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“Anyone for Pizza?” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fontmell

The Fontmell
Ranked #11 of 39 Restaurants in Shaftesbury
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$9 - US$25
Cuisines: British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Fontmell Magna, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Anyone for Pizza?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

Great outdoor summer venue in North Dorset for a weekend Pizza, great beer and service.....check it out if you are on the A350 around Shaftesbury.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank AdbFM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    100
    46
    30
    13
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dorset
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This review could so easily have been different, but the Fontmell turned it around for us!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

We have wanted to eat at the Fontmell for some time. Living locally and hearing great things about it we decided we had just the right opportunity to go – my 30th birthday and a rare child free evening.

My partner called to book and was told not to worry seeing as it was a weekday and the restaurant would have spaces, which as you would imagine – he took as gospel. On arrival at the inn we ordered a drink and requested a table only to be told they were fully booked. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. It being 8pm by that point, the prospect of searching around for somewhere else to eat wasn’t appealing and not the treatment I was expecting for a special occasion.

However, within 15 minutes (whilst finishing our drinks) the situation turned around and we were offered a table in the restaurant. We’re not entirely sure how this materialised! Whether somebody didn’t arrive or if a member of staff remembered the phone call and took steps to rectify the situation we’re not sure – either way we were so happy to put our evening back on track.

Service wasn’t lightning fast, but certainly attentive. The ambience in the restaurant meant we were more than happy to relax and take in our surroundings between courses anyhow. Being a warm evening all of the windows were open overlooking the mill stream and as the light faded the candlelight was lovely. As for the food…well…I can’t fault it. I had the goats cheese to start and am still daydreaming of it a week later – divine. My partner and I both had belly pork for our main and again it was beautifully cooked and presented. We were surprised at the portion size for the main as having dined at similar establishments we were expecting large plates and small portions!

We were both left totally satisfied and very unsually…too full for dessert…a real shame as they looked fabulous! Cause for a return visit I think! (They also serve a mean Hendricks and Tonic…plenty of cucumber, which certainly gets my vote!) Lovely real ales too.

I was fleetingly tempted to score the visit slightly lower than I have purely based on the initial issue, but think this would be unfair based on the service we then received. We’ll definitely be back.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Willow1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Easy to see why it won South West Dining Pub Of The Year 2013”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

The Fontmell was recommended to us by Tim and Lucy who run the nearby The Old Forge B&B. We went on a Tuesday evening and struggled to get a table - it’s that popular! We had a couple of nibbles to start with (Prawns, Smoked Mackerel Toast) followed by mixed, fried fish. All of the seafood and fish is super fresh and perfectly cooked. Leave room for dessert because they’re fab!

Hope to pop back one weekend to try their pizzas from their outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bad pizza in a beautiful setting: a missed opportunity”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

Firstly, I must admit we are utterly spoiled by authentic Italian pizza in London (Franco Manca - mmm... heavingly and delicious!) Having spend a fair amount of time in Fontmell area, and having seen the new outdoor pizza ovens, we were curious to try but had low expectations. We were just hungry, had 2 children with us, wanted a simple meal and quick service, and the outdoor setting looked inviting and very Mediterranean (less the sea view).

The outdoor menu was short, with a small selection of pizzas, one salad and one pork belly dish. We ordered 2 kids' pizzas, one full size summer special pizza, and the only salad on the menu that contained pine nuts that I love.

The kids' pizzas arrived along with the salad. the pizzas each looked like a 1/4 wedge of a regular kids'-size pizza. The sauce on top looked suspiciously brown. Like I said, we were hungry, and the kids gobbled their portions up. Our 3-year-old then asked where his main course was.

I tried the salad - the baby leaves were lovely but the pine nuts were pungently stale, very clearly long gong. The chef asked how it was, and I told him about the nuts. He looked immediately disappointed like a big baby, saying that he just got the nuts delivery on the day. Clearly, he has not try the food he was giving to the customers.

The big pizza arrived, similarly undersized, with brown-looking sauce on the top. We tucked in - the dough had strange crumbly texture and no taste. There was no lovely smokey taste/burnt spots that you would usually get from the wood oven - we suspected the temperature was not anywhere near 500 degrees C as Italians have it. It was edible but not comparable even to Pizza Express quality, let alone anything more authentic - which is a shame as the setting is lovely and the equipment is right.

I would recommend the chefs to go and research a few good pizza places. They do not need even to travel further than London for a authentic Italian dough/pizza style. Just to add, our favorite Franco Manca does a regular sized, heavingly tasting sourdough pizza at £6-7, and at Fontmell you only get the kids' tiny wedge at that price. The adult pizza was starting at £11.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kobylka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Lovely welcoming village pub and restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

Welcoming and friendly, cosy bar area and delightful dining area with a stream running through it. Bedrooms are all different and tastefully decorated and furnished. The food is always fresh and we have enjoyed our meals here very much

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MazzaJo66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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