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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Beach Restaurant Has An Extended Stay

The restaurant venue may be a regular fixture for the Bournemouth Air Show, but is here for the whole of August this time. Chesil Radio were invited along by BCP council as part of their regeneration of Bournemouth Seafront and this pilot scheme could see others in the future and for longer periods of time.

The restaurant right on the seafront between the two piers (Bournemouth & Boscombe) is not easy to see as you walk down from the Bournemouth end of the promenade. The event operated by Slick Events, and responsible for events at the Air Show have joined up with Bridport-born Gideon Hitchin to bring this Bayside Restaurant to life.

Bar & Grill Chef Gideon Hitchin

Housed in a barn-style wooden-framed marquee, which takes a little time to put together, which you can see on Bayside's facebook page ( but once inside it feels like its been there forever. With its wooden frame, it has a wooden floor and subtle lighting which opens out onto the seafront, with unrestricted views for those lucky at the front. Greeted with a glass of champagne and opportunity to meet new people, although most of the guests knew each other from the Air Show event.

BCP Council has plans to allow more hospitality activities on the beach, to create more jobs and tourism. Councillor Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Vibrant Places cut the ribbon and I did get to speak to her briefly to thank her for inviting us along to the opening and the tasting, and she was enthusiastic for more to join Bayside, but hadn't been without some hurdles with the local police, who had concerns, but as with all these venues they are not bars, they are restaurants that serve alcohol.

Earlier Beverley was quoted saying: “We continue to enhance our seafront with new dining experiences giving residents and visitors the very best time on our beautiful coastline. “So, we're piloting the fresh, new Bayside Restaurant Bar & Grill throughout August and the Bournemouth Air Festival. “With a divine menu it's not surprising that we've received a lot of interest from would-be diners who are excited about the possibility of relaxing with a freshly cooked meal, a cocktail and a view of our award-winning beaches.

“I encourage everyone to book up at Bayside while they can and be part of something different this summer, I'll see you there!” I had chance to taste the food on taster platers, my personal favourite was the mini steak and chips, a little sauce like many of the others were served with would have made that incredible. This followed by a welcome speech from the Slick Events team and the chef himself, that you can see in the video. Gideon was caught up with earlier and said: “This is a very different concept for Bournemouth beach – we’re offering relaxed vibes with good food - you could literally go for a swim between courses. “Our food will be a cut above just the usual burgers. We can cater for everyone from families coming off the beach looking for pasta and fish and chips, to people looking for something more special like champagne, oysters or lobster.

“I’m excited about the fact our food will be largely sourced from local businesses such as Neals And Son Butchers in Tuckton, TD Fruits in Southbourne and Poole-based merchants Templar Wines. “All our fish comes from Devon and Cornwall and we will have icecream from Salcombe Dairy stored in nine foot long boat with a mast, just to add to the experience. I welcome everyone down!” There was a wine sommelier Chad Christian, who is usually found as the head sommelier at Hotel du Vin in Poole, who tried to explain how to drink the wine properly to taste it but after champagne welcome, a lengthy wait to start the introductions, so many had already been to the bar for wine and other drinks, struggled even with a microphone to be heard over the sound of the guests, but as someone who isn't a wine drinker I really enjoyed the first one, which I am sure I would at £28 a bottle. The food and location is most definitely for me a treat, they already have 1,800 bookings and are only open until 31st August. Open from 10am each day for brunch, with many daily specials, I would certainly visit again, but need to get booked in quickly, although if space allows they will accept walk-ins. I wish them all the best and if you would like to find out more and book, visit: My tip would be to reach this venue if you have any mobility problems, that the land train does stop at the restaurant next door or you can drive, they do have a small pre-booked parking area or on-street meters, accessed from the Boscombe end.

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