Di outside the Hotel
However one has to feel that Hotel Du Vin have made a huge marketing error by opening in Poole. Their restaurant/hotels are generally in prosperous thriving towns such as Winchester, Brighton, Harrogate, and Cambridge. Perhaps they associated Poole with mega rich Sandbanks, if so they have made an awful mistake. Poole is, I am afraid to say, a bit of a dump.
The Brownsea Ferry
On the face of it, it didn’t seem to bad, the area around the Quay was very pretty, and bathed in Autumn sunshine, but it didn’t take long to arrive in to the town centre which was an architectural disaster on the same scale of so many other provincial towns in the South such as Reading, Bracknell, Basingstoke,Woking, and Southampton. 1960’s concrete overshadows anything that might once have been pretty about the place, and the construction of a hideous glass shopping centre called The Dolphin has effectively put the high street out of business, turning it in to a depressing soulless forgotten town riddled with closing down sales and To Let signs.
Me in the not so bad Quay area
We didn’t hang around in the centre and headed back to the Quay area and had a drink in a pub with no-one in it. It boasted on it’s sign fine ales and real food, but all I could see was John Smiths bitter and a blackboard boasting a Classic (case of samonella) Sunday Lunch for £4.95. In my experience Sunday Lunch for £4.95 is something best avoided unless you are looking for an extra night’s accommodation in Dorset Royal Infirmary. We didn’t hang around.
Fishing boats on The Quay
We retreated back to the Hotel, and had a perfect evening of food and wine, which quickly erased the memories of what was outside our walls. The food at Hotel Du Vin really is excellent quality, and the staff are helpful and friendly. The restaurant has lovely ambiance about it, and their Hotels always have excellent heated patio gardens for those fancy a smoke. It takes a lot to impress a cynical old bastard like me, but the Hotel Du Vin ticks all my boxes, we had a great time. It’s just a shame there was not much to do today, and I think this particular hotel will suffer for that. Most people like to spend their shorts breaks doing a bit of wandering around or shopping, but as you will see below, Poole is not Bath, Brighton, or Winchester, and and consequence of that the the ongoing success story of Hotel Du Vin may suffer it’s first set back. Right hotel, wrong venue was the opinion we both shared.