The Half Moon, Melplash
…come on in, take the weight off!
Situated only 2 miles north of Bridport is the Half Moon in Melplash, Dorset. Surrounded by countryside, our menu offers something for everyone specialising in steaks and game, all sourced in close locality of West Dorset.
We offer the perfect space to eat fresh, fun and exciting food, whilst serving great Palmers ale which you can enjoy by the fire side or in our beer garden.
Winners of Dorset Tourism Awards, ‘Pub of the Year’ 2020!
To say we are over the (Half) Moon (pun intended!) is an understatement.
We are so proud of our incredibly hard-working & talented team who have helped us take our delivery & takeaway offering to the next level during this lockdown and those last year.
2020 has been a trying year but it gave us chance to strengthen our ties within our local community as they have shown us incredible support. Without their support, and a generous local donor who has asked to remain anonymous, we would have had a very different year. The Lockdown in March gave us time to design a web site which was able to process our customers’ orders to give the best service you could wish for.
2021 begins with another Lockdown!
January 2021 begins rather differently than most. Instead of welcoming in our wonderful regulars & hungry walkers, we are busy behind the scenes as we find ourselves in another Lockdown – unable to welcome you in.
So what are we up to? Having taken down the Christmas decorations, putting them away safely for next year, we are busy looking forward and planning. We have exciting additions to our delivery & takeaway offering and are planning our reopening (when the restrictions allow).
2021 has begun with the announcement that we have been shortlisted for Dorset Tourisms Pub of the Year and we hope this is only the beginning of what will be a great year!
In the meantime, we hope that you are doing your bit to keep yourselves & loved ones safe so that it won’t be too long until you are allowed to visit us once again & enjoy a great pint either by our cosy open fire or in the sunshine in our fabulous beer garden.
Live music and so much more!
Take a look at the Calendar to see what Events we have coming up. We are constantly responding to the latest government guidelines and legal restrictions in regard to COVID-19. Alas, this means our including our specially developed Sunday Session’s – great live music in a safe but fun environment, are currently on hold. However, please check back regularly for updates.
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- 2021 Review – July to December
Looking back at all that the Half Moon team achieved in the first part of 2021, I’d just like to say Well Done! It was incredibly hard at times & our team rose to the challenge like the superstars that we know they are.
Having covered January to June in the previous blog entry, we pick up with July. The sun shone, the beer was cold & the cocktails (and Mocktails) flowed. The marquee was full every evening with people enjoying Palmer’s Brewery real ale, our refreshing cocktails & great food. A good time was had by all. July also saw further relaxations of the covid guidelines which was great news for all, although we continued to keep some of the guidelines to ensure the safety of our team & our customers.
August began with our Landlord Jamie’s birthday and what a way to celebrate than with a long over due staff gathering. Steak, Jamie’s favourite was cooked to perfection and the rum (also Jamie’s favourite) was enjoyed. A few heads were sore the following day however the happy memories were more than worth it.
August was a very busy month, welcoming visitors from near & far during the summer holidays. It gave all of the team a real sense of satisfaction seeing all our customers enjoying their visits to us & being able to enjoy finally eating & drinking inside a pub! It wouldn’t be an honest review of the year, if we didn’t acknowledge the staffing shortages that faced the hospitality industry during the summer season. Like most other establishments we faced issues when it came to filling seasonal posts, however our core team once again rose to the challenge. Thank you again!
September marked the beginning of our partnership with a local shoot. Often twice a week our team provided catering for three meals for guests who had travelled to take part in these organised days. These days enabled us to focus on our game offering on our menu with delicious dishes which included Venison Bourguignon and Pheasant with Partridge Ballontine.
September also saw an invite to the Dorset Tourism Awards ceremony to meet other winners and the awards sponsors. It was a great evening at Sculptures by the Lake (https://www.sculpturebythelakes.co.uk/) a stunning location, with wonderful hospitality – definitely worth visiting if you can. It was lovely to be invited to meet other participants and take part in an event that we had thought may not have happened due to the pandemic.
October saw a visit from the Bridport Broadsides, a local Sea Shanty group. It was a fantastic evening, cosy & warm around the open fire in our cosy bar. A great time was enjoyed by all & we look forward to their next visit. https://www.facebook.com/groups/167406704576724/about
During the October half term, we took our family for a trip to Bincombe Bumps to pick our own pumpkins to decorate the pub with for Halloween. Bincombe was organised really well & despite the chilly weather, we returned with a great selection of pumpkins. Our children really enjoyed carving the pumpkins which we displayed.
November saw the launch of our new Winter menu. Firm favourites were alongside new dishes and classic ones. Popular dishes have been our homemade Chicken Kiev and our Sous Vide Duck breast.
Alongside our winter menu, we launched our winter cocktail list to incorporate seasonal flavours and winter warmers. We also extended our range of locally produced products. The Lyme Bay Winter Gin has been very popular and pairs perfectly with a Fever Tree Tonic.
