12 reviews of The Square And Compass in English
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I had to stifle a laugh at manic75's review, but I guess some people don't know quality when it punches them in the face and kicks them in the nuts... That said, each person's experience is entirely subjective and it's hard to hide from the truth in this case. Best pub ever or best pub ever?
I've been told about the Square and Compass a number of times from a number of people, and to say it had been hyped would be an understatement. As with so many things that get hyped, you'd expect my subsequent reaction to be that of disappointment because it hadn't lived up to expectations, but that simply was not the case.
I eventually found myself here celebrating a friends 26th Birthday, and after a small walk (from the car park) in glorious sunshine, the view and quirky character was suddenly apparent. Old stone slabs and wooden tables were filled with punters eating pies and pasties off white paper plates, drinking locally sourced ciders and ales and soaking in some much needed sunshine.
Even the method of procuring the fayre is quirky, and while a tad anarchistic, the queuing system just added to the experience. I had a nice pint of Country Bumpkin (6%) ale, and was blown away by how drinkable it was. The Cider had by other members of our party was equally impressive, and when we did get around to eating, the pies and pasties that we got were really delicious. Not the best you'll ever taste, but perfect on a boozy Saturday afternoon, and at the price you really cannot complain.
The company certainly added to the enjoyment, so don't take grumpy folk like manic75 if you're looking for a good time. It's a very popular pub, and so you might have to wait for seating, but this is a small price for a public house that will certainly be in your mind for years and years to come.
Not to mention there are some excellent camping spots nearby, and with the delights of corfe castle and the jurassic coast to keep you entertained (I saw a couple of climbers with a clipstick, so I'm guessing there are some good climbing spots nearby, but that wasn't on the order of play so can't comment right now.
Definitely one to check out if you're anywhere near.
I'm sorry but I have to politely disagree with all the 5 star ratings that this pub has received. Just because it is different and has some history does not entitle it to serve pasties on paper plates, or expect customers to stand whilst juggling cider versus their pasty due to insufficient tables or seating. I took my Dad there and have to admit we were both hugely disappointed with our choice. Yes fine views, and the pub has history, but I found it uncomfortable, did not enjoy paper plates and poor quality pies (surely they could make more effort with food), and don't enjoy the like it or lump it approach of the staff.
Does not deserve a place in the Good Pub Guide. I work hard for my money, and I expect a decent service and atmosphere for my hard earned cash.
This pub was recommended on The Guardian website and whilst in that area thought we’d check it out and I’m so glad we did! It’s an absolutely lovely little place, go into the pub and there is a little hatch for the bar area where they serve proper ales and ciders as well as pies and hearty snacks. The best bit of this place is not only the atmosphere but the outside area of this little gem. The sloping grass in front of the pub has stone tables and chairs and places to perch and chill out in the sunshine with a beer and a packet of crisps. Looking out over the fields is a really relaxing and welcoming place. Parking up the road (you have to pay) or if you can squeeze in there is parking on the lanes, head for a stroll over the fields after your pint to see the sea. Gorgeous.
I have been going to this pub since i was about 5, everyone who has ever been there loves it because of its great atmostphere, classic pub feeling and the of course the food and drink. I came to love pasties because of this pub! It is also a definete animal friendly pub, seeing as the owners own about 10 pets thast wonder aimlessly around the pub. During winter there is a roaring fire in both of the rooms, and regular local music players. The best event they have is in October when you walk up to the pub they have pumpkins so big you don’t believe they are real. They enter a competition for the biggest pumkin and i am sure they have won it many a time. Along with the pets, they also have chickens that wonder around and ducks. The pub has two gardens normally packed out in the summer, and adorned with dorset stone that have been carved into different things from huge dinosaurs to chickens. Definetly reccomend this pub to anyone who is looking to really find the country life and a nice hot pastie!
A couple of friends and I once went for a hike along the South West Coast Path in Dorset. It took us a couple of hours and was really nice: good weather, beautiful sea views, rolling pastures, and a great pub at the end. That pub turned out to be the Square and Compass.
When we arrived it was warm and sunny, and most people were sitting on the dozens of outside tables, rocks, or just on the grass, enoying the sunshine. Oddly, a large number of chickens were strolling through the assembled patrons, but no one - drinker nor chicken - seemed to mind.
There was a band playing some Beatles covers, too, though they finished shortly after we arrived.
This is a proper country pub, long, low and very old wood and stone. They keep kegs of real ale and cider in a pump room here, so you order at the hatch.
Check the “Dinosaur Room” while you’re there. I won’t say any more, since it deserves to be a surprise.
I can’t imagine a more relaxed, laid-back, country pub.
The only downside was that although we’d planned to take a local bus back to Swanage, where our car was parked, those services don’t run on Sundays. The day was so nice we decided to walk back anyway (along the road, though, a much shorter trip than the coastal path).
EDIT: I was back again today, and despite the weather being crap - or maybe because of it - this pub was even better. We walked down to the ocean, to watch the surf pound the cliffs by the old quarry. We wedged into one of the tiny rooms and ate pasties and drank Ringwood ale. We gazed in wonder at the bizarre little fossil-and-beach-item museum at the back.
Comment 1 comment on this review
Phil Chambers, 28 February 2008: We were *just* talking about this pub over lunch! How weird!
I love this pub. I love this pub so much that if you could marry pubs, I would marry this one. Actually, if you could marry pubs I’d probably be a polygamist, or at least keep a mistress in Fritham. But I digress.
You can come anytime, but I came when there was a beer festival on, after a hard days climbing a few E1’s on Swanage cliffs. I was with a number of climbing geeks who insisted on cooking something in the car park, so can’t comment on the food, if there is any. But the ales… oh the ales… and the garden, and the tiny pokey rooms.
I love you square and compasses.
Great little pub. The ceiling is so low that you can barely stand up in some of the rooms. Really nice beers on draft when i went there last time, as well as an impromptu cider festival. Perfect after a walk along the coast, or some climbing.
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