Having lived in the area most of my life I know only too well their reputation for fabulous cocktails!

It was once, prior to the financial demands every 30-something encounters today, in fact one of my regular haunts for after-work succulent cocktails.

I had never eaten there, however, despite my regular visits. When I got the chance to do a review on a three course meal I jumped on it – if it’s as a good as the beverages, I’m in for a treat!

Following our aperitifs we headed to the back of the bar to the private dining room and were seated, handed some menus and told not to hesitate to ask for any recommendations of wine to accompany each course. The manager had a very extensive knowledge on the subject.

I was pleasantly surprised at the level of seafood-influenced dishes though there was a strong variety of other dishes for those less fish-loving.

The Thai-style mussels I’m told – because my dinner companion refused to share them – were stunning, and brimming with coriander and garlic.

I opted for the Dorset ham hock and prosciutto terrine served with toasted onion bread and apple purée. I would have preferred something a little sharper than the sweet apple but that is only a personal choice. It was a thoroughly tasty and satisfying meal.

The whole sea bass stuffed with lemon and thyme was beautifully cooked and accompanied well by the sautéed greens and potatoes and chorizo I’d selected. A heavenly and satisfying dish.

At 10oz, the sirloin steak was larger than most you see on menus, with an enormous amount of chunky chips, portobello mushroom and cherry tomatoes – proving this place can do both quality and quantity.

So much so that my steak-loving companion abandoned the dessert menu – something that does not happen regularly given his sweet tooth.

I opted for the lemon posset with strawberries and shortbread. There are few finer things on this Earth than a good fruit-inspired pudding and this one I rank up there with the best.

I will say this – You can really relax while you eat but the buzzing bar is just a Singapore sling away if you want to join the buzz after! Not that it detracted in any way from the nice atmosphere in the restaurant but it is always comforting to see bustling trade at a place you remember so fondly.

My advice? Go. Eat, drink and be merry. You’ll be glad – and full – you did.

By Lauren Howard.

Photography by Alex Dixon.