Set high up, proudly overlooking Poole Harbour and its islands – this hotel is so popular for dining in the Harbar Bistro, every table has a harbour view and some look directly down on the Sandbanks peninsula – it is quite stunning.
The hotel has 38 bedrooms all with Jacuzzi spa baths and most with sea views providing the perfect backdrop for a fabulous stay. If you are not resident in the hotel the public areas are tailored to welcoming you and your guests, spacious and open-plan and refurbished to the highest boutique standards.
The bar is a great social area, order cocktails; wine from the Coravin system or from the elaborate wine list (a passion of the FJB Hotel Group’s owner).
During the summer the split-level decking is a sun trap and a must for lazy lunches and sundowners – also because of the hotel’s size and Hytes Suite function room, which has its own private terrace area as well, it is very popular for weddings and parties. Enjoy has held a few significant birthday parties here, literally on top of the world!
The menu in the bistro, which can be ordered in the bar, on the terrace and in the main restaurant, has been changed since our last review – the changes are good and reflect customer demand – a less formal proposition to nibble and share, lite bites and categorised by land, sea, garden and for the sweet tooth! A chilled glass or two of Chenin Blanc, while one delights over the bright and colourful presentation. Choose from mezze, whitebait, baked Camembert and mussels to start, the mussels curried or marinières.
Service is as bright as the dishes themselves, a young enthusiastic team who keep an attentive eye on diners…
There are a couple of salads on the menu, steaks, confit duck leg and a favourite of Enjoy the crispy soft shell crab with avocado salsa and an exotic dressing!
It is also worth noting that there is a whole section ‘from the garden’ of vegetarian choices such as seasonal risotto and linguini à la Pièmontaise, other classics include fish and chips and there’s a great choice of sandwiches as well.
The cheese board is spectacular and desserts such as baked vanilla cheesecake round things off nicely!
What we have learned from this menu is that it’s a smart design – there are choices for a three-course dinner, a light lunch, and a snack to allow one to have another glass of vino without peaking too soon!
Do book a table for dinner at busy times of the week and year, and enjoy that view. FJB really keeps on top of its market and that is why the hotel is so very popular and why there are so many locals that are loyal to the venue.
73 Haven Road, Poole BH13 7LW