Franco Manca Pizza, Bournemouth

I was recently invited to the opening of the brand new Franco Manca pizza in Bournemouth (thanks W Comms!). I usually take Nick along to these things or just meet up with the Bournemouth blogger girls but this time I thought it would be nice to take my sister along as we only usually get to hang out during the day with the kids.


We arrived and were seated with my blogger chum Freya and a few of her work mates in an area that had been reserved for the ‘press’. We were offered some drinks and were told that food would just arrive as and when it was ready. (FYI the organic lemonade was lush.) We were then quite literally showered with starters. I’ve never seen so much food! The olives were incredible (coming from someone who isn’t a massive olive lover) and the burrata was truly out of this world. We gorged ourselves on unbelievable rich soft cheeses and cured meats.

burrata at franco manca bournemouth

burrata at franco manca pizza bournemouth

To be honest, by this point, we were all a little worried that we weren’t going to fit any pizza in! But due to the gorgeously chewy sourdough bases I think I managed a good 6 or 7 slices of various flavours! I’m a bit of a sucker for a margherita because I think if you can get the basics right then you’re on to a good thing and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The number 6 pizza with chorizo also stood out as being pretty special. I can’t remember which pizza they were on now but one of them had the most mind-blowing tomatoes I’ve ever had that are grown on the slopes of Mt Vesuvius.

pizza at franco manca bournemouth


As a special treat, we were invited into the ‘kitchen’ (I use quotation marks as it’s all out in the open in the middle of the restaurant so you can watch your pizza being made) to make our own pizza. Obviously hilarity ensued as we tried to follow instructions from a pretty thick-accented Italian in the searing heat with the noise of the restaurant booming in our ears but we were all pretty successful (even if I did accidentally flip mine mid-cook in the pizza oven!)

freya NorseSouth

making pizza at franco manca

pizza masterclass at franco manca bournemouth

pizza making at franco manca

We were then served a beautiful plate of desserts which we happily scoffed down. The rosemary & olive oil cake was new to me and a perfect choice if you’re not into overly sweet things. As we were rolling out the door we were handed an amazing goody bag filled with foodie treats like chilli oil, roasted artichokes and a copy of the Franco Manca book. Thanks again to Franco Manca & W Comms for having us!

Huxley’s 3rd birthday

Huxley turned 3 on Friday. I’m a little shell-shocked by it all to be honest. I know it’s such a cliche parenting thing to say, but I really don’t know where the time has gone! His birthday was pretty low-key this year due to the fact that I’m huge and can’t go far – can I just say how nervous I was all day about going into labour!? (For Huxley’s first birthday we went to Weymouth Sealife Centre, for his second birthday we went to Marwell Zoo).

This year we decided to take him to the cinema in the morning as Cineworld are currently running a promotion to support Children in Need where every day this half term, the tickets are £2 each and you can see Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory or Ice Age: Collision Course. Hux has only been to the cinema twice (and not since February) so it was still a really big, exciting novelty for him. I showed him all the trailers for the movies the night before and he chose Ice Age (much to mine & Nick’s despair!). Sadly, we were the only people in the cinema which is a real shame as it was for a good cause but I suppose half-term hadn’t really kicked in on Friday.

After the cinema we went to Toys’R’us as he had a voucher to spend and we got him a Schleich whale, a Schleich Anhanguera (which is a flying dinosaur – I had to Google it!) and an Elsa doll. After that it was definitely time to eat! I was starving!

Harvester had recently contacted me and asked if I’d like to review their newly refurbished branch in Poole. Never one to turn down free food, I jumped at the chance and they kindly sent us £50 to spend on some lunch. It was really smart in Harvester and I was impressed at how modern it looked, while still retaining a cosy, family-friendly pub feel. It was filled with little cosy nooks and inviting looking fireplaces as well as having practical plus-points like a bottle-warming area for parents with babies.