In November we were notified that we had been nominated for the Best Game Pub as part of the Eat Game awards. Of course, we will keep you all updated on our progress, voting ends on the 21st February – so please vote for us at www.eatgame.co.uk Thank you!
December saw the pub decorated for Christmas and looking very festive. For example, our tree from John Brights Fencing looked wonderful in the bar area & helped everyone feel festive. This year we welcomed many Christmas parties & gatherings. Our Christmas day Deliveries & Takeaway was a great success. Once again, our team rose to the occasion and delivered our great Half Moon Christmas dinners with a smile. It is so wonderful that we have been able to continue to offer this side of our business to our supporters & customers, we really are very grateful.
Looking over all of our teams achievements, and we can see there have been many, we are so proud of all of them. Now all eyes are looking forward to 2022!
Dorset Tourism Awards, Palmers Brewery, Sculptures by the Lake, Winscombe shoot, Lyme Bay WInery, Eat Game, BASC,
- 2021 – What a Year!
So, it’s already part way through January, and we are busy planning ahead for a great 2022 to come, but whilst planning ahead, we realised how much the Half Moon Melplash team achieved during 2021.
We began 2021 with a lockdown. Not the best start to the year – but our team rose to the challenge and our takeaway & delivery service kicked the year off to a cracking start. Cold, grey January evenings were cheered up with your Half Moon Melplash favourites, deliverd to your door – in all weathers.
Almost a year ago – to the day – we recieved the great news that The Half Moon had been selected as a finalist for Dorset Tourisms ‘Pub of The Year’. A drink or two might have been had to celebrate.
It nearly snowed at the end of January – but that didn’t stop our team of drivers. The pub did look lovely with the icing sugar dusting of snow. We even had a mini snow ball fight in the beer garden – socially distanced of course!
We celebrated events including Burns NIght and Valentines day with specials on our Takeaway Menu. It was great to be offering the chance to help you guys celebrate however it wasn’t quiet the same as having our wonderful customers inside the pub.
February began with the great news that we had won Gold Award for Dorset Tourisim Awards Pub of the Year. A great Zoom award ceremony & one to remember (sat around the dining room table!).
As the days become a little lighter, we celebrated Mothering Sunday with a sell out weekend – deliveries & take away of course! All the while hoping we would be allowed to re-open again soon.
March 14th saw our second birthday here at The Half Moon. What a 2 years it had been! Under the current restriction, we were not able to celebrate together as a team, but plans were made for a staff gathering as soon as restrictions allowed.
All eyes were eagerly on the announcements as to when we could re-open & welcome customers back into our pub. April 14th was the date that we all focused on. The pub was given a through spring clean & a splash of paint where needed. The marquee was set up (it snowed the day the put the frame together so we all warmed up with a coffee). The garden furniture was refurbished and new benches were brought to give maximum seating in our wonderful beer garden.
April saw many visitors to the pub. The thatchers, working on keeping the building in its best condition were follwed by the painter to give the outside of the building a freshen up. It was great to see the progress of everyone working together to get the pub open. We launched our new garden menu and cocktail menu too. Our Quarrantini cocktail was a great sucess – perfect to celebrate being able to be in a pub!
April saw another award! This time the team were awarded Bridport Food Festival’s Lock Down Hero runner up in the Public House category. Well done team!
May saw the further relaxing of restrictions and customers were allowed inside the pub. A day the team had looked forward to for a long time. Our marquee had been a real sucess, with lighing, heaters and even music. Our team had worked super hard in welcoming everyone back amd their hard work had truly shown with glowing reviews and happy customers.
In May, the Half Moon family welcomed our Pub Dog, Elwood. He fitted in almost straight away and ever since has been a great part of the team, ensuring no crumb is left. A particular highlight of his first few weeks with us was when he explored the log basket near the fire & couldn’t get back out. He has grown a little now and probably wouldn’t fit in the basket now.
In June the sun shone & we welcomed a classic car club to the pub one Saturday afternoon as part of a rally. Fantastic cars from times gone by filled our car park and great conversations were had over a pint or 2 of Palmers Dorset Gold.
Wyld Morris dancers also entertained our customers in the garden in early June. It was wonderful to welcome them back and begin to live life in a pre covid way. Check out the video for clips of their visit to us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXlHj9CzqUo We always look forward to a visit from this local group & are eager to put them in the diary for more visits this year.
June saw The Half Moon team gain another award – Well done team! At a great lunchtime event at Symondsbury estate, the team were commended for Pub of the Year at Bridport Business awards! It was a great event and wonderful to meet with other local business owners at this well organised event.
Looking back, this is only the first 6 months and I can’t quiet believe how much had been fitted in. I’m going to sit with Jamie & Elwood and take a quick breather before we cover July to December.