About Yalbury Cottage

Amidst the rolling fields of the Dorset Countryside Jamie and Ariane welcome you to enjoy the unique character of Yalbury Cottage.

Yalbury Cottage, in the small Hamlet of Lower Bockhampton, dates back around 350 years and was once the home of the local shepherd and the keeper of the water meadows. Though surrounded by green fields and woodlands, we are just two miles from the historic town of Dorchester.

Bockhampton was the inspiration for the village of Mellstock in Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree. We are a short walk away from his birthplace and just across the road from his old school house.

Together, Jamie and Ariane bring with them 45 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having worked in some of the world’s leading hotels.

Ariane is from the North West of Germany, and Jamie is a Brit from Lancing in West Sussex.

Jamie has worked as a Chef in some of the best restaurants in  London and all over the world. His last post was working for 14 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in London, Maldives, Cairo and Hampshire as Executive Chef.

Arianes right hand man is James Davie (Jim) who has been with us from the start.

Jim is our manager, and works back to back with Ariane. He has vast experience in working in food and beverage. He has worked  in top hotels in Brighton, Birmingham and Manchester. Jim and his partner also owned and managed the old tea house at the top of town in Dorchester. We thank the day he walked through our door and asked if we ever needed any help then to give him a call………….Call we did!!!


Apprenticeship programme

Over the years we have completed 27  apprenticeship programmes so far, all with local people wanting to join the Hospitality Industry. From front of house to kitchen, Yalbury Cottage is the perfect training ground in which to learn. Some have gone on to work in establishments such as Four Seasons Hotel HampshireFour Seasons Hotel LondonLe Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester Hotel, Core by Clare Smyth, Frog by Adam Handling, Cornerstone, and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay!

So much to do!

There are many other places of interest nearby, including castles, gardens, stately homes, picturesque villages and Dorset’s magnificent Jurassic coastline.

We are surrounded by such beauty, yet within easy reach:
Central London 2 ½ Hours, Cornwall 2 hours, Southampton docks 1 hour, Weymouth 20 minutes, Poole Harbour 30 minutes. Bournemouth airport 1 hour, Dorchester railway station 3 miles.

We have so much to do for everyone. Whether you are looking for a Golfing or Fishing break with your friends or looking to organise Horse riding around the local fields can quickly and easily be arranged.

Apart from the many wonderful beaches in the area, there is a lot for all the family to enjoy, from Monkey World to the Tank Museum – Sea life Centre to the local animal farms, there really is something for all ages.

If you wish to abandon your car then we can arrange bicycle hire (they also provide helmets and maps) so you may explore the area the environmentally friendly way.

Ask us to pack a picnic for you and make a real day of it!