Harvester Parkstone Poole

harvester seahorse refurbishment dorset

family friendly harvester seahorse poole

harvester seahorse alder hills poole dorset

Obviously one of the best things about Harvester is the unlimited salad bar and I wasted no time stocking up on crunchy croutons and creamy potato salad. Nick & I both ordered the same thing, the Harvester ’83 combo which comes with fries, gravy, corn on the cob, half a rotisserie chicken and a half rack of ribs. Deeeeelish. The kids meals are £5.99 for a main with 2 sides, a drink & a dessert. Hux had a swirly sausage with peas and chips but he’d gorged on popcorn at the cinema so didn’t eat all that much of it. He didn’t even seem that excited at the prospect of ice-cream so we could tell he was full and tired!

Harvester seahorse alder hills poole

schleich toys


harvester unlimited salad

Nick skipped dessert while I went for coconut panna cotta with mango coulis. I’m usually a chocolate person but there’s just something about coconut that wins every time. Nick was pretty impressed with the beer offering though and opted for a pint of Brewdog in place of dessert. The total bill came to £41.51 for a beer (£4.55), two adult main courses (£25.98), a kids meal (£5.99) and a dessert (£4.99) so it was pretty budget friendly!

harvester 83 chicken ribs combo

harvester 83 combo poole

coconut panna cotta with mango coulis at harvester

After a quick whizz around the toy sale at the huge Sainsburys next door, it was time to head for the beach. Hux was adamant about going in the sea and it didn’t seem to bother him at all that it was freezing cold. He really, really loves the sea and I think he’d have spent all day chasing the waves back and forth but it was already gone 3pm by the time we got there so we only stayed about half an hour.

alum chine beach october

alum chine bournemouth october in the sea

autumn on the beach bournemouth

alum chine beach bournemouth dorset

We finished the day off at Nick’s mum’s house where he played with his cousins – I have no idea how he managed to stay awake the whole time. He didn’t even fall asleep in the car on the way home! Needless to say he was pretty grumpy for the next day or two from being so tired!

A day at Chester Zoo

At the end of our trip to Harrogate we tagged on (a bit of a massive) detour to Chester Zoo. We’d watched the BBC show ‘Our Zoo’ and thought it sounded awesome and although it was a little out of the way, we knew we wouldn’t be that far north for a while so decided to make the most of it.

I can safely say it was well worth the detour. Huxley’s little face when he saw the elephants was the best thing I’ve ever seen. We’re talking pure joy. As a parent, it doesn’t get much better than that. Hux has been able to make an elephant noise for a very long time now and it’s one of the few animals he’s always been able to recognise with no prompts. There aren’t any elephants in any of the zoos down south so it was worth the trip just for them. They even had a baby elephant! In fact, you don’t even need a ticket into the zoo to see the elephants!

Baby elephant at Chester Zoo

Elephants at Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo elephant enclosure

Elephant statue at Chester Zoo

I suggested going in the butterfly house and Nick laughed at me and told me it was too boring but that he’d humour me by going in anyway. Turns out, Huxley loved it. The butterflies are free to fly around the room so you often get bashed in the head by fluttering wings and Huxley was giggling his little head off every time one of them came near him.

During our visit we also saw a lion, a bear, a baby giraffe, a baby rhino, a red panda and tons of monkeys. Nick’s already declared it the best zoo he’s ever been to and we know we’ll definitely go back one day when Huxley is older.

Giraffes at Chester Zoo

Baby giraffe at Chester Zoo

Bear at Chester Zoo

Tropical room at Chester Zoo

Red panda at Chester Zoo

Rhino at Chester Zoo

The zoo is massive. We were there from 11-3.30pm and there were some bits that we missed out and some bits that we rushed round so it really is a whole day out. And on top of that, in June, they’re opening a whole new section called ‘Islands‘ which looks AMAZING. It’s the biggest zoo project in history (the size of 7 football pitches!) and features a monsoon forest (the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK), a recreation of 6 South East Asian islands and a 15-minute boat ride. So you’ll probably need 2 days to get round the whole zoo when that opens!


