The Bournemouth Bloggers have been working with Inn in the Park, in Poole, over the past month to help promote the venue and their restaurant menu. As part of this, Ed and I were invited along to enjoy a stay with dinner, and it was the perfect chance to spend some quality time together as a couple, and reconnect after a rather stressful few months.
Although our favourite beach in the area is Branksome Chine, I didn’t actually know where Inn in the Park was, and had never been before. The pub is tucked away, just a few minutes walk from the sandy beaches, and is easily accessible by car and public transport, with a More bus stop just a few steps away.
The pub is beautifully furnished to create a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, with a huge range of drinks on offer, including local beers, and something for everyone with board games to play, blankets on the outside tables in case it gets chilly, and even dog treats and bowls easily accessible to make those with dogs feel more than welcome when making a visit.
The pub serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with bar snacks available at other times throughout the day (when we visited they were offering scotch egg with piccalilli and pork pie with a tomato chutney, which sounded delicious). We enjoyed dinner in the restaurant area and the service and food was fantastic.
Abi, who runs the pub with her husband Graham (who is also the very talented chef), was attentive without being overbearing, checking everybody had enough food and drink, and offering suggestions from the menu and specials board.
We had a bottle of white wine with our meal, which was lovely, and Abi kept my glass topped up throughout. To start, Ed and I decided to share the halloumi fries and selection of breads and butters. Both were so yummy. I can’t stand it when halloumi fries end up being slightly warmed sticks, these were nicely cooked with a slight crisp on the outside – just right.
The bread came with a trio of butters as well as balsamic and oil, which created a taste sensation and started the meal off perfectly.
For our mains, Ed had the pie of the day from the specials board, which was lamb, chorizo and chickpea and it tasted delicious (he gave me a little bite and I was jealous for the rest of the meal). I went for the burger, with added mozzarella and bacon, which was nice and juicy and really filling.
Luckily I just about had enough room for dessert as the selection was too good to pass up. I had the tropical pavlova, which was light and sweet and completely different from anything I would usually go for in a dessert – I am a convert! Ed had the stem ginger and poached rhubarb cheesecake, which he really enjoyed.
Bellies full, we were glad to only have to climb the stairs to get to our bed. We were staying in the Alum room (rooms are named after local chines), which was a nice, spacious double room with a shower and TV.
The bed was so comfortable, I didn’t want to leave it the next morning. The bathroom is fully equipped with a selection of lovely products, and there is a mini fridge on the landing with complimentary fresh milk and bottled still and sparkling water.
We chilled out after our dinner, watching a film, and headed out for a little walk down by the sea.
In the morning we enjoyed breakfast in the dining area again. There was a selection of continental breakfast items including juices and cereals, and we were able to choose from an extensive menu of cooked breakfast dishes. I decided to have the full English, but Ed couldn’t resist the Eggs Benedict, his favourite, which didn’t disappoint.
Again, Abi was there to ensure everything was to our satisfaction, chatting to us and the other guests, and offering teas and coffees. You could really tell how passionate her and her husband were about the business, and her knowledge of the local area was brilliant too, as she demonstrated with guests from another country who were unsure of what to do with their day.
We loved our stay and meal at Inn in the Park, and I have already recommended it to friends and family as it is such a hidden gem and in an enviable location, so close to the beach without being overrun as some of the beachfront cafes are over the summer months. As well as tasty food, the pub offers a wide variety of drinks, with a fantastic outside seating area to enjoy the sunshine.
We enjoyed a complimentary stay with dinner and breakfast, however all words and images are my own.