As many of you will know, I’ve been living in Bournemouth for the last three years while studying for a degree in Multi-Media Journalism. It’s been a tough old slog, as the course is intense to say the least, however the area and the people more than make up for it.
One of the main perks of the area (aside from being rather close to the beach) is the food, as I seem to find hidden independent gems around every corner. I haven’t tried and tested every single restaurant (I wish), but I thought I’d collate a few of my favourites, that I have reviewed – just in case you fancied a read.
Geneve Eatery was one of the first places I tried in Bournemouth and it has remained to this day one of my favourites. Situated in Westbourne, which is slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, it is independently run and rather than featuring an extensive bland (dare I say it, samey) menu, it only offers a few dishes for each course – but each of them are executed perfectly. The nachos (back when I could eat dairy *sob*) were homemade and out-of-this-world incredible, soft and crunchy all at the same time. The chilli cheese fries were also worth a return visit – and the puddings…well, I recommend you take a look for yourself.
There’s no doubting that West Beach offers an unrivalled location on the beachfront, with an incredible sea-food selection however when I visited for my review, I was a little underwhelmed by the food – if I’m completely honest. However, since then – I’ve been back several times and had very good experiences, so my tainted first visit was a one-off. They have a great menu to suit all tastes (even if you’re not the biggest fan of sea-food and even if you don’t eat dairy) and the puddings are unreal. The cocktails are worth a try (a little on the pricey side but worth it) and if you time it right, you may even be treated to a firework display at the end of the evening.
Plates & Co was a recent discovery for me, but deserved a place on this list nevertheless. It has a unique, quirky concept – allowing diners to pick and choose three different options for every dish, meaning it’s a little like tapas (in the sense you have lots of flavours to try) – but not as small. I had the chicken in a wine jus, which was so incredible that my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Complimented by a pot of triple cooked chips (which soak up any leftover sauce), if you’re planning a visit – I’d wholeheartedly recommend giving this dish a try.
Again, Aruba has an unrivalled location – situated on Bournemouth pier itself, with panoramic views of the beach, sea and the city centre. The cocktail list is VERY extensive and most people go here just for these alone, but if you’re in the area – don’t overlook the food, as it’s worth a try. My favourite is the sea-bass with sweet potato fries and veg but the pizzas are amazing too and if you (or your other half) is up for a challenge, you could give the monster burger a go (it’s £30 and well worth the money for the amount of food you get). If you’re there for drinks alone, there’s a White Chocolate cocktail that you’ll never forget!
Now technically, the Print Rooms shouldn’t feature on this list – because it’s recently closed down and therefore, it’s a bit pointless raving about it, if no-one can visit. However, the food was so good and the decor so amazing that I couldn’t afford to not let this place have a final piece of attention. I had the Camembert with Toasted Rosemary Bread to start (the stuff dreams are made of) and the risotto for my main. I’ll leave my pudding a surprise… you won’t want to miss it.
Have you ever visited or eaten in Bournemouth? Do you have any recommendations for places I could try next?