Exploring Brimham Rocks

One of the places we were most excited about going when we were in Harrogate was Brimham Rocks. I can’t remember how I found out about it, I seem to vaguely remember seeing an article on a newspaper website about places to explore in the UK as I remember someone comparing it to Yosemite.

It’s not really anything like Yosemite but that’s okay because it’s still awesome. The car park was £5 for 4 hours and I can see how you would easily spend 4 hours running around here, especially if you had kids. On this occasion I had two kids with me. Nick suddenly reverted to an excited child and ran off to climb the highest rocks in sight.

National Trust site Brimham Rocks


Brimham Rocks is a collection of rock formations. The National Trust website describes it as ‘nature’s playground’ and that couldn’t be more true. Nick has already insisted that we return when Huxley is older so they can have a proper game of hide and seek and race each other to the top of the rocks.

Brimham Rocks, National Trust


Brimham Rocks

Huxley was in muddy puddle heaven. (We’d decided at the car that it wasn’t muddy enough for wellies. Big mistake.)


Here’s me looking like an ACTUAL bag lady. Bring on the spring!


Being National Trust, there’s a gift shop, food kiosk, toilets and plenty of picnic tables so you could easily spend the whole day here when the weather is nice.

National Trust, Brimham Rocks Yorkshire

Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire

The rocks sit on top of a hill that overlook one of the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale and I can imagine that the view on a clear day is absolutely breathtaking. Unfortunately it was quite overcast when we went so we couldn’t see far. (Also, it’s SO hard to take good photos when the sky is bright white).

Brimham Rocks near Harrogate

Brimham Rocks outside Harrogate

Nick thought it would look cool to take a picture of Huxley up against a rock because it would make a really interesting background but this picture just cracks me up because it looks like Nick is going to mug him. I wish I could have gotten one from further away too.


Tea & cake at Betty’s Tearooms, Harrogate

When we first decided to go to Harrogate one of the things I was most excited about was having tea and cake at national institution, Bettys. As it happened, our hotel was so close that we could see it out of our window. There was a permanent queue out the door.

Bettys Tearooms in Harrogate

When we joined the queue, we realised that it was all for afternoon tea and we only wanted tea and cake so were shown straight in. You can actually just go in the bakery and buy cakes to take away if you don’t fancy sitting down or are short for time. They’ve got some lovely bits and bobs to buy. I was quite taken with a tea caddy and mug set but at £20 and no house to put it in at the moment I decided against it.

Inside Bettys Tearooms in Harrogate

Chocolate brown bettysWe sat down and got Huxley settled in a chair with a magazine (which you can see he takes very seriously!). We ordered a pot of darjeeling tea each, a praline chocolate eclair and a frangipani slice. There was a sharp intake of breath as we heard the price…£17. But we were on holiday and it’s a special place so it was okay.


T-shirt: Curious Wolves

Praline chocolate eclair from Bettys Harrogate

Frangipani tart from Bettys Tearooms Harrogate

Pouring tea at Bettys Harrogate

UK lifestyle blogger in Howies tshirt at Bettys Harrogate

T-shirt: Howies


T-shirt: Howies

Now, I feel I have to be completely honest here. I was a bit disappointed. Maybe it’s because I’d hyped it up too much in my head or maybe I’ve just been spoilt with the bakeries in Paris and San Francisco but I just wasn’t overly impressed with anything. Don’t get me wrong, the cakes were delicious, but they weren’t the blow-my-mind delicious that I was expecting.

The tea was the main disappointment for me. I’ve had darjeeling many times before and it’s usually refreshing and light. This one tasted ‘hard’ and was extremely bitter. We’d poured it as soon as it arrived on the table so we hadn’t over-brewed it. It was so bad that I couldn’t even bring myself to finish one cup – and that never happens!

I wouldn’t say that I’ll never go to Betty’s again because I would, but I think next time I’d just buy the cake to take away and go and have a cheaper cup of tea somewhere else.

