Last week my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and booked a table at our favourite local restaurant for an evening meal.
Urban Reef is an informal bar, café, deli and restaurant located at the Overstrand on Boscombe promenade, close to Boscombe Pier offering panoramic views over the stunning Bournemouth Bay, to the Purbecks in one directions and the Isle of Wight in the other.
The Urban Reef offers a 90 seater sun deck right on the promenade, where we like to sit with a warming hot chocolate in the winter months or a cool cocktail in the summer, a ground floor café, bar and local produce deli and a 100 seater restaurant with balcony on the first floor and a mezzanine level.
They can even keep you cosy in the winter with a stunning open log burning fire, an oak clad wall holding 60 candles, a beautiful 50’s inspired interior and designer furniture with a triple height glass frontage not only flooding the building with light, but offering fabulous views over the bay.
Urban Reef is part of the Urban Guild umbrella which have 4 restaurants in the local area, all committed to fresh, local & seasonal produce from their very own farm. They even make their own real ale and coffee and are committed to ethics and sustainability. From a customer’s point of view though, the staff are passionate about their brand and work hard to give you the best experience possible. Because the restaurant is set on the beach the atmosphere is very relaxed and you are made welcome whatever your attire.
The restaurant is set on the first floor and we were sat in a comfy booth, lit with candles on the wall. The menu takes inspiration from the seasons with simple, fresh ingredients cooked well and presented with TLC. As the restaurant is by the sea the menu is predominantly fish based but they did offer vegetarian options as well as steak and lamb dishes. My husband and I both went for the steak.
It was cooked to perfection and came with a side order of Urban’s famous chips – delicious!
The staff were attentive, but not overbearing and cleared our table away quickly once we had finished, bringing the dessert menu over for us to peruse. A special caught both our eyes – apple and gooseberry crumble with lemon meringue ice cream. We ordered that but as we waited for our dessert they brought out a surprise.
With rich vanilla ice cream, brandy snap biscuits, shortbread biscuits and chocolate, raspberry sauce and two glasses of bubbly it was a lovely gesture and almost a shame to eat it, but we did.
I have to admit that I did struggle to eat my dessert afterwards however, the combination of the apple and gooseberry crumble and the lemon meringue ice cream was delicious.
We had planned to sit on the balcony and enjoy a coffee afterwards but we were both too full and it was a little chilly outside as the warm temperatures of the week before hadn’t returned and I hadn’t brought my cardigan.
As we left we heard their weekly quiz night in full swing downstairs and made a promise that we would be back to take part very soon.
There is a reason why Urban Reef is my favourite restaurant – its versatility. By day, it is a place to have a drink, one of Kay’s famous cakes or lunch with the family by the sea and by night a lively entertainment venue downstairs, or a quiet restaurant with delicious food upstairs.
If you visit Bournemouth I urge you to try it – you won’t be disappointed!