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  1. Carey's Secret Garden was once hidden and has now been brought back to life and opened for the general public to enjoy.  Myself and a friend recently visited the walled Victorian garden which was rediscovered in 2019 and has since undergone extensive restoration to make it what it is today.  The location near Wareham is kept secret until booking and unless you regularly walk around this area you would never know it’s there.

    There’s a short stroll from the car park through the woods to the impressive entrance of the walled garden.  Once greeted you are free to explore the wonderful tranquil grounds to see the many different spaces which have been created with expertise in Rewilding, Permaculture and Natural Gardening.

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    The 3.5 acres of gardens are enclosed by original Clayton red brick walls which were built in 1883.  Within these walls you’ll find a stunning sculpture which glistens in the sunshine and surrounding it there's an arid garden, rose garden, traditional orchard and local wildflower meadow, tea and herb garden, fruit cage, flower garden, vegetable beds, fun stumpery and more.

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    Children are absolutely more than welcome and my friend and her little one in the pushchair had no problems using the paths to get around.  Children's packs can be picked up to keep the kiddies amused and the ‘Secret Salt Pig’ sells refreshments, light food which is locally sourced and homemade, cake and ice cream for when you need a break.

    We wasn’t keeping a track on time but we easily spent a couple of hours wandering and having a natter when we stopped for coffee and a chocolate brownie.  The entry price is very reasonable for this hidden gem and I know I’ll be back later in the year to see how the garden differs as the seasons change.

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    Carey’s Secret Garden allows an intimate number of visitors every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Please note though that they will be closed to the public throughout August due to a secret project and will reopen in September.  To book, please visit Carey’s Secret Garden.

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    Due to many garden areas not quite blooming on our visit, Dorsetmums has been given permission to share recent images of the garden in our write up.

  2. One of Dorset’s most picturesque pubs with stunning views can be found in the heart of the Purbeck region.  I was very excited to visit The Greyhound Inn at Corfe Castle and the moment we walked in we were greeted by cheery staff who were ready to welcome us and explain the one way system to follow for our table after completing the track and trace.

    The 15th century Purbeck Stone building is both traditional and modern inside with lots of paintings on the walls and signs of local history throughout.  Head out to the back garden and you’ll find a stunning seated area and heated terrace with twinkly lights and a magnificent view of the Castle ruins.

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    Whilst perusing the menu my husband asked which gin they had and was pleasantly surprised with the wide choice so it took him some time to decide on a rhubarb and ginger gin with a Mediterranean tonic which I’m told was extremely flavourful while I had a refreshing glass of chilled white wine.

    Alongside the main menu which offers pub classics like cod and chips, burgers and rotisserie chicken there is also mini mezze and bread boards, ploughmans, open ciabattas, stone baked pizzas, cream teas and dishes using local produce like the Dorset crab stack and mussels in steamed Purbeck Cider with a cream, leek and chorizo sauce served with crusty bread and chips.

    My husband ordered the Jurassic Coast 28 day aged rib eye steak which was served on top of asparagus with roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine, chunky chips and a rocket and parmesan salad.  I’m always nervous when my husband orders a steak as he likes it blue and has often been left disappointed but luckily this was not the case which is obviously down to the locally sourced meat and skilled chefs.  I ordered pulled pork from the specials menu which was equally as tasty and served with slaw, pickles, gherkins and potato wedges.  The pork shoulder had been rubbed with a house blend of spices then smoked low and slow for 18 hours in their own smoker and then hand pulled and mixed with a Kentucky Bourbon BBQ sauce.  I love pulled pork so it was a winner for me but because it was so moist the bun quickly fell apart so I just devoured it without the bun.

    We were unsure if we could manage a dessert but settled on sharing the churros which came out hot and fresh served with chocolate for dipping and vanilla ice cream, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

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    The staff were very attentive and friendly throughout and after our meal we asked if it would be ok to take our drinks out to the garden to enjoy sitting back in the beautiful surroundings.

    We had such a lovely evening that we didn’t want to leave but we were off on holiday in the morning and sadly we knew the car wouldn’t pack itself.  We have however booked to go back on Father’s Day so the children can join us.  Looking forward to it already!

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    The Greyhound Inn offers a variety of dishes which include vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The food is fresh and they use seasonal produce where possible including local butchers and brewers.

    If you are visiting Corfe Castle then bring your tickets in to receive a 10% discount.

    The pub is very dog friendly and because they shouldn’t be left out they have Bottom Sniffer brew beer, Little Star treats and Scoopdog ice cream for sale.

    Children are very welcome and highchairs are available.  The kids menu includes pasta, fish and chips, beef burger, chicken nuggets and sandwiches.  They also have loaded milkshakes which I’m desperate to try myself and include caramel biscoff, vanilla smarties, chocolate oreo and salted caramel and banana.  Yum!

    So, if you're looking for somewhere special for date night, a get together with friends or a family celebration then I can definitely recommend The Greyhound Inn.

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    Dorsetmums was invited to The Greyhound Inn for the purpose of a review however all words are my own.