Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Plantation Pub, Restaurant & Rooms in Poole, Dorset

I recently decided that it was high time I visit the coast, having not been on a British seaside escape for several years. I booked a weekend away through Secret Escapes where I found The Plantation in Poole, a delightful pub with a restaurant and rooms. The Plantation was recently refurbished and boasts incredible food alongside comfortable accommodations. I'm happy to report that The Plantation is a beautiful, nearly magical place for a break from the city or a trip to the seaside!

Situated in a sleepy spot between Poole and Bournemouth, The Plantation is a quiet, comfortable oasis in a fairly green and wooded, yet residential area. What's surprising is that with just a few minutes of walking, you're on the beach. The location is serene and ideal for a quiet weekend away, although I wouldn't turn down a week there. The relaxation factor alone is just what's needed sometimes.

I've unfortunately been disappointed with hotel rooms more times than not here in the UK, but the rooms at The Plantation are spot on. Beautifully decorated, the rooms have everything you need for your home away from home including a hairdryer, bath & shower, still & sparkling water, big screen tv, telephone, robes & slippers, plenty of hangers in the wardrobe, fully stocked coffee & tea supplies tray, towels and Ren Skincare products in the bathroom.

The rooms are bright and airy with big windows for natural light when the weather is nice. I can't rave about the beds enough - they're comfy with plenty of pillows and a rather snuggly duvet. A couch at the end of the bed and a small table with two chairs gives the room a sort of homey, comfortable feel. I could've quite happily stayed in our room for another week!

The decor of the entire place is absolutely incredible and centers around The Plantation theme with old photographs, tropical embellishments and lots of elephant knick-knacks dotted around. Beautiful wall papers in crisp, clean and colorful patterns adorn several walls within the rooms and the restaurant while rustic, wooden & tin furniture give depth to the whole look.

We dined in the restaurant on our first night and the food was incredible. There are a few sections of the dining space including inside the pub, a beautiful glass-covered extension and outside tables. Additionally, there are a few huts outside for private drinking with friends or parties. Meals are served on old-fashioned pottery in keeping with Poole tradition and the food is rather breathtaking… An inventive take on many traditional British dishes with an emphasis on locally and responsibly sourced produce. As far as the bar goes, a wide selection of beers, spirits and wines are on tap and for those looking for something finer, you can spot a rather upmarket Margaux on the wine list as well as a few sparkling options. I was also impressed to find my favorite Scotch, Oban was behind the bar and every wine we tasted was delicious.

Breakfast is included for guests who are staying at the pub and to be honest, it might've been my favorite part of the trip. While there are continental options available, guests are also treated to hot breakfasts as well including a full English, or pretty much whatever you fancy. I opted for bacon, eggs, toast & hash browns every day and the bacon was the best I've had in ages… Soft, flavorful and quite obviously rather fresh. With coffee and juice on the side, we started each day off right with a delicious meal. A selection of newspapers is available for guests to enjoy during breakfast as well.

While staying at The Plantation, I got a real sense of community from the staff. They all seemed to get on well with each other and it was as if we knew them and vice versa after we'd been there only a few hours. Everyone working at The Plantation was incredibly pleasant and helpful, which only made the stay that much more enjoyable. 

Every detail has been addressed, or at least that's the impression I had from staying at The Plantation. Guests can enter through the pub where reception is clearly marked, however if you're going out and coming back late, there's a side entrance for guests to access with their room keys. Parking is available on location as well. Should you decide to stay at The Plantation, booking for the restaurant is advisable as it's rather popular with the locals, but other than that, you should consider yourself well taken care of from the moment you arrive. 

I was very pleased with both Secret Escapes and The Plantation and I would certainly use both again in the future. For more information on The Plantation or other Upham Group pubs, visit www.the-plantation.co.uk

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