Hotel Review: The Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis in Dorset
On the most Westerly point of Dorset’s border, lies the quaint coastal town of Lyme Regis. An ancient hub steeped in history, Lyme (as it’s known locally) was noted in the Doomsday Book. It played its part in British history too, when ships were sent from the town’s Cobb to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588.
I had visited Lyme many times as a child with family, lapping up its bucket and spade seaside appeal. I had often trying my hand at the town’s crazy golf, which quite crazily is perched on a beautiful hillside over the bay – much harder than you think to pot a hole.
Years on, what I hadn’t appreciated was the resort also attracts a more upmarket set, with its chichi gift shops on the quay, Mark Hix’s Oyster and Fish House and the stunning Alexandra – a luxury hotel, known for its sweeping views of Lyme Bay and award-winning cuisine.
In 1901 Poulett House was converted into Hotel Alexandra after Princess Alexandra, wife of Edward VII. In 1982 David and Nina Haskins, hoteliers from Somerset bought the hotel and it remains in the same family to this day.
I decided to visit one crisp late October day and was greeted by a setting sun, over the most tranquil azure sea. We took a glass of fizz in the hotel’s elegant orangery, before being wowed again by even better sea views from our room upstairs (19 in case you were wondering). The bedroom offered all the plush comforts you’d expect from a boutique five-star and my mother and I settled in nicely, relaxing a tad before tucking into a gourmet dinner downstairs.
The hotel’s restaurant is all pastel blues and greys, calming and charming in appearance. For dinner we both tried a moreish cauliflower and thyme soup to start, followed by a perfected Lyme Regis catch of the day (haddock) – just because we were by the seaside. I tried the pan-fried gnocchi, which was set off nicely by its porcini mushroom bedfellows.
A dark chocolate fondant pudding almost then finished me off, save for being able to enjoy it in the comfort of our wonderful room on my request, as tiredness had set in. Nothing was too much trouble for Bogdan the restaurant manager, whose humour and attentive service was second-to-none.
We also learned the hotel offers a rather enticing lunch menu, at just £20 for two courses or £25 for three, plus currently hold the prestigious Taste of the West Winner – Gold Award 2017. Head Chef Tom Holloway is passionate about using ‘local to Lyme’ ingredients from family-run farms, artisan producers and the hotel’s own kitchen garden, which shines through in his cuisine.
Before retiring to our room, we strolled around the hotel gardens and stumbled on the unique Lookout Tower – itself a wedding venue and private space for hire, with perhaps Dorset’s best views.
Leila Stocker was hosted by the Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant in Lyme Regis, Dorset. The clifftop hotel has superb views of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Jurassic Coast, 23 individually-designed bedrooms (most with sea views) and an award-winning restaurant, serving locally-sourced and seasonal cuisine (often fresh from the bay below). An overnight stay costs from £180 per room / £90 pp (two sharing) including full English breakfast. Call 01297 442 010 (www.hotelalexandra.co.uk).
Address: Pound St, Lyme Regis DT7 3HZ
Phone: 01297 442010