A delicious meal at a 17th century pub turned Gastro Pub, to celebrate UK restaurants reopening inside at last!
The 20th May will be a memorable one for my husband and I. It’s the day we got to enjoy a meal out, not only without a toddler in tow, but at a restaurant – our first meal out since December 2020.
It felt so good to get dressed into my ‘fancy’ clothes, put on my makeup, and even my heels, for the first time in what felt like years, to visit The Old Thatch.
Located in Wimborne, Dorset, the 17th century pub is located right opposite Stapehill Abbey, just off the Castleman Trailway – a popular walking trail amongst locals and visitors.
Multi-award winning restauranteur Andy Lennox has joined forces with landlord Nick Pestana, transforming the pub into a Gastro Pub, Kitchen and Country Store. As we entered, I couldn’t help but drool at the sight of freshly baked breads, cakes, cheeses and local meats on offer from local suppliers, that also feature on the pub’s menu.
We received a warm welcome and were seated in a lovely corner of the pub. It felt nice and cosy, and there was a great atmosphere. Afterall, for some people, like us, it was their first night out in a long time and they had a lot to catch up on. I couldn’t help but smile as the table of girls next to us caught up on the Netflix series they’d been watching (Motherland, highly recommend, and Line of Duty, what a disappointment).
Our waitress Kat was equally lovely, making us feel special and giving us as much time as we needed to take in the menu, which featured a good balance of meat, seafood and veg.
To kick things off, I went for the Book & Bucket Cheese Soufflé, with local Wimborne cheddar cheese, twice baked with toasted bread. And my husband had the Salt & Pepper Squid. Both were absolutely delicious, especially washed down with a nice glass of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
While we waited for our mains, more diners arrived, equally just as delighted as us that they could eat out again. It was nice hearing the staff chatting to regulars, showing how popular the pub is amongst locals.
For the main event I had the Lemon & Thyme Chicken, served on the bone with skin on fries, house slaw and garlic aioli. It fell off the bone and the chips were nice and crispy, with just enough salt. And the garlic aioli, one of my new found favourites, was very tasty and just the right amount. My husband enjoyed his 10oz Rump Steak, accompanied by triple cooked chips, roasted on the vine cherry tomatoes, garlic mushrooms and a rocket and parmesan salad. He likes it cooked blue, and not all restaurants accommodate, but The Old Thatch did and my husband said it was cooked just how he liked it. Cold but not still mooing!
By this point I was feeling quite full and could have quite easily enjoyed a little power nap in the pub’s warm and cosy interior, but when the dessert menu arrived – I couldn’t resist the temptation of Sticky Toffee Pudding with vanilla bean ice cream. It arrived hot and gooey and my plate left empty. My husband’s Brownie with salted caramel ice cream was, in his own words, “heavenly”. Although, I wouldn’t know as he refused to share!
The pub has a fantastic outdoor seating area too, with a huge marquee and heaters, to protect diners from the great British weather. What’s also great is that The Old Thatch is dog friendly, so if you’re walking the Castleman Trail and want to pop in for a pint, it’s the perfect spot.
If you do visit, make sure you try out their cocktail menu. I was too full by the end of our meal, but some of them looked fabulous. When we return I will definitely be ordering their New Forest Bramble and Stapehill Spritz!
Whether your local to Wimborne, or visiting Dorset for the weekend, I’d highly recommend The Old Thatch. Warm and welcoming staff, a delicious menu and a relaxed and happy atmosphere make it a great place to visit for lunch or dinner.
We’ll definitely be back. Hopefully next time without masks.