To be honest though, there’s a farm shop/deli just outside Harrogate called Fodder which did sell blow-my-mind delicious cakes. I had a millionaire’s shortbread the size of my face for £1.75 and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. We went to Fodder a couple of times during the week we stayed and it was never a disappointment. We had an incredible sausage roll there, a cookie sandwich and a gluten-free millionaires shortbread and it was all amazing. My mum is going to Harrogate in September and I’m giving her some money with strict instructions to bring me back some more!

When we’d finished at Betty’s we thought we’d better go for a little walk. It was warm enough for me to wear my new shoes that were kindly gifted to me by Clarks. It’s strange because I’m not usually a pink person but I was oddly drawn to these. They are super comfy too.

UK blogger outside Bettys tearooms in Harrogate wearing Clarks Glove Puppet shoes in dusty pink

Scarf: Zara | Jumper: Jigsaw (in the sale!) | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: c/o Clarks

Clarks Glove Puppet shoes in Dusty Pink



Grimsby & York

We’re on a little family holiday this week. A few months ago I won a holiday to Italy and when I told them I didn’t fancy a 36-hour coach ride with a 1 year old they kindly told me to choose one of their UK-based hotels to stay in instead. So we chose Harrogate, which is where we are currently staying until the end of the week (when we might make a quick detour to the Lake District before heading home).

Harrogate is only 2 hours from Grimsby so we spent the first 3 days of our holiday visiting Nick’s family and eating a lot of fish and chips. We drove up on the Friday with the main reason being that the Pea Bung is only open for a few hours on a Saturday and Nick didn’t want to miss out. I wrote about the Pea Bung way back in 2011 and aside from a bit of a refurb, it hasn’t changed a bit (thankfully!). We got the fish special again, which is still an amazing bargain at £3. Seriously, you can barely buy chips for £3 round our way. Huxley was loving it.

Fish and chips from Pea Bung in Grimsby




We had such a lovely time hanging out with Nick’s family and Huxley definitely enjoyed all the attention! I’m always so surprised at how well he adapts to new situations (although he’s not getting off to sleep particularly well in our hotel at the moment!).

The following day we had another batch of fish and chips, this time from Becketts and ate them at Nick’s aunty’s house while Huxley made friends with a hamster (before picking it up in it’s ball and throwing it across the kitchen – oops!)

Fish and chips from Becketts, Grimsby




On Monday we drove to Harrogate and got settled in our hotel before having a quick wander around the town. All of our meals are included in our stay so I won’t be doing any food reviews here, although we did go to Betty’s Tearooms today which I’ll be blogging about later on.

Yesterday we went to York which was really lovely. It was a beautiful day with bright blue skies but was pretty chilly. We didn’t really ‘do’ anything in York, we just kind of walked around and looked at all the pretty buildings.

York Minster

York castle

A few days in London

So, it’s been a little quiet over here so far for 2015 and that’s because life has been a little bit crazy! Last week my husband turned 30 and we went on a mini family holiday to London for a couple of days. London was lovely, but exhausting. We came home on Wednesday evening and moved out of our flat on Friday. It’s been a busy couple of days in a flurry of boxes, saying goodbye to our home of 8 years and moving in temporarily with Nick’s parents while we wait to exchange contracts and complete on the sale of our new house. Poor little Huxley has been a bit out of sorts as it’s all been so busy and we haven’t had much time to dedicate to him but mostly he’s taken it in his stride and is settling in okay now. Thankfully, he went straight back into a regular sleeping routine in his new bedroom – I think I’d be rocking myself in a corner crying if we’d added sleepless nights into the mix too.

Anyway, back to London. (Sorry this post is going to be a dreadful mix of SLR & Instagram pictures!) We drove up on Tuesday morning and headed to straight to Selfridges so Nick could buy a coat. It just so happens that Patty & Bun is right around the corner from Selfridges and we turned up just as they were opening their doors. It was really delicious and the meat was excellent quality but I think Five Guys has the edge for me at the moment.

