Reviews : House Magazine

Isabel’s: Lunch in little Paris


There is a special kind of aura surrounding French cuisine. It’s classic – no, it’s more than that – it’s, ‘iconic’. It represents the early development of haute cuisine and is considered as the backbone of Western cookery. French food introduced many of the most elaborate, nee legendary, cooking techniques that we use today. For chefs, it is the one cuisine feared by many, yet loved by all. There is a level of respect that comes with French food and no-where locally is that more prevalent than at Isabel’s. We had been invited to sample their brand-new lunch menu, a first for the independent restaurant, having previously been known for only opening a select few…

Paradise At Home


In an effort to seek some R&R, I sat down with my significant other to discuss the possibility of a holiday. Like most, we have put in the graft, working day and night to pay for all of life’s little joys; the mortgage, bills, my princess of a dog’s specific dietary needs…we, like many, were in need of a break. So one night we sat together and explored website after website, each suggesting ideas and quickly dismissing them. Arguments breaking out over flight durations, destinations and how this whole holiday finding process was actually a reflection of a deep routed inability to commit (sorry, it got personal). The point is, sometimes booking a relaxing escape…

Theatre Review; Opening Night at ‘Priscilla Queen of The Desert’


In a word – fabulous! Priscilla is an awe-inspiring spectacle packed with disco fever, glamour and a rollercoaster of emotions. Having not seen the film, I entered the theatre with only a vague idea of what was in store. My mind was open for captivation and captivated it was. The curtain rose as three divas floated down from the rafters, belting a heart-pounding rendition of “It’s Raining Men”, with sequin-studded sensation ‘Miss Understanding’ (played by Ali Davis) joining them on-stage with a mash-up of Tina Turner. The first act flowed seamlessly from song to song and the integration of pop songs into the main storyline was flawless. Some particular highlights from the first half included…

Dancing Moose: Just seriously good food


Ok, off the bat spoiler alert: WOW. Dancing Moose take a well-deserved bow [claps ferociously in head]. I suppose you’re wondering what prompted the premature congratulations, well, allow me to explain… Situated in the heart of locally adored Ashley Cross, the Dancing Moose is an integral part of the community hub. Serving brunch, lunch and dinner (among various other unique food specials throughout the week) this is the place to go for round the clock grub. With a new menu on the horizon our team were invited to get sampling, and so sample we did. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shinning and anticipation was stirring for the food that was to come….

The Cottonwood Boutique Hotel: Investigating the new “D’hote menu”


Aaah The Cottonwood; House Magazine’s favourite boutique hotel. Having attended the launch of their recent ‘chocolate buffet’, we were thrilled to receive an invite to the unveiling of their new summer menu. No sooner did the email come through, did the team gather their things and make their way over. We sat in their hot pink dining room; the walls adorned with gilded mirrors, grand paintings and velvet fabrics. You could never say that the décor was ordinary, but never the less always eye-catching. As we sat down we were each handed a menu entitled ‘Dinner Table D’hote Menu’. Creating a menu for a hotel is always challenging. With a broad variety of guests always…

A Spot of Lunch at the Upper Deck


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…

Food Review: Kayla Brasserie


Ah, mid-day. The bell chimes twelve and on-cue pangs of hunger rule you to drop what you’re doing and begin your daily feeding ritual. Today’s excursion led us to our friends (and neighbours) at ‘Kayla Brasserie’. No sooner did the thought occur, were we seated and evaluating menus and so begins the telling of our experience… We sat up in the balcony overlooking a bustling restaurant. The décor was unique; bright, bold orange walls, glitzy chandeliers and glossy black furniture outfitted the two floors and basement. Our waiter arrived chirpy and keen to assist as he noted our order. We pondered our choices as we gazed at the incredible coving and statement paneled walls, taking…

Toni & Guy, Bournemouth: Make me beautiful!


I was lucky enough to be asked to carry out a review with the multi award-winning brand, ‘Toni & Guy.’ With more than 50 years of hair care expertise, I was extremely excited! Elated at the notion of experiencing a totally different caliber of hair styling, I couldn’t wait! I arrived early on Saturday morning, to be met with the sight of a very busy salon. Greeted by two very friendly ladies, one who took my coat and the other who showed me to my pew, I instantly felt at home. Shortly after I was offered a coffee and a very delicious croissant (a welcomed treat on a day of such pampering). The salon was…

Food Review: Monty’s Burger Lounge


Aaah Monty’s Burger Lounge, the second in line to the Monty name. After years on success at their primary restaurant in Pokesdown, the team at Monty’s decided to open up a second meat-loving joint in Bournemouth’s hustling and bustling town centre. Their dedication to top-notch burgers hasn’t gone un-noticed; in fact most locals would consider it THE place to go for a sumptuous patty, not to mention all of the other delicious goodies they serve. Their food philosophy is rather charming if not somewhat quirky. A philosophy that says, “hey, we do things a little differently around here, and we think you’re going to like it”. To be more precise: “to enjoy every burger we…

Sarah Ali Choudhury, Passion Makes Perfect: The Tale of A Rising Star


We’ve had our fair share of tasty food reviews at House, but this was a first. We had been invited down to Purewell Electric’s show kitchen, to enjoy a ‘how to’ demonstration, where the very talented ‘Sarah Ali Choudhury’ (remember that name folks!) taught us the ins and outs of Indian Cuisine. The space itself is stunning. A state of the art show kitchen complete with the latest kitchen tech: induction hob, self-cleaning ovens, and glossy worktops. Not to mention the fully stocked cupboards, packed with all the utensils one could ever wish for. The kitchen is set up almost like a theatre, with tiered seats and all lights pointing at the main event –…