Page 20 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 20

The Point at the Haven Hotel
Guests to The Point (formerly La Roche), which is within Poole’s landmark Haven Hotel, can be reassured that when their culinary experience is described as ‘waterside dining’ there is no creative licence at play. The Point sits proudly at the mouth of Poole Harbour – keeping watch over those that come and go by water, every single day of the year.
Dating back to 1887, the Haven Hotel sat virtually in isolation at the tip of the Sandbanks peninsula, memorably pioneering wireless transmissions thanks to Guglielmo Marconi in 1897. Over the years it has welcomed guests from the heights of music, politics, and theatre, thanks to its unique aspect and one that has maintained a certain standard, which continues to impress.
Don’t be distracted by the stunning view from every table in the split-level restaurant, or from the al fresco terrace, as ferries,  shing boats, (their catch featuring in the kitchens imminently) and pleasure craft pass by – the menu after all is the star attraction!
Feast was lucky enough to dine over lunch on a sunny day (whatever the weather presents it’s always a pleasure) and took advantage of the  xed price menu at £26 for two courses and £34 for three.
The wine list is a favoured pastime of the hotel’s owner and features the world’s (old and new)  nest vineyards and producers with a delightful section called ‘ ne and rare’ with prices to match his enthusiasm.
There were four choices each for the starter, main, and dessert and a less than expected ratio of  sh to meat. The button mushroom soup with olive oil and chives was earthy, generous, and had a hearty consistency. It went down very well with the home-baked breads, as did the crispy  shcake with a perfectly poached egg and wholegrain mustard hollandaise – a really impressive starter both on the eye and on the palate.
From the mains of lamb, duck, bream, and risotto our guest chose the Creedy Carver duck breast with creamed potato, tenderstem broccoli, carrot, and cardamom purée. It was a picture and served in a really creative way, chef has a good
eye and knows how to cook duck – beautifully pink with crispy skin. The  llet of sea bream, served on robust vegetable minestrone with a potent pesto dressing, was exciting and unusual.
We had agreed on a two-course savoury experience, but the desserts of chocolate tart, zabaglione, and parfait enticed. We shared a pumpkin seed parfait with kiwi, lime, and lychee salsa and we were rewarded – the parfait beautifully textured with a subtle  avour of seed and again a stunning presentation of colour and composition.
If one elects to dine on the terrace, the lounge menu is on o er – salads such as feta cheese and toasted pine nut, charcuterie platters, and Dorset dressed crab – quite exceptional on a sunny day.
The Point is hard to fault, and along with the new name there is a new manager/sommelier so expect more wine tastings, regular menu changes and continued  ne service. For two it was just £80 including service, which was an absolute pleasure!
01202 707333
Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7QL

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