Whilst staying at the gorgeous eco friendly boutique hotel, The Green House in Bournemouth, we also enjoyed the hotels two AA Rosette restaurant, Arbor. Arbor is Latin for tree, which according to Arbor, reflects “our roots, our strong eco attitudes and our love of the countryside”. This is also demonstrated by the large ornate decorative tree in the middle of the restaurant, which I think is a rather unique and attractive finishing touch.
In keeping with The Green House, who have a passion for sustainability, being environmentally friendly and using local suppliers and great products, most of the ingredients used at Arbor are organic, seasonal and locally sourced. The restaurant also tries as much as possible to reduce it’s carbon footprint in everything they use.
We dined in the restaurant for dinner from Arbor’s pre-theatre menu, which cost just £22 each for the three courses. Those three courses were stunningly presented, very rich, full of flavour and exceedingly tasty. I don’t personally have any dietery requirements, but I did notice that much of the menu is gluten free and there were more than the usual amount of vegetarian dishes too, which just goes to show the hotel’s commitment to satisfying everyone.
I had the Confit Chicken Terrine, Smoked Breast and Leek Velouté to start, the Crab Risotto with Onion Fritter for my main course and a Rhubarb and Custard Arctic Roll with Rhubarb Fool for dessert.
Mike had Spiced Sweet Potato Samosa with Mango Chutney for his starter, a Green House Burger & Hand-Cut Chips for his main course and a Baked Banana Cheesecake with Butterscotch Ice Cream and Banana Fritter for dessert.
I couldn’t fault the food the food at all and I can see why the restaurant has Rosettes. It was a little rich in comparison to what we are used to, but both of us ate every morsel put in front of us.
We had taken baby food in with us for Baby Bear and the waiters were happy to warm it for us and provide bowls and spoons to feed him.
We also dined at Arbor for breakfast, where Mike had a plentiful New Forest breakfast and I had smoked salmon with free-range Dorset scrambled eggs. We have since criticised every place we’ve sampled breakfast, just trying to find somewhere where the scrambled egg comes even close to tasting as good as it did at Arbor. There was a small continental buffet to compliment the cooked breakfast and so I couldn’t not taste the delicious pastries. Breakfast was absolutely faultless.
Baby Bear enjoyed a generous portion of porridge, made especially for him. For older children, Arbor have a children’s menu with everything from boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast, to Sausage and Mash for dinner. It was refreshing to experience such a lovely restaurant, with absolute finesse in all it’s dishes, which was also baby and child friendly. Often as a parent I find we have to compromise on luxury to find somewhere which is family friendly, but not here. I would feel quite comfortable dining here with all four of my children and I’m confident that we’d get the same attentive service that we got just the three of us.
Mike and I can’t wait to return to Arbor soon. I’m keen to sample the afternoon tea. We are hoping to book more overnight stays at The Green House too. Both Arbor and The Green House hold special memories for us now.