We have been blessed with a few days of hazy, late summer sunshine in the UK. This warm weather has given me the perfect excuse to peel myself away from blogging and to take a light stroll past beached boats and along the beach in Poole Harbour. The pace of life at home in Sandbanks is slow and relaxing. I find myself in the minority tweeting and snapping my way past people who are lazing in their deck chairs. This is the place to grab a BBQ and sizzle up some sausages, while your extended family builds sandcastles or learns to surf – if they don’t mind the cold!
On the Sandbanks peninsula, the 4-Star Haven Hotel is your best bet, with an award-winning restaurant overlooking the busy entrance to the distant Poole harbour, and a bar with equally impressive views of the Swanage chain ferry going back and forth. The Haven has a good-sized health club too.
Down the road in Bournemouth, the Highcliff Marriott hotel is a solid 4-Star choice on top of the cliff with a good-sized swimming pool and great views over to the Isle of Wight. It is also centrally located right next to the pier and the gardens.
In the less attractive town of Poole, which was bombed horribly in the war, the quaint quayside remains and is a lovely place to sit and watch the boats. The Sunseeker dock is just across the water, allowing you to spy on workmen creating mega yachts. The rest of the town is not so pretty, and much of the town centre made up of a hideous 60’s concrete shopping centre. The Hotel Du Vin is a good choice here.
For a more boutique feel, The Pig on the beach is a chain ferry and short drive away from Sandbanks and offers a shabby chic country house vibe with excellent views and local food.
The Cliff in Canford Cliffs is probably our favourite bar for an evenings drinks, with a cosy fireside atmosphere and a nice beer garden, Harry’s in the centre of Canford Cliffs is also worth a look in too. For views, choose the beer gardens at Salterns Hotel on Salterns Marina and the Sandbanks Hotel right on the beach.
We love Indis award winning Indian restaurant in Westbourne. Koi Thai Tapas has great food in Lilliput and there is a popular Loch Fyne fish restaurant in Canford Cliffs. We are also looking forward to the opening of the new Rick Stein Sandbanks on the peninsula.
Don’t miss lunch at Mark Bennett’s Bakery in Lilliput, where they make outstanding sandwiches, pastries and pizzas. The bakery is a favourite of locals like Harry Redknapp and Graham Souness.
Come down to the Dorset coast for gorgeous, if busy, white sand beaches, nautical views and stunning waterfront mansions but please do check the forecast, it becomes a lot less appealing in the rain!
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.