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Date Night Ideas in Dorchester

Thursday, January 12th, 2023

Planning a date night in Dorchester? The town is a fantastic place to enjoy some quality time with your significant other. Whether you’d prefer a more upbeat, fun-filled evening, or a quaint, classy meal, you’ll have the perfect romantic night in the town centre!

Here, we share just a few date night recommendations in Dorchester, which are perfect for a valentine’s day or a romantic evening throughout the year.

date night dorchester dorset 1

Watch a movie

Nothing says “date night” like a trip to the movies. In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, going to the cinema remains a true romantic tradition – and Dorchester is firmly flying the flag for the big screen. There are two fantastic cinemas in Dorchester – the historic Plaza in the town centre, and Brewery Square’s Odeon.


Plaza Cinema

The Plaza has been a staple in Dorchester since 1933, where it streamed King Kong as its first showing (which was also the first screening outside of London)! Since its beginning as a 1-screen picturedrome, The Plaza has grown with the times and today is a modern, reasonably priced cinema with 4 screens.

Explore the latest movies at Plaza

The Plaza Cinema is situated on Trinity Street – DT1 1TT




Odeon Cinema

Having opened in 2012 as part of the impressive offering in Brewery Square, The Odeon has become a popular venue for film buffs in Dorchester. Why not enjoy one of the latest films in the state-of-the-art cinema before walking just a few paces to Luciano’s, Cote or Hub Box for a main meal and drinks?

The Odeon Cinema is situated with Creams and Nando’s either side – opposite to Luciano’s in Brewery Square – DT1 1GA

odeon dorchester



Fun activities for adults in Dorchester

The Great Big Escape

The Great Big Escape is the perfect date night activity to enjoy before a meal! The very first Escape Room in Dorchester will certainly leave you with lots to talk about at the dinner table. If you have never taken on an escape room experience before, we urge you to find out more on their website.

The Great Big Escape poses attendees the question, ‘Can you escape in 60 minutes?’. You can choose between two rooms; The Barber Of Pope Street, and Hop House Homicide. In both experiences, you must solve the clues to try and crack the cases. If you do so within 60 minutes, you beat the room!

We recommend visiting one of the fantastic Brewery Square restaurants after your session!

The Great Big Escape is situated opposite the fountains in Brewery Square – DT1 1HX

the great big escape dorchester brewery square


Take a romantic stroll

The town centre is a fantastic place to walk. Whether you’re local or not, you’ll appreciate learning about Dorchester’s history on the Dorchester Walk, which is a circular trail that takes you around the town centre. En route, you’ll pass by Ancient Roman walls, historic buildings and be able to enjoy our popular Borough Gardens.

Before enjoying the walk with your partner, we recommend you read this article about Dorchester town’s history, for some background that you’ll appreciate on the journey.

The route is 1.8 miles long and should take around 45 minutes – 1 hour to complete.

Find out about the route.

Borough Gardens Bandstand

Romantic restaurants in Dorchester

If you’re looking for a date night in Dorchester, a romantic restaurant should be your first port of call! Dorchester has an abundance of fantastic places to eat. Many trendy restaurants have recently opened in Brewery Square, which compliment the excellent offering of eateries in the town centre. With exciting cuisine across the town, Dorchester is regarded one of the best places to eat in Dorset, and as a must-visit destination for foodies.


Luciano’s one of the latest additions to Brewery Square’s brilliant selection of restaurants. It offers high quality Italian food and is owned by Luciano Pierre White, son of Marco Pierre White. You’ll immediately feel the authenticity of Luciano’s offering, where family favourites like ‘Maria Rosa’s Meatballs’ and ‘Mr White’s Ragu’ often grace the menus, which are regularly rotated.

The restaurant also hosts live music and entertainment evenings. Keep an eye on their website for news regarding upcoming events.

Luciano’s is situated opposite Pizza Express in Brewery Square – DT1 1GS



La Caverna

If you’d prefer a smaller, more intimate affair, La Caverna could be your next favourite date night restaurant in Dorchester. With just seven tables in the dining areas, La Caverna is perfect for a quiet,  romantic evening with your partner and as such – should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. The Italian restaurant put a lot of time into selecting the right suppliers so they can offer the highest quality local ingredients.

Their wine selection is particularly good!

