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Food, Reviews

COSMO All You Can Eat Restaurant, Bournemouth – Review

Cosmo All You Can Eat Restaurant Bournemouth

My husband and I were long overdue a date night, so when COSMO invited me to join them for dinner, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Situated right in the heart of Bournemouth town centre, COSMO offers an all you can eat buffet experience from cuisines across the globe. With more than 150 freshly prepared dishes, you certainly won’t go hungry. I entered COSMO with a rumbling tummy, and left having to undo the button on my skinny jeans. TOP TIP: Do not wear tight clothing, it’s a waste of good food. A loose fitting dress, leggings or comfy jeans will be my outfit of choice for my next visit!

We dined at 7pm and it was extremely busy when we arrived. I was a bit nervous as to what this would mean for our dining experience… Would it be too noisy? Would we have to wait ages for food? Would the food be warm? But I needn’t had worried. We were sat in a cosy side booth, and the atmosphere was buzzing. I really liked the décor too – chic, modern and most importantly clean. The staff did a fantastic job of clearing away plates and keeping the food areas tidy, with hand sanitisers at each of the food stations. To avoid the family rush, I would recommend going a little later, say 8pm.

Even the most fussy of eaters will find something to suit their tastes. Italian, Asian, Japanese, British, French – COSMO offers an eclectic range of dishes. I went straight for my favourite – crispy duck pancakes. To my disappointment the tray was empty when I got there, but a chef quickly brought out a fresh one, and it was worth the very short wait. I also tucked into chicken gyozas, dim sum and spring rolls – all delicious. My next course was some of my favourite Chinese dishes: sweet and sour chicken, Thai fried rice, mushrooms with oyster sauce and chow mein, all of which were extremely tasty. My husband chose Indian and feasted on chicken tikka, chicken korma, onion bhajis and katsu chicken, which he extremely enjoyed. There’s an teppanyaki section too, where chefs cook fresh prawns, beef, and steak right in front of you. My husband had the steak and said it was cooked just how he liked it.

Now I am a huge dessert fan. So much so that whenever we go out to dinner I always read the dessert menu first. Having overindulged at Easter, I convinced myself I would go easy on the desserts. But as soon as I laid eyes on the chocolate fountain, the chocoholic in me could not say no. I turned into a child, soft serve ice-cream with spoonfuls of swiss milk chocolate from the fountain. (I did resist the marshmallows to add on top). The chocolate was so smooth and utterly delicious. I also sampled a selection of cheesecakes and cakes. My husband had the churros, which he said were very tasty.

I had a glass of wine with my meal – there were only two whites to choose from, which in hindsight is probably a good thing when you have so much food to choose from. They have classic cocktails, beers and ales on offer too.

If you like a more relaxed dining experience and being waited on, COSMO probably isn’t for you. But we had a lovely evening and will definitely return. And for £20.99 (Friday-Sunday), COSMO really is great value for money. If you dine Monday-Thursday it’s only £18.99. I recommend booking in advance to make sure you get a table, but they do accept walk-ins. You can book directly via their website.

Food, Reviews

Slim Chickens, Big Pickings

A great new addition to Bh2 Leisure, Bournemouth.

Slim Chickens Bournemouth

I was lucky enough to be invited to try out Slim Chickens, the latest addition to Bh2 Leisure in Bournemouth. And I was not disappointed!

It’s an American brand with over 80 restaurants in the Southern states. There’s three restaurants in central London and the closest to Bournemouth is in Southampton, which launched earlier this year.

You know it’s American from the portion sizes – they’re huge! Take a look at my photos to see for yourself. I went with my husband and son and we could have easily shared one portion of fries between the three of us. You can ‘go large’ on any meal for an extra £1, but you really don’t need to. I went into Slim Chickens feeling very hungry and left feeling like I needed to be rolled out of there – but in a good way!

The menu is definitely not ‘slim pickings.’ From 100% British buttermilk marinated tenders and wings to fried chicken sandwiches, salads, wraps and signature sides – all cooked to order. There’s a kids menu too. It only features two dishes, Chicken Tenders and Mac & Cheese, so if you have a fussy eater, you may be stuck, but there’s always fries!

My two-year-old had the Mac & Cheese and it was very tasty – I tried it just to make sure! I went for the Slim’s Wrap, featuring chicken tenders, lettuce, tomato and house ranch sauce and my husband had the Buffalo Sandwich packed with fried chicken shaken in buffalo sauce, lettuce, pickles, crispy fried onions and blue cheese sauce. For an extra £2 you can upgrade your drinks to hand spun shakes and it was the best decision – the Oreo shake was so incredibly tasty. I dread to think how many crushed Oreo’s were in it, but it was totally worth the calories. We also ordered a side of fried onions, which were lovely and crispy.

The décor is pretty cool too. American sports bar vibes with a choice of booths, tables or bar seating. You can order yourself via the touchscreen kiosks, or at the counter. We received our meals within just five minutes of ordering and it was really busy being a Saturday lunchtime during the school holidays, so I can’t fault the service.

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in between shopping, before a trip to the cinema, or after a family day out, Slim Chickens is the place to go. Great tasting food, big portion sizes and fast service, all at a reasonable price.

Thanks for having us Slim Chickens, we’ll definitely be back!

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!