I don’t know if you noticed recently, but good heavens it is getting cold out there. Accordingly, some friends and I couldn’t think of anything better to do than go for a lengthy stroll along the seafront and put our winter wardrobes through their paces.
After ‘shopping around’ for a cosy-looking pub in the New Forest that had some kind of vegan offering on the menu, we failed. Shout out to The Alice Lisle which did have a plant-based selection but was too popular to book a table.
And so, we went on recommendation from a friend of ours who directed our attentions towards Barton-On-Sea.
We booked a table for the 6 of us at 2pm and so began our Sunday adventure with a brisk and (as I previously mentioned) refreshing stomp along the seafront, ducking some voracious waves as we went. After 30 minutes or so, we clambered back up from the pebbles onto the cliff top and with sunshine basking our rosey faces, headed back towards the restaurant.
I’d never visited The Cliff House before so I was excited to try something different out. A calm and cosy atmosphere, the clientele was – for the most part – comprised of well-mannered families and small friendly parties. Our table was in the middle of the main dining room – and a beautifully chunky wooden table it was a that.
First up – drinks. The drinks menu has an impressive selection of gins if they’re your poison of choice. I suspect they receive a lot of love in the summer time when the winds are less abrasive. Never one to pass up a Sunday tipple if I haven’t already suffered from a self-induced hangover the day before, we opted for Aspall’s finest Suffolk cider.
The Sunday lunch menu includes the usual staples for those who choose it but for the vegans amongst our party (me), it was nice to have some options.
For starters there was a piping hot tomato & basil soup with freshly-baked breads or a small portion of their classic Winter Salad of roast beetroot, squash, red onions, confit Tomatoes and walnuts in a classic Vinaigrette (also gluten free). For mains, there was also Roasted Curried Cauliflower with red lentil Dahl and onion bhaji on offer.
As you might have been able to tell from its exotic and colourful description, for the first time (maybe ever), the salad caught my attention.
It did not disappoint.
A beautiful looking meal that inspires jealousy in my fellow diners is always a good start. The salad combined beautifully fresh (and colourful) ingredients, soft leaves and crunchy walnuts to deliver a taste sensation.
Not what I would describe as your typical salad! After what looked like a delicate and modestly proportioned main, I felt completely satisfied, and I can eat. But in the name of research (I do these articles for the greater good, you see), it was time to take on the dessert challenge.
With the recommendation of the hostess, the chef assembled the pudding of dreams – a Vegan Mess of fresh fruits, blackberry sorbet and slabs of honeycomb (which I learned was not made of treacle, not honey!).
Despite feeling indulged, this frosty delight was a beautiful finish to a lovely meal as the sun began to set on our afternoon.
I would absolutely recommend The Cliff House for vegans (and others). A fantastically varied menu, wonderfully attentive service and a room with a view.
But if you’re heading there any time soon, make sure you wrap up warm for the journey!
The Cliff House
Marine Drive West
Barton on Sea
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||No|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|