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Dolphin, Blandford Forum

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user reviews of the Dolphin, Blandford Forum

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

The beer has certainly improved since the new landlord took over and the pub is very clean indeed. Much busier than of late although few of the real locals are drinking there. The addition of London Pride as a regular ale is a welcome move. The toilets are the most disgusting of any pub in the area however and in serious need of total replacement. Cholera on the menu soon!
steamraiser2 - 30 Dec 2014 20:04
Oh dear, what a difference a few months can make. Serious decline in fortune for what was the best pub in Blandford. Mass exodus from the regulars sadly. When its hard to tell if its beer of cider there is a serious quality problem indeed. Four visits over a month failed to discover a drinkable pint.Could not fail to notice that certain of the towns problem drinkers discouraged by previous landlords have crept back in. One can only hope that the new landlord gets his act together before its too late.
steamraiser2 - 15 Jun 2014 21:48
Certainly the best pub we have found after two visits to Blandford and as far as I can tell the only non-Hall&Woodhouse house in the town centre (Nothing particularly against H&W, but it does get a little samey after a while ?)

Small and quirky, the Dolphin offers a large range of the Piddle ales which is not surprising as it is owned by the Piddle Brewery. Also on offer were three or four non-Piddle brews including a very well kept TT's Landlord. The decor is pleasantly woody/shabby/comfy, the staff cheerful, pleasant and knowledgeable, the food is good value and the bogs clean.

The locals I met were very friendly and we soon got chatting. This will certainly be my pub of choice next time we're in Blandford - recommend.
keystone - 4 Aug 2013 13:14
A nicer pub than the nearby Railway Hotel, as there were no distracting TV screens. The interior is rather dark and moody, with a slightly lighter area near the entrance that seemed popular with diners and the bar area at the rear, with locals and their dogs crowded around. This is one of Dorset Piddle brewery's taps and they had several of their beers on - Thunder Box Porter, Happy 12, Silent Slasher & Piddle. In addition there was also Butcombe Gold, Taylor Landlord and a Robinsons beer called Elboy: Build A Rocket Boys, which was seemingly in honour of a band. Thatchers Traditional cider was off. Only one member of staff was in evidence. She seemed to have her hands full serving meals and working behind the bar. But she was fairly cheerful. The locals also seemed a friendly bunch. Although there was little space at the bar to see what was on offer, meaning you had to peer over everybody's shoulders. I would return, if ever in Blandford again.
blue_scrumpy - 29 Jan 2012 10:51
Popped in a couple of weeks ago to find a decent small town pub. Very friendly welcome from staff and locals. Didn't try the food but had a couple of pints which were very good and well kept.
BobOs - 5 Jul 2011 18:00
good choice of beers,and a pleasent little pub.
honestlee - 28 May 2011 20:44
I've been in The Dolphin twice this week. Some of the staff may have changed but they remain a helpful and happy bunch. Beer still well kept with a good selection of Piddle and other beers, the boss was keen to let us have a few tasters as we made our choice. Good quality pub food. No complaints!
Islander - 4 May 2011 19:56
The dolphin as i first remember it several years back was an average pub... the past year the dolphin has been in its prime it was a fresh breath of air ,the food is fantasic ,the staff are friendly, and the beer is above average,with lots of variety... however these qualities still remain i am a little dissapointed with my past several visits.

