I didn’t know quite what to expect from Bournemouth, but I went there with an open mind. I’d heard a few different things, but tried not to let it sway me either way! You can’t deny the amazing views of the sea from the paths running along the top of the seaside cliffs. The sandy beach stretches for seven miles from Sandbanks to Hengistbury, so plenty of long walks on the beach to be had. I can see why it’s such a popular beach destination for British holidaymakers.
The Boutique hotel we stayed in, The Orchid, had just been refurbished. I don’t remember seeing another hotel that looked as nice as ours, it was really clean and modern, but had a cosiness about it. The breakfast was included in the stay and had a small buffet selection as well as cooked to order options. Smoked salmon scrambled eggs always gets me!
I managed to get a Travelzoo voucher for the Hilton Restaurant, Schpoons and Forx, which Si and I enjoyed on the first night-2 courses each, 2 coffees and 2 cocktails for £29, bargain! We enjoyed our cocktails at the sky bar on the 8th floor. We then headed to a boho dive bar called 60 Million Postcards. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any music scheduled that night but we enjoyed a few bevvies with a very relaxed vibe.
I will warn that the city centre shops were a bit of a disappointment. I wouldn’t recommend Bournemouth for a shopping trip(there’s Brighton for that!) as the options were all box standard. Unless I missed something I’d say keep to the beaches! There is in the centre, a quirky café called Flirt and a couple of independent coffee shops to wet your whistle though. The interior at Flirt made me smile with its neon colours and random objects throughout.
The second night we met up with some friends at Da Mario’s, a wood fired pizza joint on the other side of town. FYI don’t go here if you don’t like pizza or if you are cashless. Pizza is the only thing on the menu and they don’t take cards! But on the plus side it’s pretty good pizza, served by real Italians and its BYOB for a small corkage fee 😉
After checking out the next morning, I headed to the borough of Boscombe and had an awesome hot yoga session at Yoga Lounge. Hot yoga is one of my favourite forms of exercise and hard to find in Devon. Quickest hour and a half of my life! Post session, I was desperate for some nourishment so walked a couple hundred yards down Christchurch road to Café Boscanova. It was exactly what I needed. The mezze platter and perfect flat white set me up for the day. One of the servers packed up my left overs for the journey home which was more than ideal. I would definitely check this place out if you’re in the area.
The highlight of the trip for me was stopping at Durdle Door on the way back to Devon. It’s only about 30 minutes from Bournemouth so makes for a perfect day trip for some coastal views and walks. It was one of those amazing times where my expectations of how beautiful it would be were surpassed by a mile. I could have stayed all day just getting photographs from different angles and waiting to see how the light and sea would change.