Nestled just off Poole Quay is Hotel du Vin & Bistro – an impressive Virginia creeper-clad Georgian mansion.

Stepping off the cobbled streets you are greeted with an impressive rich interior furnished with timeless pieces which are the epitome of comfort and luxury.

The British summertime heralds the time to embrace outdoor dining and just in time for the warmer, and longer days, Hotel du Vin Poole has launched a new Al Fresco menu that boasts the best tastes of summer.

Fresh, seasonal ingredients, plus their signature wine list and new colourful cocktails, can be enjoyed on a sunny day in their beautiful new outdoor courtyard. Furnished with stylish new furniture, shaded tables, lighting and surrounded by attractive planting and garden wall, this is a peaceful oasis in the heart of a picturesque medieval town.

As well as the surroundings, the menu has been given as much care and attention.

Bringing together some lighter, flavourful interpretations of bistro classics the Al Fresco menu features dishes such as watermelon, feta and red onion salad or scrumptious chargrilled corn-fed chicken with citrus and watercress salad.

Puddings include indulgences such as Baked Vanilla Cheesecake, Scottish Strawberries with Crème Chantilly and an artisan cheese selection with the finest fromages from France and Britain.

As the name denotes, wine is at the heart of Hotel du Vin.

The flavours of summer ring out in a specially chosen summer selection that debuts with Champagne by the glass and bottle, brings whites from the Kentish hills to the vineyards of Spain and summery reds from France and the sunshine state, California.

For those who want a summer drink that packs a punch they are now serving some enticing concoctions – including Hendricks Summer Punch or Ginger Brewski – in punch bowls.

Beer aficionados are not neglected with both local and international craft and fruit beers as well as Aspall’s Suffolk Dry Cyder.

On our visit on a beautiful summer’s day, we were greeted and seated in the quaint courtyard.

With water and a rustic wooden board delivered to our table serving a fine array of homemade bread and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, we pursued the new Al Fresco menu.

It would have been rude not to have sampled the new Hendricks Summer Punch, £25. It included a delightful mix of quintessentially British flavours including elderflower, apple, cucumber and cherry – presented in a large punch bowl perfect for sharing.

This was poured into metal tankards – a nice touch that kept the drink cool.

To begin, I opted for Crab Gazpacho with heritage tomatoes and basil, £5.50. This rich and oh-so-delicious chilled soup had a lovely spicy kick and included a generous stack of fresh crab.

My husband enjoyed the Oeuf en Meurette salad, £6.50, which was an egg poached in red wine, with pancetta, button mushrooms, baby onions and lettuce – a glorious combination of colour and texture.

For the centre of the meal I plumped for the Tuna Niçoise salad, £12.95, which included white Albacore tuna, green beans, soft boiled egg, green olives, anchovies, new potatoes and tomatoes. A colourful medley on a plate boasting refreshing flavours.

Richard devoured the mouth-watering Steak Frites, £20.95.

This chargrilled rump steak, served medium/rare to order, arrived with béarnaise sauce served in a small copper pot, half a tomato, rocket, and amazing frites served in an attractive copper cup.

To finish, I selected banana and chocolate brownie with aromatic coconut ice cream, £6.95.

Richard enjoyed Glaces et Sorbets, £6.95, that included mango, strawberry and lemon in a cool copper dish.

Other temping options on the new Al Fresco menu include Pint of Prawns, £9.50, Hotel du Vin Burger and Pommes frites, £14.50, and Poached Scottish Salmon, £14.95.

Saskia Droz, General Manager at Hotel du Vin Poole said: “We are very excited to have launched this delicious summer menu which is part of an array of fantastic summer events and offers, ‘An Alfresco Affair’.

“Join us for half price Hotel du Vin Champagne every Friday from 12pm, a BBQ on the Terrace every Saturday afternoon, a wine tasting or cocktail class on a Thursday night, or live music on the last Sunday of the month.”

Summer has certainly arrived at Hotel du Vin Poole and I for one will be going back.

l Hotel du Vin, Thames Street, the Quay, Poole BH15 1JN,