Hotel Evaluation: La Fosse, Cranborne, Dorset, England [2020 UPDATE]

2020 replace: Travel restrictions throughout the globe imply there’s no higher time than now to organise a staycation within the wonderful English countryside. La Fosse is at the moment providing entire home leases the place teams and households can take over the home with catering and housekeeping offered (COVID restrictions do apply).

La Fosse, which is owned by Mark Hartstone and his French spouse, Emmanuelle, is a unusual but unpretentious guesthouse that mixes conventional furnishings with modern design. What makes it a reduce above your common village B&B is the small however wonderful restaurant, providing a menu chock stuffed with contemporary, native produce.

Who for

La Fosse is equally suited to {couples} and households who wish to spend a weekend having fun with the nice outdoor. We advocate popping to close by Moors Valley Country Park and Forest the place you’ll be able to hire bikes or strive the Go Ape expertise. There can be 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 take pleasure in a improbable number of meat and salads ready by Mark himself, who’s a completely skilled Chef. The BBQ hut is good for a birthday celebration and might be loved all year long, even in driving snow.


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

La Fosse room

Comfort and tasteful fashion

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

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


La Fosse is a small family-run B&B so there’s not so much in the way in which of spas and indoor gyms. However there’s a cosy lounge with comfortable sofas and leather-based chairs. Some of the extra uncommon objects embrace a hand drum that pays homage to Mark’s interest 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 take pleasure in a pre-dinner cocktail and have a go at fixing one of many pesky picket puzzles. It’s a comfortable space that comprises some pretty whacky furnishings – the desk is produced from half of a picket window shutter all the way in which from India.

Lounge area at La Fosse

Lounge space at La Fosse (c) Lucy Woods

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

Food and drink

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

The meals consists of rural delights comparable to Venison Carpaccio with chestnuts and cranberry relish. The starter of cold and warm smoked Romsey trout got here with a sliver of cured whiskey salmon that had a improbable 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
Dining 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 take pleasure in a number of cold and warm dishes together with a Full English and Eggs Benedict.

Update: as a consequence of Covid-19 La Fosse can now not order a buffet and as a substitute, a continental breakfast and a few sizzling choices are on supply by way of room service.

Is WiFi accessible

Yes, WiFi is out there freed from cost.

Room charges

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

A 3-course dinner on the restaurant is £29.50 with a £4.50 complement for the cheese board.

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.

As properly because the multitude of native walks, there’s the Sixpenny brewery, which has its personal pub serving a number of native ales. If you’re a part of a gaggle, they may even take you on a tour via 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 improbable number of cream teas and muffins. There are additionally two pubs within the village, and the Sheaf of Arrows was buzzing with exercise after we went there on a Saturday evening.

Getting there

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

The finest method to attain Cranborne is by automotive, and it takes about two hours to drive there from London.

Note: this assessment was first revealed on February ninth, 2018.

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