Located in the boundaries of the Christchurch Harbour Hotel is the Upper Deck restaurant. Known to locals as THE place for harbour side dining, I had to investigate the rumours for myself.
So, one blissfully sunny afternoon, with my bestie/co-worker Vicky in tow, we headed out on a journey of food discovery.
We arrived at the restaurant reception – through the hotel foyer to the back of the main building – where we were welcomed and then shown to our seats.
I took time to scan the room as we passed through to the outside seating area. It was lovely; bright, airy with subtle accents of nautical blue. Every table was adorned with precisely positioned crockery, crisp white napkins and complimentary glassware. Having noticed the attention to detail in our surroundings, our anticipation for the food grew, but my thoughts for the spectacular interior were muted as soon as we stepped out onto the exterior deck…
What a view. The deck is raised a storey above their patio come garden area that overlooks the picturesque Christchurch Harbour. Surrounded by an all glass wind-breaker, you have all the benefits of the warm weather without restricting the magnificent scenery. With the sun growing stronger we decided hydration was in order and what better libation for a sunny day, than an invigorating glass of wine – sip, sip, aaaaaah.
Wine in hand and sun-soaking positions assumed, we decide we ought to make our food choices.
We were informed that we were reading their new spring/summer menu, filled with seasonal dishes that utilise the best produce for this time of year.
To start we both opted for salads, Vicky a classic “Greek Salad” and I the “Mackerel and Goats Cheese”. I loaded my fork with tiny piece of every ingredient; pungent goats cheese, fresh salty mackerel, sweet beetroot and peppery rocket. I closed my eyes and savoured the contrasting and complimentary flavours. It was a delectable start to the meal.
I looked over to Vicky who was sporting the same satisfied expression, a prolonged mmmmm as her only comment, which I took as good news.
We allowed our first course to settle as we enjoyed the view once again. The sun had really begun to beat down now. The birds fluttered past and a warm seaside breeze blew gently across the deck.
Shortly after our spell of daydreaming, the mains arrived. I had opted for a little taste of the med, with the “Crab and Chilli Spaghetti”. I twirled the long strings of pasta, absorbing it in the sauce as I spindled a mouth-sized parcel. Though simple, this was a perfect lunchtime treat. The sauce was rich, but not too heavy. The ingredients were fresh and the pasta was cooked perfectly.
Vicky’s “Spring Mac & Cheese” was apparently equally as delightful, “an interesting take on a classic” she remarked. With thick, creamy layers of béchamel and cheese, infused with an array of spring vegetables it was an enjoyable naughty versus nice food composite.
We left stuffed, filled with tasty food. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the Upper Deck restaurant. It was the perfect relaxing lunch spot, ideal for couples, groups of friends/family or equally ideal for business. With the weather warming up and that view getting better and better, I suggest booking in advance.
By Charlotte Williams
t. 01202 400954
a. Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, 95 Mudeford, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 3NT