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The Oaks – Highcliffe | A Review

glass of white wine and a bowl of olives at the oaks highcliffe
*Ad – Gifted. All opinions are my own.
Let’s face it, we know I love to eat. My waistline and blog are a testament to that. However, it is usually me doing the cooking which is absolutely fine but isn’t quite as luxurious as having someone to cook for you which often means you enjoy it more. Then of course comes the opportunity of going out to eat and you get to eat and try things you never could have imagined and better things than you could ever cook, and it is a real treat. I have been fortunate enough to eat in a lot of different places throughout my life, but when I walked into The Oaks, in Highcliffe, Dorset I could tell instantly that this was going to be different. This place was special.

I didn’t really know what to expect – Highcliffe is known for being that little bit “posh” for want of a better word, so I made an effort with how I looked, smart but casual but was concerned it might be a little bit snooty. Boy was I wrong!

When you walk in, you’re greeted by lowish ceilings, a long bar, stone floors and little nooks to sit in. There is a desk where you can check in for your reservation and we were fortunate enough to be taken through and seated in the “green-house” area which is just beautiful. All the bits of furniture are mis-matched but in the good way, there are plants hanging from the ceiling and of course glass ceilings and walls. We went on a warm sunny day, but it didn’t get hot like a green house, there was nice breeze coming through the doors which lead out into the outside seating area where you can even sit and eat in a beach hut – it’s amazing.

We had our lovely server; Matthew introduce himself and he was super attentive and efficient throughout the whole meal and even managed to deliver a corny line of us being “sweet enough” when we asked for sugar for our coffee… bless him. Both he and all the staff we interacted with were amazing.

So, what about the food? I literally savoured every, single, bite. The food literally melted in your mouth. It was presented beautifully, like works of art but wasn’t pretentious or poncy, just good food done really well!

There are some great options for vegetarians such as the stunning Cheese Souffle starter or the Harissa-glazed Aubergine with butternut squash. For those panicking there might not be something they like, they do a little something of everything from steaks and burger to roast chicken or fish curry. There are so many options and side dishes as well as specials, you will be hard pressed to find something you don’t like.

We had a starter, main and dessert as well as drinks and coffees. Now, normally I wouldn’t manage all 3 courses but each one was just enough and not too much, meaning I could fit in just that little bit more. I think the coffee is probably the nicest coffee I have ever had to be honest.

The drinks menu is extensive from spirits to ales to ciders to wine and champagne. We sampled some of the soft drinks (they do have cocktails and mocktails) as well as an absolutely stunning New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which just sang on the palette as much as the food.

Now, whenever I visit somewhere, I do always look and see if it would be somewhere, I could take Alyssa. When we arrived, there were already family filled tables with lots of children of different ages enjoying the meal. They do have highchairs available and they have just launched an amazing new kids menu which has options for all appetites and even fussy little eaters.

I can honestly say, I do not have a bad thing to say about The Oaks, Highcliffe. We ended up staying just a little under 3 hours because we were so relaxed and happy and really enjoying ourselves. The atmosphere is wonderful, and I could quite imagine losing a whole afternoon there very easily in the sunshine or cosy inside in the winter evenings.

The only thing it is missing is a little bit more parking as there is not nearly enough for the number of tables inside. However, there is parking available nearby and I am in no way going to punish them for that.

Looking for somewhere nice to eat in Dorset? You NEED to visit The Oaks, Highcliffe. As I said, this place is special.


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