La Caverna is situated underground in Icen Way – 6 High West Street, DT1 1UJ

La Caverna. Authentic Italian restaurant in Dorchester.


Côte Brasserie

Côte describe their restaurants as ‘all day dining inspired by the brasseries of Paris’. As day turns to night, you’ll be sure to feel the classic French romance, with low lights and fantastic food in Côte’s snug interior, which will provide the perfect ambience for a special evening with your partner.

You’ll love Côte’s à la carte menu, which features modern French food – perfectly cooked by their highly esteemed chefs. If you are celebrating a special occasion, you simply must try their famous Côte de Boeuf rib-eye sharing experience! Why not view their full menu to get a feel for the place?

Côte Brasserie is situated next to Anytime Fitness in Brewery Square – DT1 1HX

cote dorchester


Hub Box

Hub Box serve up gourmet burgers and a buzzing atmosphere. This lively venue is the place to go to indulge in fantastic food, sumptuous desserts and tempting cocktails. Since opening its first restaurant in Cornwall, Hub Box has quickly won awards and a large following. With the chain ‘as fired up by their Cornish roots as the food they serve’, its no surprise that Hub Box has been a hit since opening in Brewery Square!

We were lucky enough to attend their VIP Launch Event and particularly enjoyed the Bacon Double Cheese Burger, Dirty Clucker Fries and Hub Colada!

Have a look at their main menu and drinks menu!

Read more about Hub Box.

Hub Box is situated opposite the fountains in Brewery Square – DT1 1HX

Here is a short reel we captured at the launch event:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Discover Dorchester (@discoverdorchester)

The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms is a hotel and restaurant in the town centre. Recently renovated to a beautiful, classy style, The Kings Arms will bring some decadence to your date night in Dorchester.

The hotel and restaurant is the perfect place to stay if you are travelling from out of the area! Even if you are local, why not treat yourselves to an extended evening at The Kings Arms – enjoying the fantastic food and drinks without the bother of having to travel home?

The King Arms is situated at 30 High East Street, DT1 1HF

kings arms dorchester


Want to discover more places to eat for couples in Dorchester? We’ve put together a list of the 12 Best Romantic Restaurants in Dorchester.


Enjoy a drink or two

Ambience Dorset

Ambience does everything! By day, Ambience is a café that serves great local coffee, sumptuous sweet treats, vegan pastries and asian fusion foods like Dim Sum all day.

By night though, Ambience whips up some excellent cocktails and a wide range of spirits on their rotating cocktail menu.

This is the place to go and enjoy the ‘ambience’ after your main meal!

Ambience is situated at 2 Trinity House, Trinity Street – DT1 1TT

ambience cocktail


Vivo Lounge

A hangout in a former brewery, Vivo Lounge is another fantastic place to visit at Brewery Square, which serves up excellent food and drinks. The food is so good that we could’ve included it in the restaurants recommendations above! The decor and atmosphere at Vivo is modern, upbeat and classy.

If you decide to go elsewhere for a main meal, come here for a fantastic selection of cocktails from their ‘lounge classics’ menu. We particularly love their Mango Tiki Shake and Toffee Apple Daiquiri!

Vivo Lounge is situated at Brewery Square – DT1 1QR

vivo lounge


Junction Hotel

The Junction is a popular place to come together with friends and family to enjoy some lovely food, drink and conversation! The Junction has been highly regarded for many years and is a staple of the town centre.

They have a large food menu, and a wide range of draught beers and ciders on offer, as well as a multitude of wines and spirits, too. As The Junction themselves put it, ‘the heart and soul of the business has always been the pub’. They urge visitors to come and find a cosy corner to settle down in – and we couldn’t agree more. Come here for a relaxed chat with good quality drinks in a traditional pub after your meal (or even better – eat here!).

The Junction is situated on Great Western Road – DT1 1UF

the junction


That concludes our handful of date night recommendations.

There are many excellent restaurants, pubs and cafés in Dorchester – way too many in fact to list in one go.

We highly recommend you take some time to sample the multitude of food and drink that Dorchester offers… it is market research after all.

We’ll leave you with our ideal date night:

Editor’s choice: The Great Big Escape (Hop House Homicide experience), followed by a meal at Luciano’s and cocktails at Vivo Lounge.

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