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Review: Brasserie Blanc at the Highcliff Marriott

As someone who loves to eat out and try new restaurants when they appear, I have no idea how the opening of Raymond Blanc’s new restaurant at the Highcliff Marriott passed me by. Launching in July last year, Bournemouth’s Brasserie Blanc joins the chain of French restaurants established by the Michelin star chef.

BB-Bournemouth-106-750x500Having dined at the former Marriott restaurant on a number of occasions, I always found the décor to be a little dated and was excited to see how it had been revamped.

When arriving at Brasserie Blanc, it was amazing to see such a transformation. After a complete overhaul, the restaurant boasts the chic and stylish surroundings you’d expect from one of the area’s top hotels.

The views are stunning (unsurprisingly) and with a beautiful terrace area, I can see this becoming a very popular destination throughout the summer months.

Greeted by Mandy, the restaurant’s Deputy General Manager, we were instantly made to feel welcome and she offered advice on what wine to choose based on what we were thinking of eating. Her choice was excellent, and we settled in by perusing the new Spring menu.

IMG_9151Choosing from a wide selection of seasonal dishes, I settled on the Potted Cromer Crab & Avocado (£8.50) and my wife chose the BB Cheese Soufflé (£6.95) to start. The crab was fresh, succulent and tasty, while the soufflé was cooked to perfection with a light and fluffy texture. We were off to a good start!

As we were dining in a French restaurant, we both thought ‘when in Rome’ and went for the classic Bœuf Bourguignon (£16.95) for main course. We were expecting great things after the delightful starters, and we were not disappointed. The beef was melt-in-the-mouth and full of flavour, with the wine perfectly complimenting the overall dish.  

I barely had room for dessert, but Mandy recommended the Pistachio Soufflé (£6.90) and I thought it would rude not to. My wife went for something a little different and chose the Coconut Rice with Fresh Mango (£6.90). The Soufflé was divine, served with rich chocolate ice cream. Once again, it was light, fluffy and full of flavour. And whilst my wife’s dish wasn’t something I’d ever choose myself, it matched the quality of the other courses and made for a great finale to a tremendous dining experience.

IMG_9146For me, Bournemouth has been crying out for something like Brasserie Blanc. And with its picturesque location, it’s shot to the top of my list of places to eat in the town centre. It offers a relaxed and charming setting without the formalities of a fine dining restaurant, but provides food that lives up to the reputation of its creator. The price certainly reflects the quality and you’ll be well looked after by their fabulous staff.

Bien fait, monsieur Blanc!

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Dominic Brancaleone

Dominic Brancaleone

Dom completed a BA (Hons) degree in Arts & Media and gained a number of professional credits working on film and TV productions before heading to Bournemouth to complete a screenwriting Masters degree. Now he spends most of his time rowing and producing video content for national and international brands.

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