my opinion, leaving poor feedback due to no high chairs is ridiculous.
3) As for the comparison from the same tripadvisor reviewer to Sienna, do they have high chairs at Sienna? NO!! So with respect, if you have a young child, I'm sure the gamekeeper will be more than happy to accommodate your needs anyway they can, but be conscious of those adults who don't want their meal ruined by crying babies.
4) If that person knew anything about food, they would realise that real flowers taint your senses, which is probably why there were none in the eating area!

There is no need for salt/pepper on the table. Your food is great, it doesn't need any help.

Well done and keep it up. See you next time! :)

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Leave the kids at home!!”
Reviewed 28 September 2012

So, we visited the newly refurbished Gamekeeper for lunch this week. The first thing the barmaid said to us was 'we don't have a high chair before you get too comfortable' awkward as we had our 16mth old baby with us! No problem we said we'll just sit over there with the chubby fella ( the baby not another customer) . As we sat on the sofa, I looked around at the decor and wasn't disappointed, it is stunning. There is however an over use of dried flower arrangements, they are EVERYWHERE and make the otherwise bang up to date and stylish interior feel dated. Another thing that struck me as odd was the Indian style music playing in the pub, it's called The gamekeeper after all which suggests English country!!
Also something very minor and picky was the cheap hand wash in the ladies, just not really consistent with the atmosphere they are obviously trying to create in the gamekeeper.
We went through to the restaurant area to eat our lunch, doing a bit of damage limitation with the baby and strapping him into his pushchair! I ate pepper and goats cheese salad followed by chicken salad, my husband ate fish cakes followed by pork belly, both of our meals were very tasty, a way off Sienna's standard but very enjoyable none the less. I will just say here that my husband made better choices and if he had been writing this review the words delicious or excellent may have featured!
It's a shame they are not going to be accommodating families ( there were 3 toddlers there when we were in there!) as being our local I think we would have visited a lot. But that is obviously not the cliental they are going for. I wouldn't go back for lunch with children in tow but I very much look forward to visiting in the evening and sampling some more of the menu.

    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Thestras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“You must go!!!”
Reviewed 27 September 2012

I have to admit I went here knowing the food would be excellent as John McInally worked for me in my restaurant and I believe is the best in Dorset. I had heard how much was spent doing The Gamekeeper up so had high expectations. However they were very surpassed as I found the surroundings to be stunning and the food as amazing as any food could be.
A lot of care and money has gone into The Gamekeeper and they all really do deserve to do well. If you go once you will be determined to return regularly as I am.
The last enjoyable part of the visit was the bill as it was a normal amount for a good restaurant and I expected it to be considerably more. I was very surprised to see that I can go there and have a 2 course lunch for less than £10 so will be taking advantage of that.
Having Shelley's and knowing how some restaurants can do false reports and also knowing the owners couldn't do a better report than this if they wanted to can I assure you that this is genuine and as much as I would prefer you to come to my restaurant I feel this place really does deserve to do well and wish all involved the best!!!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Loraine146
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful ambiance”
Reviewed 26 September 2012

We visited the Gamekeeper, Charminster Dorchester, last week. We were bowled over at the wonderful renovation, amasing. The decor is beautiful, as is the bar, restaurant, and the garden. The decking at the rear gives a lovely atmospere, very well thought out. The food was wonderful, and here I must say it is all locally reared meat. The main menu has a good choice , and a good lunchtime menu. It is a little more expensive than some pubs, but if you know you are getting top quality food, freshly prepared and cooked, then you will pay more. Not a microwave pub...Thankgoodness. Cant wait to eat there again. We have already asked about New Year, as we would love to be there.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank suemikeyDorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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