Page 30 - Enjoy the South 2016
P. 30

Imagine the bustle of merchant ships unloading on Poole Quay in the early 19th century next to the toll bridge to Hamworthy, with the steam train running immediately in front of the classic Georgian building.
Today it still evokes images of history and trade, the double staircase up to the first floor, the hoist window over the quay – it’s part of Poole’s very heart and soul.
In terms of hospitality, dining, and functions you can rely on owner-proprietor Mark Heffer to deliver, maybe not through the second floor 19th century hoist (!) but certainly for the last 20 years through his ever-changing menu, redesigning of the remarkable Dining Room, and his welcoming manner and delightful staff.
The menu in the fine Dining Room is a showcase
of fish specials such as lobster, crab, mussels, sea
bass, lemon sole, and turbot – daily catch dictates. There are customary classics such as lamb shank and Chateaubriand along with alternative choices such as beetroot salad and spring vegetables in a puff pastry case. Overlooking the Quay, deep sash windows allow for panoramic views of the water and docks. The Dining Room has its own bar and an ‘almost’ private 16-seater dining area – the Orange Room.
The mussel stew is another flagship dish – steaming local crustacea, fresh bread, and chips – what more could you ask for? Head chef Dean has a real eye for detail and
presentation – the vegetarian dish is an absolute picture as you can appreciate and is bursting full of flavour.
Open for dinner six nights a week, Dean provides a varied choice, stunning presentation, and thoughtful combinations. The wine list from the main man himself
is another asset – and at good prices. Have drinks downstairs in the CH Bar before dinner, make the most of the regal entrance and views – during the summer, views of the fireworks are fabulous from the window tables.
Conversely the winter months bring locals and visitors flocking for sumptuous roasts and lashings of red wine – maybe not so much has changed since the 19th century after all? 01202 676767

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