For fossil lovers and historians of the Jurassic coastline, The Etches Collection at Kimmeridge is a must visit. Features recently on BBC’s Countryfile the museum as a world leading collection of fossils and is a remarkable tribute to a life’s work of Steve Etches.
Kimmeridge is a pretty coastal village with a fascinating history. There were various attempts to introduce industry to the area including at one time, an oil well. One resident of Kimmeridge tried making salt through boiling seawater – this was Sir James Clavell who built nearby Smedmore House and who lends his name to Clavell’s, the cafe/restaurant opposite The Etches Collection.
Clavell’s occupies a typical Purbeck cottage with thatched roof. We visited this time on a fairly grey late December day – from previous trips in the summer the small outside seating area is lovely and inside there are a couple of eating areas and dogs are welcome 🙂
As with much of Purbeck the menu includes locally sourced food and beer. The cafe is run by a family that has farmed in the area for over 50 years and much of the meat is from their farm. I had a restorative Palmers ale with Sarah kindly offering to drive! Our alternative approaches to dealing with the over indulgences of Christmas were shown in our lunch choices.
Sarah had the slightly lighter option of coronation chicken on granary bread, albeit accompanied with a side order of chips. The sandwich was fully loaded with spicy coronation chicken – and a well dressed and perky salad on the side too.
My burger and chips had the same salad too – as well as a little pot of beetroot relish which add a nice zing to proceedings. The burger was nicely cooked with a decent cheddar on top and a real boardful of chips as well.
Clavell’s has a good range on the menu from breakfast through lunch and afternoon tea. It’s a lovely spot to wander down to Kimmeridge Bay and there’s obviously The Etches Collection to take in as well. What are you waiting for!