It was a friend's birthday and they booked the Chef's Table dining experience at Flavours in Pokesdown. Flavours is mainly a cookery school that caters for children and adults alike, with lessons during the day and occasionally in the evening. It is run by Des who is a very laid back, funny, engaging and very cool host.
This is not a licensed restaurant so you can bring your own wines, your best wines, which makes it even better value and bigger experience.
We had an 8-course meal in front of us after the gentle introduction. There were 8 of us that night although they can go up to 12 for the Chef's Table event, which basically means you have the whole place to yourself with Des cooking aided by two assistants and a dish washer.
We were free to ask questions throughout and get involved in the preparation of the course.
Things ticked along from one course to another very smoothly. Never rushed nor did we wait too long between courses. I was getting very full towards the end, actually it was more like towards the middle so make sure you don’t each too much in the day beforehand.
It started off with deep fried panko-coated camembert followed by their own baked bread, of which they do bakery courses on. The curry bread was amazing.
This was followed by a spring pea soup with a ravioli of soft cheese.
We then had two main courses of fish (pan fried cod and then sea bass), as the birthday girl didn't eat meat, but this can be tailored for you.
Angela got involved in piping the base for the pan fried cod whilst someone else was helping with the beurre noisette.
We had a palette cleanser in between, then a pre-dessert before the actually dessert! Now you can understand why I was getting rather full.
At £55 per head for such a meal I think is good value, but factor in that you get the whole place to yourself (minimum numbers apply) and also that you can bring your own drinks means you end up with a brilliant night.
I definitely want to go back again, just need the right excuse.
Flavours School of Cookery, 1097 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH7 6BQ. Tel: 01202 424 445