There has ,yet again, been a change in management who dont particulary care about the customers ,but just want to sell sell sell!
in turn pushing me and many others away.
i personally love to socialise , but this is not the pub for me anymore. looking foward to the next change in management to see where this pub goes in the future .
as always one to watch.
avidboozer - 30 Apr 2011 22:47
Shame when the best pub in town loses the plot but it seems to be the case here sadly. The beeer is still well kept and the pub food is way above average but the character of the pub is changing quickly with a resultant loss of regulars. The owners should remember that they have a country town high street boozer, its not a cafe bar or a bistro. They seem to be working hard to ruin the very thing that made the pub so popular.
steamraiser2 - 23 Nov 2010 12:42
had a few cask ales on first one tried had a lemon taste but i cannot think of the name of the beer was ok but not the best.the next one was jail ale pour well good head and really good thing which spoiled going to the dolphin was my mate went he went to the toilet his arm brushed against the wood panel on the door into the toilet and got paint on his arm. no wet paint sign warning was not anywhere in the pub
forestwood - 24 Oct 2010 13:29
this is an excellent pub, with a great range of beers, and a good atmosphere, would recommend this pub highly
Ian_J - 26 Aug 2010 19:26
The new owners have greatly expanded the range of beers on offer with three or four guest beers every week on top of the regular brews. All good stuff! Curry on a Tuesday is well above usual pub curry standard for the area. Still remains a friendly, market town boozer well worth a visit anytime. Highly recommended!
steamraiser2 - 19 Apr 2010 14:33
Have been back following the change of owners, and can report that all is still well, a good range of beers and a friendly welcome
BrucetheMoose - 28 Mar 2010 20:26
Still the best pub in Blandford. Obviously there's a few Piddle beers on but there's a chalk board for you to suggest guest ales. The guys who have taken over seem very welcoming and it's great to see a few of the old staff there. The new menu looks good too.
smallblondeperson - 24 Jan 2010 20:05
The Dolphin's lease has been taken over by the Piddle Brewery. Today there were four Piddle beers on, including a very tasty porter, alongside London Pride and Ringwood 49er. The new management seem enthusiastic to develop the Dolphin's reputation as the beer drinkers pub of choice in Blandford. The new bar menu includes food for the dog!
Islander - 18 Dec 2009 20:17
Visited for the first time tonight and learned it's just been taken over by something called "Piddle", maybe a microbrewery. Tried their "Reaper" and not that impressed but Summer Lightning was better. Beer only fair, whiskey looked better. Crowd and staff nice however. Needs watching.
mowlay - 7 Dec 2009 21:02
Good beer, good whisky selection, good atmosphere. A shame there's no garden, as that would have rounded things off nicely, but otherwise an excellent pub
BrucetheMoose - 7 Apr 2009 22:13
Best pub in Blandford!
theryall - 21 Jan 2009 17:35
Built after great fire of 1731 as The White Hart. Refurbished to present layout by owners Gibbs Mew in 1995, & sold to present Landlord in 1996. This small one room High St pub with wood floor and low beams is warm and friendly. 6 hand pulls: Ringwood Best, 49er, Hop Back Entire Stout, + 3 guests all in good condition. Good pub snax, Gammon 7-50 is a good plateful. Too small for games & no garden or parking but easily the best pub in Blandford. SADCATS are 5 couples who enjoy a drink and we had our Xmas meal here Thur night and enjoyed the quiz afterwards. Reviewed 18/12/08 by SADCATS on Tour!

Saxon_Scooper - 27 Dec 2008 18:09
Would agree with the_wandering_barman - probebly the best pub in Blandford! Lovely atmosphere, good range of drinks at good prices - beats a brewery pub anyday!!
Vic1 - 22 Dec 2008 17:36
Love this pub, landlord is always friendly and the atmosphere is top-quality. Food's always been cracking and served up in generous amounts. A really down to earth and friendly pub with great beer. It can get a bit packed at weekends though.
ingrid - 10 Nov 2008 21:23
Lovely, great wonderfull pub and has been for years. deserves all the praise it gets!
biggingerdude - 2 Jul 2008 16:30
Has to be the best pub in Blandford. It has a fantastic selection of ever changing real ale.
i love all the mish mash of furniture, it gives it heaps of character.
From day one of visiting the pub, both myself and my dog have been given a warm welcome.
As for the's great. It's under priced for it's quality..try the Chef's homemade Italian burger, topped with mozzerella cheese and red onion served with spicey wedges for less than a fiver!
the_wandering_barman - 19 Dec 2007 15:08
Worth a visit, had Hop Back Entire Stout on when I last went in, unusual to find a stout/porter or mild around here. Traditional pub although they have changed the carpet from the days of my youth when it was known as the 'Claggy Mat'!
Islander - 12 Oct 2006 22:37
Ten real ale pumps - Heaven!
Eight beers on the go all at once and all in superb condition at reasonable prices.
Despite being a reformed smoker I really did not notice the smoke.
Quiz nights on a Thursday are a great laugh.
Definitely the best pub in Blandford.
No food in the evenings otherwise this pub would have a ten.

colen - 29 Sep 2006 11:25
great pub but will be much better when the smoking ban kicks in
vungad - 25 Sep 2006 10:54
Not quite sure where the reputation mentioned in the other reviews comes from as this seems to be the most relaxed trouble free pub in Blandford. The beer is kept exceptionally well and the service is good. There must be 8 or more ales on hand pumps plus the fizzy stuff to keep the Lagerboys happy and Guiness with extra cold option. I've never eaten there so I can't comment on the food but I would expect the same high standards to apply. The small size and low ceilings are the only negative things making it a bit smokey later in the evening.
Davros - 2 Sep 2005 15:59
I have never seen a fight in The Dolphin and I have been drinking there for many years. I find it to be a very friendly and sociable pub. Laurie and Owen keep a good bar with a great selection of ales. I rate it very highly. The food is good too.
Jan - 28 Feb 2004 10:40
Has a reputation of being a place where squaddies scrap pretty frequently but I've been in there maybe a dozen times and never seen any bother. Beer isn't always that well kept and narrow bar area means that you can be subject to a fair bit of jostling.
John - [email protected] - 24 May 2003 18:48

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