Halfway by means of what I’m taking in at the great-eating restaurant Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis, the chef Harriet Mansell makes a pair of drastic alterations. The first is owing to gritty mussels which, despite soaking for ages, switch out not to be in shape for function. The environmentally friendly gazpacho in which she planned to use them requires to be speedily reworked. She frivolously pickles some chive buds, which she provides with confit fennel, somewhat fermented rhubarb and a couple wildflowers, including three-cornered leek and bittercress. The gazpacho alone is built from cucumber, mint, parsley, tarragon, spring onion and cold-pressed rapeseed oil. Each and every mouthful is a style explosion: pinpricks of saltiness, waves of sweet herbiness, insinuations of smoke, a vinegary trail, a garlicky tang – even the jab of green chilli heat. It is a modest serving but the dish seems to stretch on eternally, an ever-revolving carousel of flavours.

Inside Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis
Inside Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis © Matt Austin
Harriet Mansell in the restaurant
Harriet Mansell in the cafe © Matt Austin

The other alter to the menu is just as revelatory. I have been anticipating a savoury dish of oat-milk panna cotta infused with toasted put in grain, with pickled magnolia leaves, dashi and black vinegar. Earlier, Mansell gave me a pickled magnolia leaf to try out – it was comfortable and velvety and reminiscent of pickled ginger. But someday in between then and now Mansell has misplaced faith in the dish, and strike on a much more remarkable substitute, pairing the panna cotta with a gorse sorbet she’s been working on for a mildly sweet pre-dessert. “I think the panna cotta and sorbet deliver out the most effective in each other in fairly a amazing way,” she suggests, location the new dish in entrance of me. 

Spent-oat panna cotta with black vinegar and pickled magnolia
Used-oat panna cotta with black vinegar and pickled magnolia © George Chesterton

She’s suitable. On its have, the gorse sorbet is insanely subtle. Gorse bouquets are claimed to taste of coconut or almond. I can not decide on out possibly. Paired with the panna cotta, even so, it preferences just about lemony, when the caramel smoothness of the blancmange melts in silky union with the zingily chilly sorbet. Afterwards, Mansell delivers out the gorse syrup utilized in the sorbet base and it preferences confoundingly of foam banana sweets.

Dorset increasing: 5 meals locations to know

The Oyster & Fish Residence

Perched significant higher than the Cobb in Lyme Regis, this seafood restaurant from Mark Hix features some of his signature dishes which include Cobb-smoked salmon, healed and smoked on the premises, and Fish Home pie. theoysterandfishhouse.co.uk

The Strawberry Tree

Formerly in home at The Pop-Up Kitchen (home to Harriet Mansell’s pop-up version of Robin Wylde), this “slow Spanish food” restaurant has received acclaim for its delightful tapas and pinchos.

Pink Panda

A business favourite with locals, this eatery serves healthier, vibrant Asian road foods – bao buns, spring rolls, salads and rice dishes with a lot of kimchi and carrot-radish pickle. redpandago.com

The Monmouth Pantry

With a previous Moro, River Cafe and River Cottage chef at the helm, this little grocery keep is packed with freshly baked sourdough bread, do-it-yourself dips, nearby veg and British cheeses as very well as normal and organic wines on faucet for fill-your-possess bottles. themonmouthpantry.co.british isles


A hop and a skip away in Bridport, this café run by two River Cottage alumni serves regionally sourced food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tiny-plate highlights consist of Tamarisk farm lamb and grilled Dallwood asparagus. wearesoulshine.co.united kingdom

This erratic food is not component of typical provider. I am below in late spring, when the 26-cover dining home is formally shut. This is additional of a trial run, a series of dishes in progress forward of the reopening in mid-May, when the cafe resumes its one 8- to 10-study course tasting menu, Wednesday to Saturday, with an further lunchtime sitting on Saturday. At the time of my stop by, the restaurant has been shut for five months, getting only introduced in October and traded for five months prior to being compelled to shut. 

Irrespective of its hardships, Mansell has managed to place the hiatus to good use. She acquired a next location, a previous beer cellar down the avenue, which she is relaunching in July as a 40-address wine bar referred to as Lilac. Specialising in low-intervention wines, it will give a menu of seasonal smaller plates, built using surplus components from the restaurant for zero squander. Dishes will incorporate tempura sea beets with smoked roe, mackerel tartare, and lobster and shiitake tart. Mansell has also been experimenting with new substances – quite a few foraged from the local space – “to produce a larder of flavours” for the new menus. Her forager’s instinct was born of her early years escalating up in Devon as well as her extensive expertise as a yacht chef searching out native generate in ports all around the environment (she has cooked for the Murdochs and the Qatari royal relatives). But it was her time as a stagiaire at Noma in Copenhagen that proved most pivotal: “They ended up uncovering indigenous flavours in Denmark that they did not consider they could get outside of Asia,” she claims. “It made me search at almost everything with fresh eyes.”

All around Lyme Regis, her eyes are also educated on all the things. “If I’m at Axmouth Harbour,” she claims, “there are superbly fragrant canine roses developing wild by the seaside that I use as an aromatic. I first utilized them on a potato dish with crispy-skinned rooster, tangy goat’s cheese and verbena. There is also orach, seaside mustard, scurvy grass and sea purslane together the estuary, which I appreciate with tartare or ceviche. The other working day we uncovered wood avens, whose dried roots taste like cloves. And quince bouquets made into syrup give off a brain-blowing flavour of cherry Bakewell.”

Mansell’s use of flowers and foraged elements such as reindeer moss has led to a false impression amid patrons that her dishes will be “dainty and delicate”. From my reckoning, they are something but. Inspite of notes of subtlety, there are abundant jolts, normally from the use of acid. “I enjoy all around with the maturity of vinegars,” Mansell suggests, “from week-previous tang to things that are insane. I have this kombucha reduction that is ‘wow’. But you’d only have the smallest dot. I like surprising men and women with what they are consuming.”

Among the the dishes I consider, that ingredient of shock combines with a glorious sense of discovery: a baked Portland oyster served with herb, vermouth and mead butter a poached Lyme Bay lobster in a smoked rapeseed oil mayonnaise with shiitakes cooked on the fire, pickled oyster mushroom, raw shiitake and chive oil. And a salad of leaves such as purple frills and miner’s lettuce in a fermented rhubarb and honey dressing (with an anchovy and tahini concealed in) that is so alive with flavour, I have to get a minute to myself. Dainty and delicate? Not remotely.