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Friday, 14 June 2013

40 B4 40-Café Shore

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No.35: Café Shore (Sandbanks)

As the sun broke through the bedroom window on Sunday morning my head was slightly fuzzy. Saturday had been a glorious sunny day and we had celebrated by spending a late afternoon and early evening sampling an impressive selection of the wine and beer menu at The Cave. My son, Matthew found a friend in the special blend of Stella Artois 4, his fiancée Kayleigh got a taste for Sancerre, and my wife just downed everything that was put in front of her.

Not sure if we chose to move on, or if we were thrown out, but we then found ourselves in The Raft, drinking more beer. As you may expect, we were by now peckish, so we indulged in some tasty starters and great pizza’s in the courtyard garden.

The future happy couple were up bright and breezy Sunday morning to attend a church service and specifically, to meet the vicar, in St Stephens Church in Kingston Lacy. This is to be the venue for their wedding next year. My wife was also up, but still in the mumbling stage as she had not yet had her second cup of tea. We debated about going along to meet the vicar, but logistics with our two dogs proved tricky, and their ability to sing hymns was a bit suspect. My wife also though that it might not be a good move for the vicar to meet me just yet. So, we decided to meet them a bit later at The Sandbanks Hotel, the venue for their forthcoming wedding reception. The hotel is in a fabulous position on Poole Harbour with excellent facilities and a very impressive seafront vista.

After a good look around and being impressed by their choice of wedding venue, we wandered along the sandy beach in the sunshine for lunch at Café Shore.

The restaurant was extremely stylish and it was evident that someone had exceptional taste and design skills, not to mention a deep pocket.

Our table overlooked Poole Harbour through the wall of windows. the view was spectacular both inside and out.

It took a while to order our drink and starters, but when they eventually arived it was immediately evident that the kitchen was cooking with skill and using some lovely ingredients. Between us we enjoyed Salmon Tartare with Plantain Crisps, Asparagus with Poached Egg & Hollandaise Sauce, and finally, Tempura Prawns with Sweet Chilli Sauce.

It was a shame that the front of house team did not match the kitchen efforts, when we had to wait too long for our plates to be cleared and for our main courses served.  When they did arrive, they were again very good. We enjoyed; Thyme & Garlic Roasted 28 Day Aged Beef, Horseradish Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables, Beer Battered Fish & Chips with Garden Peas & Tartare Sauce, and a Sea Bass dish. (Which was a replacement for the Black Bream on the menu.)

Our sweets were Lime Cheesecake with White Chocolate Ice Cream, Lemon Curd Pot with Shortbread Biscuit, and Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart with Crème Fraiche. We all voted them well placed on the 'Yummy scale!'.

Throughout our meal it was bemusing to watch how just about every member of the waiting team avoided eye contact and could not somehow see out table had people on it!

As the bill arrived Matthew & Kayleigh insisted on paying, which was rather nice after a tasty meal and lots of fun conversation.

At 2 Courses for £20 and 3 Courses for £25, the lunch was good value, and had the service matched the environment & the food, it would have been excellent. We will give it another try on another day.

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Café Shore
10-14 Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7QB
The Sandbanks Hotel
15 Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7PS
www.sandbankshotel.co.uk

If you are wondering what the 40 B4 40 Dining Challenge is all about, please click here and all will be explained.

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