I have been a fan of the restaurant Urban Reef for a very long time and no trip to the beach at Boscombe would be complete without popping in for a Hot Chocolate in winter, or a nice cool drink in summer and one of Kay the baker’s fabulous cakes.
Urban Reef is an informal bar, café, deli and restaurant located on the Overstrand on Boscombe promenade. which offers panoramic views over the stunning Bournemouth Bay and to the Purbecks and beyond, you can tell why I like it now can’t you?
It has a 90 seater sun deck right on the promenade, which is great for watching the world go by, a ground floor café, bar and local produce deli and a 100 seater restaurant with balcony on the first floor and a mezzanine level. In the winter they can even keep you cosy with their open log burning fire. The restaurant is stunning with an oak clad wall holding 60 candles, a beautiful 50’s inspired interior and designer furniture and a stunning triple height glass frontage which floods the building with light.
I managed to influence hubby’s work to hold their Christmas party at Urban Reef and they all agreed that the food was delicious, the ambience was perfect and the cocktails were out of this world.
Now Mark Cribb, the man behind Urban Reef, has launched the Urban Guild which unites his restaurant, boutique hotel, cafe, bar, craft beer and farm together under one heading. There is one thing that unites his venues together – his staff. The are his “Urban family” and are all incredibly passionate about what they offer. The team are committed to offering fresh, local & seasonal produce – they have their own farm in the New Forest, make and sell their own craft beer and even their own coffee!. They are also committed to ethics and sustainability, committed to smiling, having fun and working really really hard to achieve something amazing. They are even taking school children out to the farm to show them how food grows and then one of the chefs prepares a delicious meal for them – why didn’t they do this when I was a school!
I am ashamed to admit that I still haven’t visited Urban Beach, the boutique hotel and bistro in Boscombe where it all started and featured on the Channel 4 series 4 in a bed, but at the end of last year I visited the newest member of the Urban Guild – Jenkins and Sons in Poole and have been back several times since.
Jenkins and Sons was a 1920’s Butchers and FishMongers and out of respect for its history they kept its name. The restaurant itself is sympathetically decorated to showcase the original tiles and the attention to detail is amazing. They cook using a “Josper” oven which uses no gas or electric. It’s basically a BBQ in a box that cooks at a very high temperature which seals the juices into the meat as soon as it hits the heat.
We run a local networking group and decided to hold our Christmas Party at Jenkins & Sons. Because our group have young families we held it in the daytime. I was the only one who took the kids as hubby’s day off was changed that week, but it was a lovely afternoon of chat, delicious food and non-alcoholic cocktails!!
What I love about the Urban Guild is that all their venues are child friendly. They have activities and games for the children to do whilst you enjoy a coffee or a meal. The children’s menu is all nourishing home cooked delicious food – none of the frozen nonsense you get in some restaurant chains and they are happy to do child size portions from the adult menu too.
Then there is the Urban Renaissance Cafe which is tucked inside the Russel Coates Museum in Bournemouth. I have been once to one of their Early Explorer mornings which was before Sebby arrived, so I really must go again.
If you live locally or are just visiting the area I highly recommend you visit at least one of these venues and make sure you check out their websites too as they often have some brilliant offers on too.
Disclaimer: I received no compensation for writing this review – I love their brand and what they are trying to achieve and will continue to support this fabulous local business!