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Food, Reviews

The Old Thatch, Wimborne – Restaurant Review

A delicious meal at a 17th century pub turned Gastro Pub, to celebrate UK restaurants reopening inside at last!

The Old Thatch, Wimborne

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.

The Old Thatch Outdoor Seating
Outdoor area

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.

What a lovely evening!
Food, Reviews

A truly sweet delivery of nostalgia from ‘The Bonbon Boys’

The Bonbon Boys Pick 'n' Mix

After a dreary, rainy Monday the doorbell rang at 6pm and I was greeted with a delightful box of Pick ‘n’ Mix from the ‘The Bonbon Boys’ – turning a sour start to the day into a truly sweet evening!

Opening the box I actually let out an ‘oooooo’ as the colourful selection of sweets teased me from the blue tissue paper. And what a selection it was! I don’t even know where to begin, so I will start with a few of my favourites to get your tastebuds tingling. Fizzy Bubblegum Bottles,  Rainbow Pencils and Watermelon Slices bursting with flavour. Classics, including Fried Eggs, Giant Strawberries and Super Shrimps. And my absolute favourites, Mega Jazzies, Pink & White Mice and Black & Raspberry Jellies.

It was such a shame my husband and toddler were present when the delivery arrived as it meant I had to, dare I say it, share! My little boy let out a squeal of delight when I let him try the Bumper Bananas and my husband said the Cookies & Cream fudge was ‘amazing.’ I then had to hide the box from their sticky fingers, as it was addressed to me after all!

These delicious sweets hit me with a wave of nostalgia. I remember the walk home from school with my mum, when she would give me 50p (£1 on special occasions), to spend at the local newsagents for a bag of Pick ‘n’ Mix. I used to literally run in there and smile from ear to ear as I carefully selected my bag of goodies to take home. Although, I had normally eaten them before I made it through the front door. The same can be said for ‘The Bonbon Boys‘, as on arrival I couldn’t help but try a few, even though dinner was only an hour away. The smell of these sweets alone is enough to tease anyone into tearing open the paper. With them open in the room, I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – they are absolutely delicious!

The B onbon Boys Pick N Mix Sweets Snake

So who are ‘The Bonbon Boys‘? Kalem and Joe launched in June during lockdown, after the sale of traditional pick ‘n’ mix sweets were restricted, or suspended entirely by many shops due to the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the boys have a sweet tooth and fondness for confectionary, so what better business to start, than one you love.

The sweets make a fantastic gift for special occasions, or if you fancy a truly epic feast for your weekend movie night. I will most definitely be ordering boxes for friends, family and myself, because let’s face it, everyone needs some sweetness in their life!

I received a box of ‘The Bonbon Boys Classics’ (priced at £10.95), but there is also a ‘Vegan’ and ‘Retro’ box to choose from. The boys are based locally in Bournemouth and delivery is free to most BH postcodes, but they also offer shipping all over the UK, with delivery starting from £3. Check out their website for details. 

The Bonbon Boys Pick N Mix Sweets based in Bournemouth, Dorset


Food, Lifestyle, Reviews

Chewton Glen Hotel Afternoon Tea & Spa Treatment – Review

A delicious afternoon tea and luxurious spa treatment in a 5* luxury country house hotel

Traditional Afternoon Tea Chewton Glen

I was lucky enough to be treated by my husband to afternoon tea and a 60 minute spa treatment at Chewton Glen to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, and what a treat it was!

The country house hotel is set in the New Forest and boasts luxurious spa facilities and award-winning dining. My first tip would be to give yourself enough time to discover and enjoy this beautiful hotel. Take a moment to explore the inside dining areas and wander round the stunning, manicured gardens. Don’t miss The Kitchen Garden either. Giant pumpkins, grape vines, kale, tomatoes and herbs are just a few of the many things you’ll find, along with gorgeous flowers.

My first trip was to the spa and I couldn’t wait! I hadn’t had a massage since I was pregnant and so it was certainly needed. I enjoyed a 60 minute warm oil massage and it was truly divine. My therapist tailored the experience to focus on my trouble areas and it felt amazing. The massage focused on my whole body and my favourite part was the hand and feet. I also got to enjoy a face mask during the front massage and I could literally feel my aches and worries leaving my body. After the massage I was left to let the oils soak into my body while enjoying a delicious passion fruit sorbet – a wonderful end to 60 minutes of pure bliss! At £105 per person for an hour massage it isn’t cheap, but for a one-off, or special occasion it really is fantastic.

Next it was afternoon tea in The Dining Room. The room itself is beautiful. Bright and airy, with stunning decor it really does make for a special occasion. We were lucky enough to enjoy a window seat, which overlooked the beautiful gardens and outdoor pool.

The afternoon tea did not disappoint. Using local, fresh ingredients we tucked into a selection of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon with dill, brie with pear chutney, beef and horseradish and egg and cress). My favourite was the egg and cress and so when our waitress asked if we wanted anything else, I asked for some more – it was a special occasion after all and I was very hungry after my massage! The plain and fruit scones were delicious and I particularly enjoyed the homemade strawberry jam. We were also treated to an array of cakes and pastries including lemon drizzle, fruit tart, cupcake and passion fruit profiterole, and all this was washed down nicely with a lovely cappuccino. There was not a crumb left in sight on either of our plates – it really was delicious. Chewton Glen’s traditional afternoon tea is £29.50 per person and so isn’t the cheapest in the area, but if you’re looking to book somewhere for a real treat, I’d definitely recommend it.

P.S. If you have time, follow the signs from the grounds to the beach. It’s a lovely woodland walk past the hotel’s nine-hole golf course, that only takes 15 minutes, and you won’t be disappointed when you get there as you’ll get to witness gorgeous views of the the Needles rising from the sea in the distance.

I hope to visit again some day…My rating… 4 out of 5