I knew Steve Attrill (owner of the Hive & Watch House Cafe) was in the process of renovating the old cafe next to the car-park in West Bexington. But it wasn’t until we drove down that we spotted that it was complete and actually open.
It is called the Club House and was established in the 1930’s, when it was developed into a holiday village. With a Club House and outdoor Olympic sized swimming pool, plus beach huts. But it failed because of the outbreak of the Second World War and was converted into a cafe & small shop.
It has been modernised but with more than a nod to a 1930’s ‘members only’ club. Plus open plan kitchen and of course plenty of seating outside to enjoy the view across Lyme Bay. Parking is no problem as there is a row of reserved parking for diners.
We were so impressed with the ambience and the menu that we booked a table for the following week.
On the night we were greeted with a beaming smile from Lou Lou the manager. We had a great view from our table, Chesil Beach and the sea beyond, also the constant comings & goings of fisherman.
The menu is packed with great local produce, one supplier is only 500 yards away. This is Tamarisk farm, giving wholesome food to organic standards since 1960. For nibbles you can have Poole bay oysters (in vinaigrette or tempura), olives, smoked mackerel pate or chorizo & smoked bacon.
Starters were all fish except for a salad of beetroot & curd. Vicky wanted just a small starter, so ordered the smoked mackerel nibbles to come with my starter. When it arrived, they had made it into a stylish starter for her, which was a really nice touch. The pate had been mixed leaving plenty of texture, with a creamy light smoky flavour.
I had ordered the crab & shaved Wye valley asparagus salad. The Tamarisk Farm salad was totally summer fresh gorgeousness, with hidden little flavour bombs of fresh herbs. The delicious richness of the crab was able to cope with the multitude of flavours and the asparagus was cooked to perfection, still with a good crunch.
Mains again dominated with great sounding fish dishes, also one vegetarian dish of asparagus and two meat dishes of lamb cutlets or rib eye steak.
Vicky’s fish pie was full of good sized chunks of salmon & white fish, although the sauce was a little runny, but it was a proper fish pie all the same. Vicky also had a bowl of salad as a side dish, beautiful leaves, but towards the bottom it was way too salty for her to eat.
Lou Lou recommended the Lyme Bay cod in Sea Beet sauce and to accompany this a side of chorizo & new potatoes. Again a stunning looking dish, the large fillet of cod was cooked to perfection. The Sea Beet sauce was rich and creamy, a super charged spinach flavour. The chorizo & new potatoes had to have strong flavours to compete with the sauce and it did, lashings of smoky goodness.
We didn’t stop for dessert as we had a fridge full at home after a weekends entertaining. But it does give us an excuse to return, not that we need one.
Can’t recommend the Club House enough, fantastic beautiful food, prepared by skilful chefs and served by the most cheerful people – you just have to try it… You can book online and you also receive a reminder on the day.
The Club House
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|