It is not often I get the chance to have a girls night out these days so, when I was invited along to the Schpoons & Forx restaurant at the Hilton in Bournemouth with several of the other Bournemouth Bloggers, it was a nice chance to have a proper catch up over dinner and drinks.
Those who have read the blog for a long time may know that I used to work as an events coordinator at the Hilton during its pre-opening, which meant I was there when the management team came up with the rather unique name for the restaurant, and even conducted hard hat tours before the hotel was finished being built. For this reason, I have a total soft spot for the venue, and I was looking forward to being back for the night, this time as a guest.
Chef Matt Budden and his Sous-Chef James both worked at the hotel when I worked there, so it was lovely to see them again. The team was so accommodating, offering us a cocktail of our choice and keeping the wine topped up around the table during dinner.
We were at the restaurant to try the new seasonal menu, so we were presented with a selection of starters, mains and desserts to share amongst the table. This meant that I tried dishes I never would have chosen myself usually from the menu. I can be really fussy when it comes to food, despite not having any known allergies, so it was really liberating to try new things.
Whilst waiting for our starters, we were presented with local sourdough bread and salted butter alongside green olives.
For starters we tried Flame roasted chesil beach mackerel, a Pulled lamb shoulder soft taco, Halloumi & roasted carrot hummus flat bread and New Forest wild mushroom risotto. I loved the halloumi and would 100% order it again. The lamb was also really yummy, although I wasn’t as keen on the fish and didn’t end up trying the risotto as I am not a big fan of mushroom and was content with having more of the halloumi!
From our table, we had an excellent view of the open kitchen and the tandoor oven, which our steak was cooked in. Alongside the Tandoor Roasted Ribeye, we were given Creedy Carver Duck Breast & Leg, Grilled South Coast Lemon Sole and Bubble & Squash. I surprised myself by enjoying the Bubble & Squash most, a vegetarian dish of duck egg, pumpkin seeds and soy, alongside my favourite starter too. I am usually a big meat eater, but am not actually as keen on duck and steak, so it was nice to have the other options available and I have found something new that I like, which is great.
By the time the desserts came out, I was feeling a little full, but I made room for the Pistachio and Cherry Olive Oil Cake, Dark Chocolate and Coconut ‘Bountie’ and the Honeycomb & Cookies ice cream sandwich. I loved the bounty and enjoyed the ice cream sandwich, and surprised myself again by liking the taste of the cake as pistachio was a new flavour for me.
We had a fantastic evening at Schpoons & Forx in Hilton Bournemouth. The menu is full of tasty local produce, cooked by the talented team led by Matt Budden, and served to the table by a waiting staff that really know their stuff. If you are looking for a place to enjoy a drink and don’t necessarily want the hubbub of Level8 The Sky Bar on the eighth floor, I would recommend a drink at the restaurant bar. The cocktails are delicious, with a great choice of alternative drinks available if you’d prefer a wine, spirit or soft drink. Thank you to Hilton for inviting us along, and for such a lovely evening.
We were invited along for a complimentary dinner and drinks, however all words and images are my own.