Patty & Bun burger, LondonFrom there, we went via Picadilly Station to pick up some doughnuts from Crosstown Doughnuts. My favourite was the creme brulee one. The flavours are really inventive and interesting but to be honest, I still miss the classic light, fluffy doughnuts you get for like $1 in America.

A photo posted by Emma Baines (@thestylebox) on

Our final destination for the day was the Science Museum. We wanted to do something fun for Huxley and Nick had done a bit of research and discovered that the Science Museum had a new area in the basement for little ones that consisted of a massive sensory room and giant water table. Huxley absolutely loved it. (Can I just take a moment to recommend January as a good time of year to visit London – I’ve never seen it so quiet!)  

Science Museum LondonNick-&-Hux

Water table fun at the @sciencemuseum #london A photo posted by Emma Baines (@thestylebox) on

Water table at London Science Museum

My boys ❤️

A photo posted by Emma Baines (@thestylebox) on

On our way back to the hotel we walked past the Natural History Museum which was all lit up from the beautiful, fiery sunset. As if that building wasn’t already stunning enough.

Sunset Natural History MuseumWe stayed at Travelodge King’s Cross Royal Scot and were very impressed. They’ve definitely upped their game recently. We slept with the window open and it was actually quieter than it usually is outside our flat in Bournemouth!

Anyway, we got Huxley some fish fingers and beans from the restaurant downstairs and Nick ran over the road to get me a kebab (because a burger & several doughnuts obviously weren’t enough for me!) before Hux & I settled down in front of the TV for the evening while Nick went out to a local pub.

He went to the The Southampton Arms in Kentish Town and absolutely loved it. It had an upright piano and he said it was the best pub he’s ever been in. He was also impressed with the bar snacks and had a cracking sausage roll. The bar snacks on offer at this pub actually featured in one of his first ever published food articles back in 2011 for The Times (if you’ve got access to get past the paywall, you can read it here).

The next morning we got up nice and early and headed to Exmouth Market to have breakfast at Caravan. We had considered going to The Wolseley as it was a special occasion and we’ve had, and admired, the book for years but we were worried it might be too ‘stuffy’ and traditional so opted for the laid-back, more modern breakfasts on offer at Caravan and I’m so glad we did. We ordered Huxley a giant slab of sourdough toast which he devoured in seconds. He literally couldn’t get enough of it!

Then Nick & I shared smoked salmon & scrambled eggs on toast and toasted coconut bread with lemon curd cream cheese and stewed rhubarb which was honestly up there in the top 5 things I’ve ever eaten. It was like a dream on a plate.

Hux eating sourdough toast at Caravan Exmouth Market

Huxley loves his toast from @@caravanexmouth this morning. He’s all over it.

A photo posted by Nick Baines (@nlbaines) on

A photo posted by Emma Baines (@thestylebox) on

Nick After breakfast we started walking towards Brick Lane but stumbled across the amazing Spa Fields park on the way and had to stop for a little run around!

Spa Fields Park, London Hux-at-Spa-Fields-Park,-London We eventually made it to Brick Lane and headed straight to Beigel Bake, which was the sole purpose of our walk there! Despite having just scoffed an enormous breakfast, we bought one of their famous salt beef bagels which we said we’d ‘save for later’. Then we decided we’d ‘just have a bite’ while it was still warm and 2 minutes later all we had left were a few crumbs. Oops. Huxley absolutely LOVED it. He kept trying to grab it off us! We let him have a couple of bites but it was pretty salty so didn’t give him too much.

  A photo posted by Emma Baines (@thestylebox) on

How much salt beef bagel is healthy for a one year old? A photo posted by Nick Baines (@nlbaines) on

Then we walked over to Borough Market so Nick could buy some beers from Utobeer and have a drink in their pub, The Rake. I grabbed a chocolate brownie and we headed back to the tube to make our way back to Westfield where we’d parked the car. Hux & I wandered around the shops for about an hour while Nick went to the BrewDog bar in Shepherds Bush (I promise he doesn’t drink as much as this blog makes it sound!)

