Rick Stein, Sandbanks
Happy Christmas Eve. I hope you are all set for the big day tomorrow. I'm so ridiculously organised, I have been all sorted for weeks!
The start of the Festivities meant a Father/Daughter supper back home in Dorset. Rick Stein in Sandbanks opened in November 2015 at an iconic spot on the Sandbanks peninsula so it seemed a fitting location for supper tonight. My Brother's 21st birthday was at the very same spot, albeit under a different name, so it always brings back family memories. Dad told me the the first time he went to a Rick Stein's was in 1985 at the original Padstow restaurant so he knows a thing or two.
Nestled in the heart of the Sandbanks peninsula with views across the water, if you manage to get a table by the window, there are not many better locations. It can be a little tricky to park so it's definitely worth taking a taxi especially if you want to enjoy some of the drinks from the extensive menu.
The bar area, complete with a number of walk-in tables for eating, is very atmospheric; it can be a little noisy but I kind of like the buzz!
As you walk up to the main restaurant, the kitchen is in full view so you can see everything that is going on. There's an extensive wine menu which is reflected in the decor.
The restaurant has a plush but relaxed feel with wood & glass a plenty. When you first walk in, you could be forgiven for wondering where the sea went. But as you walk through into the main restaurant, the view opens up.
The tables are setup to make the most of the view with every table getting their own glimpses. The tables by the window are definitely the best for the view, so if you're there at lunchtime, that's definitely where you want to request your table to be. We were there on a winter's evening so the view was not quite so relevant.
food & Drink
You can enjoy a casual lunch with classic dishes such as fresh oysters from Cornwall and Indonesian seafood curry, alongside seafood dishes including dover sole meunière, turbot hollandaise and fruits de mer. If fish is not your thing, there are plenty of meat dishes to chose from. There is an extensive wine list to accompany the food, so you are bound to find something to your taste, but you are unlikely to get much change out of £30 a bottle.
So, what did we eat? For starters, we had Sardines & Sashimi. The Sardines were yummy but a little fiddly as you would imagine as there are lots of tiny bones to contend with. The sashimi was a mix of Tuna, Salmon & Mackerel and there was no problem when I asked for my Mackerel to be substituted. It was my choice to have more Tuna or Salmon and as Tuna is my favourite that was an easy decision.
For main course, I tried something new and had Skate which was served with Bernaise sauce. I can't fault the taste, but I did find the Skate a little fiddly. I think I need a little more experience when it comes to avoiding the bones! Dad had the famous Indonesian fish curry which, even as a non-lover of curry, looked delicious and I was assured it was. Served with white rice and spiced green beans, it was well cooked and surprisingly light.
We shared a dessert (it seemed rude not to!) or Passionfruit Meringue which was a perfect way to end the meal. The Passionfruit added a lovely tangy & fresh tone to the light & crispy but still sticky in the middle, meringue. I think we could definitely have eaten one each but, aware of not overindulging too much over Christmas, we opted to share.
Breaking from tradition of white wine with fish, we enjoyed one of the nicest wines I have had for a long time. it was a delicious Pinot Noir which was lovely and light (just how I like it) and went perfectly with the fish.
It's definitely not a cheap meal but it is good. I really like it. For me, it has a lovely atmosphere, good food & knowledgeable, polite staff. When it's busy, the service can be a little slow, but tonight we had no problems at all. It's a great people watching spot and don't be surprised if you see a footballer or two - surely that's a reason by itself to make a visit.
And finally, thank you to everyone who entered the FINAL week in the #FromCharlotteAdvent2017 giveaway. This week's winner is IAMFABULICIOUS. Merry Christmas & CONGRATULATIONS!! (If you want to see the draw itself, head to my IG stories)
Please send me an email and I will arrange to send out your prize. If you didn't quite win this time, I hope you have been enjoying my blog anywhere, it's lovely to have you here and I hope you stick around. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram so you can keep up to date with everything that's happening.
I would love to hear about your favourite places to visit, beauty products you're loving or new brands you have discovered so I can give them a go, so do get in touch.
Thanks for reading. Until next Sunday when it will very nearly be 2018!!!
From Charlotte x
You can find more details about Rick Stein & his restaurants here
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