The Cumberland is arguably one of the grandest hotels along Bournemouth’s cliff top. With its striking art deco interior and sumptuous furnishings, it simply exudes glamour and elegance. But the venue also boasts one of the most relaxing ambiences you’ll find in the town.

The welcoming Ventana Grand Cafe, which overlooks the hotel’s outdoor pool, has a friendly buzz about it, comfy armchairs and cushions replacing dining chairs, for a more informal fine dining experience.

Awarded two AA Red Rosettes for 2014/15, the restaurant hosts regular Steak Nights and Fish Fridays, as well as day spa lunch and afternoon tea packages.

The dinner menu is extensive, featuring both dishes which have been tweaked slightly for the new season, and favourites which have been left well alone, as well as a few brand new selections.

It took us a while to narrow it down, but I eventually opted for the home prepared soup of the day (£5.70), which was tomato and basil, while my husband chose the chef’s duck liver and gin pate (£6.80) to start.

Our food arrived quickly and my soup was piping hot and extremely tasty with a satisfyingly thick texture. The pate, which was served with leaves and homemade, chunky bread, was accompanied by a tangy chutney.

After much deliberating, I settled on the chef’s rich steak, Guinness and onion pie (£13.60), and my husband ordered the grilled Suffolk chicken skewer to follow.

On a chilly evening, the pie was deliciously warming, served in a piping hot dish, topped with crispy pastry. The meat was amazingly tender and full of flavour and the accompanying champ – mashed potato with spring onion – was smooth and comforting.

My husband’s chicken skewer was served with a sweet potato and onion korma, basmati rice and a poppadom. There was a generous amount of tender chicken, with just the right amount of lightly spiced sauce and fragrant rice. We just had room left for a light dessert – I chose the pavlova (£6.50), while my husband went for the chef’s special – trio of pancakes.

Thankfully, there was a suitable gap before our desserts arrived, to allow our main courses to go down.

The pavlova was much larger than I was expecting, smothered with cream and tasty, fresh berries, while the pancakes were beautifully presented and traditionally garnished with sugar, lemon and maple syrup. Full to bursting and suitably relaxed, we could quite easily have nodded off in our comfy armchairs.

Fabulous food, in a fabulous setting, thoroughly recommended. 

www.cumberlandbournemouth.co.uk, 01202 298350