I’m one of those people who sneakily snaps her food – and it’s finally come in useful.
This is one for my local readers (or anyone planning a trip to Dorset). I’ve reviewed basically every breakfast outing, dinner date and snack stop-off I’ve taken in the last year to create the ultimate mini food guide!
For ease, I’ve divided it into the main food groups: breakfast, pizza and snacks.
By breakfast, I mean eggs benedict. I know, always getting the same thing is boring, but the only fair way to evaluate a breakfast joint is by ordering the same thing each time, right? And eggs, pork and english muffin is the ultimate combo. It kicks pancakes’ ass.
Jenkins & Sons
Jenkins & Sons might just be my favourite haunt for breakfast. It’s tucked away in Penn Hill and located conveniently close to a patisserie. You know, for breakfast dessert.
Their bacon is just perfect: crispy, flavourful – and most importantly – plentiful. For breakfast in a relaxed, modern, stylish venue (see ‘Instagram-worthy’) this is the one for you.
Urban Reef has the same owners as Jenkins & Sons (The Urban Guild make very good restaurants). Both places have the relaxed, cool atmosphere down, but Urban Reef is more beachy where J&S is more trendy (note the plates vs. wooden boards). The menus are different too – so it’s worth visiting both.
The other difference is the view: Urban Reef is located along Boscombe seafront, so you can enjoy the beautiful sand-sea-surf package with your eggs. This is one of my favourite places for brunch in summer – followed by a long walk across the beach.
Circo Lounge sits in Westbourne, henceforth known as ‘my future home’ – I’m utterly determined to live there. Partly for the proximity to Circo – who make eggs benny in a close second to Jenkins & Sons.
It’s a cosy haunt during winter, with a gorgeous outdoor area for summer. But my favourite thing about Circo is that they’re always cool with my request: ‘and some hash browns with that, please’. Even when I’m ordering a burger for dinner.
And finally, Cosy Club. If you like a good breakfast in a kitschy interior, this is the one for you. It’s in the heart of Bournemouth – perfect when you’re planning a spot of shopping for afterwards.
Oh, pizza. You lovely thing.
This authentic pizza place in Winton came highly recommended to me. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was pretty over-the-moon.
Bellagio‘s pizza is incredibly delicious (I mean, just look at it) – not surprising, given it’s created from hand-thrown dough and cooked to perfection in a stone baked pizza oven. And it’s affordable. Really affordable. And best of all, being waited on by lovely Italian staff lets you pretend you’re hanging out in Rome or Florence for the evening.
The Wood Oven
A couple of months ago, I found out that The Urban Guild were opening a pizza place next to Urban Reef. My heart stopped. Pizza by the beach? Those are my two favourite things!
And so The Wood Oven opened last month – a little take-away place serving fresh pizza and baps. Do you know what’s as delicious as their pizza? The fact that you can eat it on the beach, watching the sun set in a pink sky. Just be careful to avoid the sand-in-the-pizza-box sitch.
I was enthused to see an excellent pizza place open in Poole – because frankly, hauling ass to Bournemouth for dough and cheese gets tiring after a while.
The Stable‘s USP is it’s crunchy crust and delicious, generous toppings. They’re also pretty good at cider – it’s all you need in the summer, isn’t it? This delight is called the West Country Porker. You are what you eat (ba-dum-tshhh).
I’d also like to put in a special mention for Baffi – I was very impressed with their pizza but was so ravenous I forgot to take a picture. Oops.
Obviously you want to know where the best places for pizza and breakfast are – but it’s also key to know where to pick up a good hot chocolate.
Chocol8 is kind of a dream for me – a cafe dedicated to chocolate. They do about eight different types of hot chocolate, a whole load of milkshake flavours, and serve a multitude of cake-y type things.
If there’s a food I like more than pizza, chocolate may be it. Speaking of which, they make chocolate pizzas! I’ve yet to buy one but I know it needs to be next on my list.
You can’t miss Chocol8 either – it’s the bright pink shop in the centre of Westbourne!
The Living Room
This cosy, quirky, vintage-inspired tea room is pretty darn great. I went here for afternoon tea and was terribly impressed with the spread. I’m not that bovv’d about sandwiches, but the scones were perfection – and the cake course included cookies and brownies. In my book, that beats the standard afternoon tea offerings.
So, next time you fancy being fancy – try The Living Room!
I saved the most exciting looking for last.
Jazz Cafe is a quite pricy, so it’s not somewhere I’d go too often. It’s in Sandbanks – one of most expensive places to live in the world, so the eyebrow-raising price isn’t too shocking. The ‘special hot chocolate’ is certainly worth the price though- flake, marshmallows and a mountain of whipped cream. And you get a pretty good view of the sea at the same time!
They play live jazz in there sometimes, too – so it’s a pretty divine, cosy hangout in the winter.
I’m going to end on an RIP for Geneve Eatery, my favourite burger joint in the whole world. You will be forever missed. If someone would like to start a petition to reinstate it or perhaps suggest something that could fill the burger-shaped hole in my heart, do let me know.