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Bull and Boat, Swanage

Something major happened on the shores of Dorset this week. It doesn’t happen very often, but boy when it does everyone should know about it.

We have a hot new hangout in town and it’s something that has been missing from our sandy promenades for too long. Ocean Bay set sail upon the English channel and we welcomed a new beach bar and bistro, the Bull & Boat, to Swanage. Huge news, I know.

On Thursday night, we bundled into a taxi and headed across the harbour to quiet little Swanage. After my sneak peak of the new design last Sunday on my final visit to Ocean Bay, it was a lovely surprise to see that what I’d seen was not all they had in store for us.

Jolly sailors and rowdy smugglers ventured from all over town to join in on the fun. At the entrance we were greeted with glasses of bubbling prosseco and tasters from the new menu “tapas” were bought hastily to the tables.

Ocean Bay was, and will always be known for its fabulous locally sourced and sustainable food, so the chefs have tough expectations to live up to for the hungry southerners that park up their surf boards and bundle inside for some beach side grub. The tapas certainly lived up to Ocean Bay’s consistently high standard and was delicious, fresh and fishy. The perfect cabana combination.

King prawns on a bed of spanish style rice, muscles and anti-patsi were just some of the tapas I managed to get my mitts on.

Then I found the cake.

The bistro is decked out in rustic beach themed decor. Like you’d imagine for a beachside bar, there’s lots of the wood, the colours are soft and everything is comfy. In fact I wish I’d worn my flip-flops and a bikini.

Thankfully I bought Rachel along to stop me diving in the sea after a few glasses.

It was quite tempting after all of the above had been consumed.

But I resisted. As a compromise, we kicked off the heels instead of the dress and had a boogie.

Have you spotted the Bull yet? Well if that’s not a reason for visiting, I don’t know what is!

Isn’t that right Rach?

Fresh air and dazed eyes are always a sign a good night, and we were tucked into bed before we knew it.

One fine anonymous internet man once said “Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never-ending”. The Bull and Boat, Swanage is open daily for lunch and dinner. You can visit their website here or call 01929 422222 to make a booking.

 

ocean bay, swanage

Mother’s Day was a pretty important day for me this year. Never a day goes by without the overwhelming feeling of pride and awe at my mum, so as a present of her awesomeness I decided on a girly trip to my favourite beachside town of Swanage. Now, no trip would be complete without a stop at Ocean Bay, so we braved the elements and found ourselves in, well, paradise.

I’m sure the pictures do not tell the tale of the biting ice cold wind, but let me tell you, it was freeeezing.

None the less, somehow this little beachy gem gives the illusion of the warm summer days to come.

We were seated at our window table and presented with the specials menu, which of course showcased their infamous Sunday Roast. Forever will this place be known for giving you one of the best Sunday roasts in the land.

Give us a smile Mum!

First up, coffee.

Then onto the food, and wow this place does not disappoint. Her fair lady ordered the Broccoli and Blue Vinney soup.

And I ordered the Prawn Cocktail. Now everyone loves a surprise…check out the size of those prawns!!

I’m not sure which starter won. Mum’s soup was so warming, surprisingly rich and had a perfect kick from the blue cheese, yet my prawns we’re incredibly juicy, tender and utterly delicious.

I guess one of my favourite things about this restaurant is the portion sizes. I’m a little bummed sometimes when restaurant food is so good, but you just feel like you could eat a little more. Don’t get me wrong, 99% of the time less is definitely more, but when it comes to satisfaction levels, you need to feel content and borderline stuffed. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Well anyway, Ocean Bay does just that. They fill you to the “comfortable” brim with amazingly good food that would satisfy even the biggest of appetites. (Yes, thats me)

3 jumbo slices of perfectly tender lamb later, a giant Yorkshire pudding, and lashings of vegetables and you guessed it, no room for desert!

You may notice that Ocean Bay look’s a little different from my last post and you’d be right.

Welcome to the new gastro pub decor of the Bull & Boat. Yep, Ocean Bay is soon to be a distant memory. I won’t lie and tell you I wasn’t just a little bit upset, I totally shed a tear, but after seeing the new look and having a peek at the new menu, I really couldn’t be more excited. I’ll give you a little teaser…think tapas! Oh, too exciting!

But anyway, more on that very very soon.

As the relentless sleet and wind continued to lash the south coast, we called it a day, jumped on the chain ferry and headed home for a slice of cake and a nap. Happy Mother’s Day Mumla!

instalife

Life, as ever, has been full of surprises over the last few weeks. Autumn has hit us like an icey cold rain storm, literally, and I’ve been prepping for winter hibernation.

I embraced my last few daylight hour riding Borris, a pleasant break from the pounding rain .

Scott got slightly addicted to his 3-way-chess-board.

I was lured in by London. As ever, it is the most captivating place I have ever been in my life.

We had a lovely date night at my favourite Bournemouth resturant, Tiien. Their shared platter is so incredible, I’m going to try re-creating it.

I was like a kid at Christmas when my special edition Glossybox arrived! (Note – first mention of Christmas!!)

We coasteered along the Jurassic Coast finishing off with the grande-finale – jumping off Durdle Door.

I tried Rose’s “Beercan Jerk Chicken“, just hoping that the chicken liked Fosters!

Autumn stuck Bournemouth Gardens (shortly after this happened)

I glammed myself up for the Enchanted Garden Ball.

We danced the night away at Bournemouth’s ultimate gay bar, Does Your Mother Know.  Cool name huh?

Bella enjoyed some autumnal weather on Sandbanks beach.

We ventured to Salisbury to watch my best friend skydive. The weather was perfect and she raised over £500 for Diverse Albilites. Bravooo

So obviously we had to celebrate her survival with a night at The Sevens Boatshed (more on this later) and Camden Bar.