Now December has arrived, I am feeling my excitement for Christmas has accelerated, so apologies for all the festive content at the moment! I was recently invited along to try out the newly launched festive menus at both The Riverside and The Cliff, which both come under the same umbrella of Premium Country Pubs.
I took my mum along to The Riverside on a Sunday evening, to enjoy a three course meal from the menu, whilst being entertained by a live choir. It was certainly festive! We were greeted with a glass of fizz and shown to our table, where we had crackers and a Christmas card, which was such a nice touch.
The venues have specially created festive cocktails available, and we chose one to enjoy whilst looking over the menus. I went for the Spiced Pornstar Martini, which was delicious.
The set festive menu (priced at £27.95 for 3 courses) includes traditional favourites such as Roast Turkey and Pork Belly, alongside simpler dishes such as a burger or steak (a surcharge is in place for the steaks). I went for the turkey and my mum ordered the burger, plain without any cheese or sauces. For our starters, I had the soup and my mum had the Duck Liver Parfait. We had been a little concerned at the texture, but it turns out it is just like pate, which my mum is a big fan of.
Our mains were alright, nothing spectacular, as it is hard to provide a roast en mass, so I wasn’t expecting amazing quality. I found it amusing that the item on the menu I had assumed was a sauce of some kind, was in fact what appeared to be a pig in blanket. As the waitress was unable to tell me what it was, I had asked for it on the side, and it came in a little mini saucepan. Now I know what it is, I wouldn’t ask for it on the side if I were to go along and have the roast again. My mum’s burger looked a little dry, which may well have been down to the lack of sauce, so not really a criticism.
Our desserts were both Chocolate Brownie, as my mum and I are a sucker for a chocolate pudding. This was lovely, warm and moist, with ice cream on top. I just about managed to finish it, as I was feeling pretty full after the soup and roast dinner!
The next week, I went along to The Cliff, which is in the Canford Cliffs area of Poole, right by the beach (although we couldn’t see much in the dark, I have been told it is lovely in the gardens during the summer). I took Ed along this time, and we sat as a group with my friend and fellow Bournemouth Blogger Chynna and her husband Aaron.
I had the Pornstar Martini as my drink again, and Chynna and Aaron joined me. Ed had the Spiced Mojto, which I had a sip of, it was lovely and fresh.
For our starters, Ed and Chynna had the Deep Fried Brie, Aaron went for the Scallops (a £3 surcharge is in place for this item) and I had the soup again, because it was really tasty. I actually preferred the way it was served at The Cliff, and I would 100% go for it again.
Having already tasted the menu, I knew I wanted to try the burger with the cheese and sauce this time and Chynna went for the same. The boys both had the Pork Belly, which looked amazing when it was served. My burger was really tasty, I definitely think the sauce makes it to be honest. My chips were nice as well, and I was really pleased with my menu choice. The boys commented that their veg was a little hard and undercooked, so that would be my only real criticism for the food.
For dessert, I had the brownie again – what can I say, I’m a creature of habit! Ed went for Brownie as well and Chynna had the crumble.
I had a lovely time at both events, and would definitely recommend a visit to your local Premium Country Pubs venue, as the festive menu is competitively priced and varied to suit different tastes (you can also have a 4 or 5 course menu, if you’d prefer). I highly recommend the Pornstar Martini, Soup and Brownie and the Burger, if you are feeling like avoiding the more traditional main course.
I was invited to attend events at The Riverside and The Cliff to celebrate the launch of the Festive Menu, and provided with a complimentary drink and three course meal for myself and a guest, however I was under no obligation to write this post and all words and images are my own.