THIS is the second time I have been to the Queens Hotel for Sunday lunch – so impressed was I with my first visit.
Set just back from the sea in Bournemouth’s salubrious East Cliff area and not far from the town-centre Lansdowne, the Queens Hotel really is in an enviable location. A great choice, then, for a Sunday lunch, and so my friend and I headed there to enjoy a four course meal in a lovely dining area. After parking up in the large car park we entered the impressive-looking building and walked through to the restaurant.
The four courses consisted of a starter, soup or sorbet, main and dessert, as well as coffee to finish – all for the very reasonable sum of £15.95.
When the menu came I was bowled over by the sheer choice available. After some lengthy debate, I opted for the avocado, brie and smoked chicken salad with crisp pancetta bacon and Caesar dressing to start. My friend chose the roulade of smoked Scottish salmon filled with creamed cheese and prawns, which was also very pleasing, both aesthetically and on the palate.
For the second round of starters – the soup or sorbet – I opted for the spicy French onion soup and my friend had the refreshing fruit sorbet. The soup was delightful and the sorbet cleansed the palate fantastically, ready for the main course.
When choosing our main courses my friend and I took longer than expected, purely because of the sheer variety available. Chicken, fish and beef dishes are available in different guises, as well as delightful-sounding vegetarian options. However, my gaze was caught by the duck breast with savoury seasoning, apple sauce and red wine jus. My friend opted for the supreme of chicken served with tomato ragout, melted brie and pancetta bacon – both came with all the exquisite trimmings one would expect of a top-quality Sunday lunch. My duck was everything I had hoped for – succulent and tender – and the chicken was mouthwateringly good.
For dessert we could choose the hot option – apricot sponge with custard – or select from the “help yourself” buffet of cold deserts, which displayed all the options on a large table, making it even harder to choose, as we could see them in all their glory. We decided to take a trip to the dessert banquet table where I picked out a rum baba that tasted every bit as good as it looked and my friend had a very light and tasty crème brulee. Both deserts received a big thumbs-up from the pair of us.
The meal had been accompanied throughout by live lounge piano music, featuring classic swing hits, at just the right level to create a pleasant background atmosphere for the meal without being too intrusive or forcing loud conversation.
We discussed exactly how impressed we’d been with the whole meal over coffee, commenting on the incredibly efficient service we’d received all day.
For more information call The Queens Hotel on 01202 554415.