Contemporary beach-side Urban Reef is an eclectic, modern venue. With a new summer menu, new Head Chef and the summer season in full flow, now is the time to go, especially if you haven’t yet paid a visit.

Situated on Boscombe promenade, this glass fronted restaurant is a popular, relaxed eatery, filled with diners keen to soak up the beautiful uninterrupted seafront views from its restaurant, terrace and balcony – and least we forget the scrumptious grub.

Local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients are the words we all want to hear when choosing from a menu – and Urban Reef’s new summer bill of fare does not disappoint.

Customers tucking into fresh local produce is something new Head Chef Wayne Joyce, 37, gets a real buzz from, which is why he has meticulously created a stunning menu for summer.

Some of the seasonal vegetables he uses have been home grown at Urban Reef’s own farm in the New Forest - delivered direct to Wayne within an hour of being hand-picked.

Dorset, born and bred, Wayne finds inspiration in his menu choices from local produce and enjoys supporting local brands to give customers a true taste of Dorset and Hampshire.

Conker Gin and Dorset Tea appear in some of his favourite dishes including; Dorset Dry Conker Gin and beetroot cured salmon with compressed cucumber, shallot, celeriac remoulade and samphire; and lightly curried yogurt and sustainable hake fritters with a cucumber and mint relish, mixed seasonal salad.

Other Dorset and Hampshire inspired dishes include: Lymington crab; New Forest Marque wild mushroom and Old Winchester risotto, Dorset rock oysters from Poole Harbour, and Nachos with mature cheddar and Dorset sour cream.

All these dishes can be washed down by Urban Reef’s new exclusive craft ales themed around local smugglers Tregonwell and Gulliver.

Behind the kitchen pass, Head Chef Wayne leads a team of dedicated chefs. Since joining Urban Reef in March, 2017, he has built a strong new team around him including sous chefs Gvido Jankevics and Nicole Lanning, who all worked together during Wayne’s nine year stint at Sandbanks Hotel.

“Each member of the team is very unique. I’ve learnt how to deal with Gvido and Nicole over the years and we work together well as a team. Out of all the people that I’ve had working with me, they are very loyal to me,” says Wayne.

“I want everyone to have fun at work as long as we get everything done. If you don’t have fun you’ll go crazy. I really like the connection between front of house and the kitchen here now.”

“When you get a compliment it makes it all worthwhile. I love the bustle, the heat and the stress. An easy life would bore me!” chuckles Wayne.

“I’ve always been creative and hands on. I wouldn’t want the team to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”

Growing up with a family of food lovers certainly helped Wayne’s interest of food to flourish. His grandparents worked as bakers and he spent many occasions cooking with his mum or visiting his family allotments.

Wayne says: “I completed work experience at The Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth when I was at school – that was a real eye opener but it got me into cooking. I studied NVQ level 3 catering at Bournemouth & Poole College.”

After graduating, he developed his career at various local venues. Aged 21, Wayne moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked for JW Marriot as junior sous chef. Two years later, he transferred back to the UK joining the Marriot’s Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire. His travels don’t stop there – he has also worked in kitchens in France, covering a ski season, and jetted off to Thailand for a year.

Over the last twenty years Wayne’s gained a wealth of experience and earnt himself a coveted award at the Wessex Salon Culinaire - a competition for culinary excellence.

“I think my style fits in well with Urban Guild – fresh and seasonal, the food isn’t pretentious, but simple and clean. Local produce is a priority for us. Owner Mark Cribb has an enthusiasm which is infectious and I love working with people who have the same vision and freedom to develop great venues.”

Summer dining doesn’t get much better than this – the perfect spot to enjoy a suitable Dorset ‘hit’ of local fresh food and a seaside tipple to top it all off.

• Urban Reef Restaurant, The Overstrand, Undercliff Drive, Boscombe BH5 1BN / 01202 443960 / /