We arrived at Nick’s parents around 7pm and then drove back to the flat around 9pm and went straight to bed ready for a day of packing to move out!

Ice skating in Bournemouth gardens

I have to admit that my health has been at the bottom of my pile of priorities lately as I’ve been so busy with work and getting things ready to move house (looks like it won’t be happening before Christmas now – boo!). Add that to the fact that it’s hard to get yourself motivated when it’s miserable outside and you spend most of your days in thick baggy clothes and I’d estimate that I haven’t been active for, oh, I don’t know, 6 months. Oops. It was all going so well before we went to Spain. Healthy eating, working out three times a week, but it’s just gone downhill from there and now I’m in that awful spiral of ‘there’s no point in doing anything about it now because it’s nearly Christmas’.

I was recently contacted by Simplyhealth and invited to go ice skating in Bournemouth gardens as part of their #SHhealthyhabits campaign. They’ve got some great ideas to keep fit this festive season. I was more than grateful to be invited out to get some fresh air in my lungs and remind my legs that they still work. I took my sister along as we used to go ice skating quite often as children so I knew she wouldn’t be dragging me down. To be honest, she was off and I was the one clinging on to her arm, begging her to hold my hand!

Bournemouth gardens ice rink

Bournemouth ice bar

ice skate

Zara scarf, Tesco trench coat, Gap black jeans

Ice rink in Bournemouth gardens

Ice skating in Bournemouth

UK lifestyle blogger ice skating in Bournemouth gardens

Uk lifestyle blogger Bournemouth

UK fashion blogger ice skating

Scarf: Zara | Coat: Tesco (old) | Jeans: Gap

Scarf: Crew Clothing| Jumper: Crew Clothing |

Rock Reef, Bournemouth Pier

Last week I was kindly invited to try out the new Rock Reef activity centre on Bournemouth Pier with a couple of other local bloggers. It was a dark and stormy night so it was nice to seek refuge in the bright and colourful building that used to house the pier theatre.

Bournemouth bloggers Lucy Does, The Style Box, The Witt Family & Amy Everything Mummy

Lucy, me, Claire & Amy

Rock Reef climbing centre Bournemouth pier

We stood around nervously signing consent forms and chatting excitedly before stuffing our belongings in a locker and heading off to get our harnesses fitted. Be warned – the harnesses are TIGHT and not the most flattering of things. But on the plus side, they stop you falling to your death so you know, you win some, you lose some.

We were then shown the basics (I was going to make a corny joke then about being ‘shown the ropes’ but I’ll refrain) of how to clip on and off and how to get down safely. It’s pretty nerve-wracking to just let go of what you’re holding on to and throw yourself backwards but you get used to it. Lucy was brave enough to have the first go.

Lucy Does at Rock Reef BournemouthBournemouth blogger Lucy Does at Rock ReefAfter we’d all had a little go and gotten used to it, we were then let loose to try out some of the other interesting looking walls around the room. I decided to give the ice wall a try and nearly wet myself laughing after having a bit of a palaver with the ‘ice picks’.

The Style Box at Rock Reef Bournemouth bloggersIce wall climb at Rock Reef BournemouthIt wasn’t long before our attention turned to the more daring looking challenges like the Leap of Faith, the Vertical Drop Slide and the Stairway to Heaven. The Leap of Faith involves climbing a rather high ladder and stepping out onto a small wooden platform before leaping into the great unknown to try and cuddle a punch bag before plummeting gently meandering back down to the ground. I have to admit that I made it all the way up the stairs but chickened out when I reached the platform and climbed straight back down again. Lucy and Claire on the other hand are made of stronger stuff and bravely flung themselves off the platform like it was no trouble at all.

