It feels really weird to be blogging about a place I’ve been going to for over 10 years. It feels even weirder that I am old enough to have been going somewhere for over 10 years. But that fact in itself surely is reason enough to tell y’all about one of my favourite places for breakfast, brunch and lunch!
As some of you may or may not know I originally hail from the west country. Luckily I am sans awful Vicky Pollard esque accent and with my current city-living status it would not, at first, be immediately obvious that I grew up as a country bumpkin in the quaint Dorset town of Shaftesbury, rather than the bright lights of Shaftesbury Avenue.
And despite professing myself to now be a city gal at heart; there, back on my beloved hill are some even more beloved things. My family and school friends for one and The Salt Cellar is another.
Situated at the top of the glorious and, might I add, famous Gold Hill (you might recognise it from a certain sliced bread advert) you’ll find this lovely little cafe.
My friends and I first started going here during our G.C.S.Es. Instead of using our revision periods for actual revision we would head to The Salt Cellar and, over cream teas and paninis, dissect our teenage love lives as well as plan how to make ourselves look 18 to get into the nightclub down the road. (For those wondering we decided the more makeup the better and every other weekend that plan would work.)
Now every time I leave the big smoke and head back to my hometown of Shaftesbury I try to schedule in a little breakfast or lunch date at The Salt Cellar.
And my last visit was no different. Having gone back to Dorset for my friend’s surprise baby shower (read about that HERE) on the Saturday, I made it my business to have breakfast with my besties on Sunday morning before catching the train back to London.
We met super early for a Sunday morning (10AM!!) and I couldn’t believe it when, not only was I on-time but first to arrive at The Salt Cellar.
Before grabbing a table near the window and waiting for the other two slow coaches to grace me with their presence, I did the expected and snapped a picture of the earlier mentioned, famous, Gold Hill.
…Much to the bemusement of a little girl nearby who asked loudly – ‘Mummy why do people keep taking pictures of this hill?” – it made me laugh because I must have 100+ pictures of this hill yet I still take one every time I’m there, it’s so picturesque I can’t help myself.
As you can see, it was rather misty when I was there on Sunday so I’ll show you another snap from a much sunnier time!
(obvs not my photography!)
Ain’t she a beauty?
The Salt Cellar itself has expanded a lot, since I started going there. It used to be a tiny little cafe with roughly 25 covers however now I’d estimate they can fit double that…and a few more!
It’s run by Dutch born Kees (pronounced ‘Case’) and his wife and their business partner Tim. Tim actually started off working there part time before eventually becoming a part-owner!
My best friend Amie, whom I was there with on Sunday also worked there on and off for years so when we go in we’re treated like VIPs but that’s pretty much how things happen everywhere we go! Naturally!
Joining Amie & I for breakfast was soon-to-be birthday girl Grace who initially pretended she would only be having a cup of tea as she has a ‘big early birthday lunch’ with her family later that afternoon.
Amie genuinely thought this was a joke on Grace’s part and with a nickname of ‘Two-pizzas Grace’ you can probably understand why.
And true to form, once presented with a menu, Grace came to her senses and joined Amie in ordering a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon.
As for me, I decided to go for my old favourite which was always a ham, cheddar cheese and tomato panini. The girls gave me slightly funny looks as I was ordering this for breakfast but that is the beauty of being an adult, you can order whatever the hell you want! In much the same way you can eat 10 biscuits in a row and not be told off for spoiling dinner.
The lovely Amie!
And two pizzas Grace!
Eggs & bacon on brown toast.
And my delicious cheese, tomato & ham panini.
As usual my food was delicious! In fact I’ve never had a bad dish.
I can highly recommend the courgette soup (if they have it on the menu) and the club ciabatta is also a winner – but honestly, anything you order will hit the spot!
The service too is great – although not quite as great as when Amie worked there (even though she would regularly forget to reserve me a table back in the day!).
We gossiped about the previous night out drinking in the beautifully refurbished Grosvenor Arms hotel (another place to visit if you’re ever in Shaftesbury), caught up on what we’d all been up too (new boyfriends and new ex friends – scandalous!) and spied a few old school friends also in The Salt Cellar having breakfast with their parents. The trick of a small town is you always bump into someone you know!
I don’t know how likely it is that many of you will be in Shaftesbury in the near future but if you are I couldn’t recommend The Salt Cellar enough as somewhere to go for food, drinks, home-made cakes and a catch up.
The view on it’s own is something to behold in winter or summer and another must-do is posing with the Hovis loaf in front of the town hall.
You can find The Salt Cellar HERE.
Thanks for reading.