Restaurant - Swanage

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Contemporary restaurant with a lovely view of Swanage Bay. Serving tea, coffee, cakes, lunch and dinner menu, wine and cocktails. Fresh produce, friendly staff, great atmosphere.


All our seafood is locally sourced whenever possible
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Ploughmans & Salads

Olives, pickles, feta, cheddar, hummus and more
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Cold Meat Platters
Chorizo, pastrami, serrano to share
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Puddings, Tea & Coffee
Cheescakes, shortbread, cake of the day with tea and coffee
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We pride ourselves on serving fresh oysters and seafood, with delicious specials. Pop in for coffee & cake or join us for lunch, dinner, cocktails or hot drinks and a slice of cake (or two!).

We have indoor and outdoor seating available and whilst booking is not essential, in peak season it is highly recommended. 

Please use our website for all booking requests, we will respond via email. Sorry, we are unable to take telephone bookings at this time.

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Yes we are a dog friendly restaurant.

Make a Booking or Contact Map & Directions
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Customer Reviews

People do not normally come to Swanage from outside to find a restaurant, but the Pier Head changes all that. With Old Harry in sight along the bay, right next to the pier, this small family restaurant has European star quality, every bit as good as France or Italy.

Open for light lunches and afternoon teas the restaurant has a tiny kitchen offering good value seaside dinners. By 6.30 its daytime customers have left, but then the vibe changes dramatically. Customers arrive from out of town to savour the best fish in the bay. The cars outside get bigger. The simple tables and place settings remain the same, being similar to their European counterparts where the patron knows what really matters.

The patron, Peter, has cooked at the most discerning sporting estates around England's shores and knows exactly how to cook fish perfectly. Their second secret weapon is a fisherman who supplies the very best that Swanage Bay can offer. My sumptuous skate came from a huge fish, 450gm soles and hand dived scallops come into the kitchen on a daily basis. As the seasons change so does the choice of fish - brilliantly fresh halibut, and bass to serve three, arrive as the season progresses.

Unusually, the Pier Head has no phone (it is not a priority!) and booking must be made by email - but this offers great advantage - lobster, turbot and monkfish from Cornwall can be ordered with a few days notice, which is the most reassuring way I can think of, ensuring the fish will be fresh when making a booking.

Peter’s wife Emma makes the third magical ingredient, smoothly running this immaculate restaurant without bling or fuss and which boasts the cleanest lavatory on the peninsular. The writer must add that their daughter, Sydney, makes a decent Margarita and not many people know that.

The Pier Head is very simply a delightful surprise on every level and serves Swanage well indeed.

H Guard,  2024.

Good morning Emma,

this is just to say thank you and the team so much for looking after us so well on Wednesday.

The food was excellent, the service impeccable and we were extremely grateful when you ran some of the party to the station.

That was way beyond the call of duty but very much appreciated (although the train was then 40 minutes late!). Regards and many thanks,

Anthony, 2024.

Hi Emma, just a quick note to you and your team for a great evening enjoyed by everyone, the food was terrific and the service excellent.

Colin,  2024

Our chefs are currently taking food orders
between the following times:

Sunday to Thursday serving food 12pm till 8pm

Friday and Saturday serving food 12pm till 8.30pm

The restaurant is now open daily from 12pm.
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