Because there are plenty of fish in the sea
Where? Rhodes South, Avonmouth, 95 Mudeford, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 3NT (01202 483434; firstname.lastname@example.org). Open Tuesday – Saturday.
What’s in a name? A couple of things, actually. Rhodes South is the latest offering from celebrity chef-turned-Strictly star Gary Rhodes and, just 20 minutes from Bournemouth, overlooks spectacular views of the South Coast.
It’s on the water? Yes, perfectly perched on the edge of Mudeford Quay, a quaint area of Christchurch replete with sailing boats and fishermen casting their nets. We made a weekend of it, staying in the newly refurbished Christchurch Harbour Hotel, a charming waterside retreat with state-of-the-art spa.
What will tickle our fancy? With the array of fresh fish on offer, it’s safe to say you won’t be tempted by the steak and kidney pie. While I kicked off with a starter of seared sea scallops with pork belly, parsnip puree and caramelised onion cream, my guest had the glazed lobster omelette, stylishly served in a miniature frying pan.
What about mains? We both went for Roasted Sea Bass with Lobster Champ Potatoes – divine, if a little rich. Again, miniature pans fit for The Borrowers were in action on the dining room floor – in fact, a fair few of them, as this proved to be the restaurant’s most popular dish.
And the rest? After starting with a nice bottle of Sancerre, we began working our way through the cocktail list. Dessert was anything from bread and butter pudding to lemon tart, our choice being an apple crumble with custard and delicious blackberry ice cream.
Overall thoughts? You can’t beat the picture-perfect setting and reasonably priced menu, which still had all the twists you’d expect from a celeb chef. If you’ve got any cash left over we’d highly recommend splashing it on a stay at the hotel, which has plush rooms with balconies facing out to sea.