Lucy Does Leap of Faith Rock Reef Bournemouth Pier

Without wanting to be completely defeated, Amy & I decided to try the drop slide instead as that didn’t involve any jumping (and there was no way of backing out once you’re up there other than dropping down the slide). We had to climb into these rather fetching suits and then you lay down on the slide and cling onto the bar as it slowly raises you higher and higher. Honestly, it looks much scarier than it is. It was so much fun that I did it twice! (My poor weakling arms did struggle to keep hold of the bar while holding onto my full weight!)

Amy Everything Mummy at Rock Reef BournemouthBournemouth blogger The Style Box Rock ReefVertical drop slide at Rock Reef Bournemouth

After that we had a go on the high line which is a course of wooden obstacles high in the air that you have to make your way around. I had loads of fun doing this but unfortunately we didn’t take any photos as it’s quite hard to cling onto a camera and a piece of wood whilst mid-air but you can see some photos of it on Louise’s blog.

After we’d finished on the high line, we decided it was time to tackle the cave. I was quite nervous about the cave, even more so when I saw exactly how teeny tiny the holes are that you have to crawl through. I have to admit that it was rather fun. It involves some pretty intricate moves and is not for the faint-hearted! There’s one bit where you have to do a handstand/somersault in order to get out! It was pretty dark in there and you can mainly just see the person in front of you’s feet for the most part so I only snapped one usable picture (which had to be lightened up rather a lot in Photoshop so please excuse the appalling quality!)

Bournemouth bloggers in a cave Rock Reef

After we’d extracted ourselves from the cave, rubbing our elbows and knees, we decided to have one last go on the Stairway to Heaven before heading back out into the dark and stormy night.

Stairway to Heaven Rock Reef BournemouthClaire Witt Family Rock Reef BournemouthBournemouth-sea

I had an absolutely fantastic evening and I’d like to thank Rock Reef for having me. Hopefully next summer I can come back and give the zip wire from the end of the pier to the beach a go!


7Bone Burger Co, Bournemouth

Last week Nick and I headed to Bournemouth’s newest burger joint, 7Bone. We’d been excited about it since we first saw the Southampton branch featured on The Restaurant Man on BBC 2 back in March.

Bournemouth seems to have had a little flurry of burger joints opening up which is good news because the town centre could really do with some better eateries than the standard fare of Prezzo & Pizza Express.

I’ve eaten a lot of burgers all round America in my time and have yet to find anything that comes close to my all-time favourite, Gotts in San Francisco.

First off I have to say that I absolutely loved the vibe in 7Bone. It’s all exposed brick and very cool looking. Just what Bournemouth needs. There’s also a speakeasy bar downstairs that Nick seemed very impressed with.

7Bone Burger Co Bournemouth We settled down at a table, gave Huxley an apple to keep him occupied and made our orders. Nick was raving about their beer offerings and kept telling me that it’s hard to find these beers outside of London. We ordered a burger each and a side of ‘dirty’ fries.

7Bone Burger Co Shuffle to Straight Time burgerShuffle to Straight Time burger

7Bone Prince Charles is Overrated burgerPrince Charles is Overrated burger

7Bone Burger Co dirty friesMy burger (the Shuffle to Straight Time) was fine but Nick’s (the Prince Charles was Overrated) was awesome. I thought there was a bit too much mustard in mine and it overpowered everything else. I don’t even know what was in Nick’s but it was delicious.

The side order of dirty fries was enormous but not really my kind of thing. Why would I want lettuce on my chips? Also, the bits of bacon on the top were chewy and made me feel a bit queasy.

7Bone dirty friesI’m not going to let my bad menu decisions put me off though and we’ll definitely be going back. They do a buttermilk fried chicken burger that I want to try and Nick wants to give some of their BBQ offerings a go. They also do a truffled mac’n’cheese which sounds pretty special.

At some point I need to squeeze in a visit to their rival around the corner, Longhorn Burgers too!

Hux2HuxWe followed our meal up with a quick stroll round Bournemouth gardens and the play park before Nick headed off to a meeting.

Bournemouth gardens play park