Alex Fisher eats at The Hive Beach Café, Burton Bradstock, Dorset

WHET MY APPETITE If I was imagining the perfect café for coast readers it would look something like the Hive Beach Café. With great views over Lyme Bay and Chesil Beach and extensive outdoor seating, it makes the most of its coastal setting on National Trust land. The unfussy, down-to-earth interiors, and the fact you need to pop out to use the National Trust toilets, adds to feeling that the sea and the food are the main players here.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU? The best local seafood, with fresh fish from Brixham Fish Market, CJ Shellfish, and local fishermen on a daily basis. We started by sharing a Seafood Starter Board, excellent value for money at £10 and plenty for two. The anchovies wrapped around firm, green olives were delicious and the delicate pairing of smoked salmon with orange and fennel pollen divine. The crayfish tails were succulent, and I would have been suitably impressed if our meal had finished here. However, we went on to share locally caught lobster, served warm with garlic butter that still allowed the flavour of the firm and extensive meat to come through. This came with hand-cooked chips, which really tasted of potato, so often lost in these days of freezer foods. Half a lobster with mixed leaf, coleslaw, and Hive chips costs £22 and I challenge you to find a better meal anywhere in the UK for that price.

HOW’S THE MOOD? Friendly, relaxed.


WHAT’S THE DAMAGE? Main dishes from £11 for a crab sandwich with mixed leaves and Hive chips, rising to £40 for a whole, grilled lobster.

OPENING TIMES Open daily in winter from 10am-4pm. Breakfast served until 11.30am. Lunch served from 12 noon-3pm. Check online for evenings and spring opening times.

To book call 01308 897070 or visit

Alex Fisher @alexfishermedia

Check out more coastal guides and places to stay here.