Reviews : House Magazine

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 –…

Food Review: The Libertine


‘Libertine’ (by dictionary definition): a freethinker; one who freely indulges in pleasures. Well if you can’t beat them join them, as they say – onward to ‘pleasuretown’! Also known as, ‘The Libertine’. Situated in Westbourne, this independent gem has locals flocking for what they have to offer. Their mission and ethos is both charming and refreshingly honest: “To embrace freethinking, in a generally enjoyable atmosphere. By providing fresh, quality food, paired perfectly with a good wine list and great beers and ales”. What more could you ask for? The gastro pub is divided up into three sections: the main bar area, the informal dining area and the eloquently entitled ‘Forge’ – an outdoor/indoor eatery space…

Ojo Rojo: Sombreros off to you boys!


The Ojo Rojo story began during a foodie exploration in the animated boulevards of Mexico. Owner Trevor Hill was captivated by the intense flavours and vibrancy of the local street food and saw potential for something very special. Pronounced ‘Ock-o Rock-o’, meaning ‘red eye’, this phrase originates from the effects of consuming fiery hot chili, to the point of eye-watering intensity. We arrived for a little afternoon delight, one Monday, only to be met with a truly stunning and quite unique venue. The interiors feature a heavy wooden structure, with exposed brickwork foundations, thoroughly rustic and bang on-trend. Not one chair or table is alike, adding plenty of quirk and charm. Towards the rear of…

Walkabout, Bournemouth: A G’day indeed


Walkabout; Bournemouth’s favourite ‘down under’ hang out. This nightlife hotspot has recently undergone a £450,000 refurbishment – a top to toe facelift, to be more precise. We were invited to take a look around our neighbour’s new crib, one Thursday afternoon and we weren’t disappointed! First impressions? Wow! Aside from the bar remaining in it’s usual place, you’d hardly recognise the place! Gone is the stale scent of beer and broken hearts and in its place is a very much contemporary eatery, come nightclub. Dive into their ocean blue colour scheme, with walls covered in surf and sea murals and just a touch of ‘beach hut shabby chic’. Say goodbye to the central DJ platform…