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Britannia Parkstone (Sponsor Eating & Drinking)

Al Fresco Dining in Bournemouth & Christchurch

Move over Europe! Al Fresco dining has now become synonymous with British life and it’s a great thing!

Thankfully there are now so many outdoor dining options to choose from -  heated beach dining huts, festoon-lit or sunlit terraces, gas-heated urban lounge areas, and your garden variety outdoor picnic tables.

Whatever your preference, there has never been a better time to dine outside and Bournemouth and Christchurch have plenty of al fresco dining choices to suit family and friends, whatever the occasion.

The Larder House Southbourne

The Larder House

Location: Southbourne

About: The Larder House has a beautiful heated Spanish-style conservatory, with a retractable roof, where you can enjoy a spot of Alfresco dining all year round, as well as a number of tables out the front, hidden amongst the foliage for you to enjoy a warm balmy evening.

The Larder House has become a top spot for foodies and local residents alike, offering daily blackboard specials, Chef’s menu, and award-winning wood-fired Sunday roasts. They pride themselves on showcasing unusual organic wines, spirits, charcuterie, cheeses, and other delicacies on their menu from all over the world. In the past, these have included Pintxos (Spanish Basque Tapas) and Oysters from all over Dorset. 

Highly Recommend: Sunday lunch - Wood-fired half-roasted herb chicken with generous portions of crispy roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, and lashings of gravy - £21.00

Al Fresco Rating: 5/5

Address: 4 Southbourne Grove, Southbourne, Dorset, BH6 3QZ

Telephone: 01202 424 687

Mercure Bournemouth Queens Hotel & Spa

Mercure Bournemouth Queens Hotel & Spa

Location: Bournemouth

About: If you're looking for a nice spot for al fresco dining, we'd highly recommend Mercure Bournemouth Queens Hotel & Spa. They have a beautiful outdoor garden area with an abundance of seating and the food is top-notch, as they serve their divine bar menu.

Al Fresco Rating: 5/5

Address: Meyrick Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 3DL

Telephone: 01202 554415

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Sobo Fish Bournemouth

Sobo Fish

Location: Southbourne

About: Not only has Sobo Fish created a stunning outdoor dining area with wooden picnic tables for soaking up the rays, but they also have a lovely selection of heated dining cabins AND sheltered booth seating. This fantastic array of seating is the perfect setting for you to enjoy sublimely fresh fish and seafood at reasonable prices.

The menu changes daily depending on the catch that day but includes scrumptious options like - Potted Dorset Crab, Pan Fried Diver caught Scallops with Caesar Salad and Crispy Parma Ham, King Prawn & Clam Gumbo, Whole Oven Baked John Dory stuffed with Rosemary and Lemon, Jerk Glazed Monkfish and Tiger Prawn Skewers… I could go on but you get the gist, this is fresh fish and seafood cooked to perfection.

Aside from the main menu, they have a daily £15.00 lunch deal and plenty of options for the kids, including non-fish options.

The drinks menu offers fantastic cocktails and an excellent selection of locally brewed ales, lagers, and ciders.

Highly Recommended: Whole Roasted Sea-bass with Salsa Rosso, DAuphinoise Potatoes with Leek and Wholegrain Mustard, and Braised red cabbage with Sultanas and Apple. £20.00 (sides extra) Leave room for pudding too!

Al Fresco Rating: 5/5

Address: 129 Seabourne Road Southbourne, Bournemouth, BH5 2HG 

Telephone: 01202 424656

Urban Garden Bournemouth

Urban Garden

Location: Bournemouth

About: Quite literally does exactly what it says on the tin! Urban Garden has a magical multi-leveled outdoor terrace, festooned with twinkling lights, overlooking the treetops of Bournemouth Gardens, making it the perfect location for a spot of outdoor dining. Centrally located and serving food and drinks all day from 9am-10pm, it is a jungle oasis hidden away amongst the treetops, offering alfresco dining at its best! 

Urban Garden is super laid back and friendly and offers everything from Brunch, lunch, evening, kids, and Sunday lunch menus - offering everything from pancakes and Shakshuka to Poke Bowls, Cornish Mussels, Mutton Curry, and Beef Burgers. Everything is locally sourced, super fresh, and made with care - Check out their menus HERE. 

Their cocktails are to die for and have an excellent selection of wines, spirits, beers, and ales too.

Highly Recommended: Chana Masala Burger with Bhaji Bits, Coconut Raita, Brioche Bun, Baby Gem, and Tomato Salad, served with chunky chips - £14.00 

Al Fresco Rating: 5/5

Address: Exeter Crescent, Bournemouth, BH2 5AY

Telephone: 01202 286787

Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant Christchurch

Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant

Location: Christchurch

About: Housed within the Christchurch Harbour Hotel, The Upper Deck is an alfresco dining experience not to be missed. The stunning outdoor terrace offers waterside dining and exquisite views across Christchurch’s natural Harbour. Why not lap up the tranquil sounds of the sea whilst luxuriating in a long lunch of expertly cooked local seafood, freshly caught by local fishermen…

The Upper Deck offers a whole range of delicious treats for you to savour, from light bites to a la Carte and even Afternoon Tea - all served on the beautiful terrace. Try dishes such as Buttermilk Chicken Popcorn, Beef Carpaccio, Tempura Prawns, Smoked Haddock & Spring Onion Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Crispy Spiced Thai Beef Salad or a classic Surf & Turf To Share.

Chef Patron, Alex Aitken has carefully curated all the menus to cater for all with plenty of classic and modern dishes cooked to perfection  - Check out their menus HERE. 

Highly Recommended: Halibut, Prawn & Lobster - Fillet of halibut, salt baked turnip, butternut squash plump prawns, lobster and caviar butter sauce - £28.50 

Al Fresco Rating: 55

Address: Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, 95 Mudeford, Christchurch, BH23 3NT

The Rising Sun Thai & Pan Asian Christchurch

The Rising Sun Thai & Pan Asian

Location: Christchurch

About: The Rising Sun has a beautiful outdoor dining and lounge area complete with plush sofas, gorgeous greenery, fairy lights, and a large heated gazebo which means you can enjoy top-quality Thai/Pan Asian food all year round. Family run since it opened in 1994 and one of the first British pubs to ever serve Thai food. Super friendly and a firm favourite with the locals and visitors alike.

You can expect classic dishes such as Chicken Satay, Thai Fishcakes, Massaman, Pandang, and Red/Green curries to tickle the taste buds; as well as recently added Pan-Asian dishes like Crispy Duck, Char-Siu Roast Pork and Chicken Katsu Curry. There are also plenty of Vegan, veggie, and Gluten Free options to choose from too.

Highly Recommended: Crispy Pork Belly and King Prawns with Pak Choi, Garlic, Peppers, Soy, and Fresh Chillies - 14.95 

Al Fresco Rating: 4/5

Address: 123 Purewell, Christchurch, BH23 1EJ

Telephone: 01202 486122

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