I squealed with excitement as we opened the door to our very plush room at Hotel du Vin in Poole, I was definitely not expecting a freestanding roll top bath in the middle of the room! I had booked a night away for Matt’s birthday (last year I organised a surprise weekend away in a beach hut in Shaldon, read more on this here: Beach Hut Living) and I’m pretty certain this room was an upgrade from our original, what a lovely surprise. Huge sash windows, a king size bed, chez long, a very smart coffee maker (which kept Matt happy for hours) not to mention the lovely Miller Harris toiletries. I’m a sucker for hotel toiletries and Hotel du Vin did not disappoint in this department! Along with the freestanding bath there was also a monsoon shower, which by the way was huge plus a separate bathroom. It was a very luxurious room and I just had to have a G & T in the bath while I was getting ready for dinner…it just felt right! Anyway, enough about the bath! We booked a dinner, bed and breakfast package, which came with a three course set meal. I booked our table at the same time as the room, I’m glad I did as the restaurant was very busy on the Saturday night that we ate there.
The service throughout the hotel was fantastic, including the restaurant. I loved the extra touches like the Sommelier who recommended wine to go with our meal. On that note, although wines weren’t cheap, we chose a very tasty New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc; you’ve got to treat yourself once in a while! I had a gorgeous starter of Bayonne ham, salmon for my main and tarte au citron for dessert. It was all deliciously French! Breakfast was equally delicious, freshly squeezed orange juice, toast on demand, a continental spread to help yourself to and a menu to order cooked from, including a full English, crepes and eggs Benedict. I went for the full English and was not disappointed.
Hotel Du Vin is located in the old town; the waterfront is literally a two-minute stroll along a tiny street past lovely old buildings. The shops, bars and restaurants are also all within walking distance. I absolutely loved the interior of the Georgian style building. The grand staircase, with a very cool chandelier made from wine glasses gave a boutique feel and the bistro and bar with its cosy snug area all made for a wonderful stay. It is worth mentioning that the hotel has very limited parking, we parked in a multi storey car park a few minutes walk away which was fine. The hotel charges £10 for parking on site or at one of the car parks they recommend, we just kept our ticket and reception validated it for us. We wanted to stay on in Poole after checking out so the staff kindly validated the ticket later on in the afternoon which meant we didn’t have to pay any extra for parking.
Poole is a picture perfect seaside harbour town in Dorset. Famous for its pottery, Sunseeker motor yachts and Sandbanks, one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Eager to make the most of Matt’s sunny birthday weekend we arrived a few hours before check in to explore. After a stroll along the quay and a browse in the shops we were in need of some birthday refreshments. A cool looking bar called Drift caught our eye; I loved the quirky vibe Alex the owner had created with such a tiny space. The micro bar has its own cider ‘Devil’s Drift’ created with the help of Bournemouth Brewing Company and tables made from surfboards; right up my street and the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon!
On Sunday after checking out we jumped on a boat trip around Brownsea Island, it cost £10 for a one hour round trip. It is possible to get off on Brownsea but there is a £6.50 charge to go on the island, a nature reserve owned by the National Trust. (If you are a member of the National Trust entry is free.) Brownsea Island is 1.5 miles long, 0.75 miles wide and famous for being home to the red squirrel. Poole harbour is the second largest in the world stretching along the coast for around 99 miles, the largest is Sydney harbour. It was such a sunny day to be on the water and having never really explored Poole it was interesting to see it from a different angle.
If you are planning a trip in the UK, don’t miss this beautiful part of the world. The Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is just on the doorstep too. There is so much to explore in the area, especially if you love the outdoors…I will definitely be heading there again soon.