Situated in a quaint, cobbled street off the bustling quayside in Poole, Hotel du Vin simply oozes classical elegance.

Built originally in 1776 as the Mansion House, the popular hotel has been decorated in the traditional, classy du Vin style with original stone stairs and columns making for a striking entrance, leading through into a welcoming interior.

Downstairs, the comfy sofas and low beams of the Snug entice guests to enjoy an aperitif, cocktail or nightcap, while the characterful Bistro boasts a relaxed ambience perfect for an intimate dinner a deux or a social evening with friends.

An outdoor terrace offers al fresco dining for warmer evenings, but we enjoyed our meal on a rather drizzly evening in the cosy comfort of the Bistro.

The eaterie prides itself on locally sourced, high standard dishes - on the night we visited both scallops and moules were off the menu as the chef had deemed them not good enough quality.

Instead, after perusing the extensive, French-inspired menu, we opted for the charcuterie plate (£9.50) and the whipped goat's cheese and heritage beetroot salad (£7.50) to start, followed by the roast rump of lamb (£17.50) and the ribeye steak (£26.95).

We were left to enjoy a drink, and some warm, homemade bread before the friendly waiting staff delivered our generously sized starters. The charcuterie plate, which consisted of a selection of tasty homemade terrine, cured meats, pickles and Dijon mustard, was a particularly large portion.

The creamy goat's cheese perfectly complemented the sweetness of the beetroot and made for a satisfying, yet light start to the meal.

All Hotel du Vin's steaks are dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 28 days, a process which inevitably added to the flavour of the tender, juicy meat, which was served with pommes frites and a choice of sauce (my husband was torn between the garlic butter and bearnaise, so was helpfully offered a pot of each). He declared it cooked to perfection.

My roast lamb was accompanied by summer vegetable fricassee in a light tomato broth, which was just right for a more delicate, summery dish. Both the meat and the vegetables, which included carrots, broad beans and peas, were full of flavour and I was delighted to still have room for a dessert.

My husband chose the cinnamon beignets (£7.50), while I went for the mousse au chocolat (£6.95), from the Al Fresco menu.

The beignets, small, round doughnuts topped with sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon, were warm from the oven and simply melted in the mouth when dipped in the accompanying Valrhona chocolate sauce.

My mousse, which was topped with cream and chocolate chips, was smooth and rich, and I was disappointed to have to admit defeat just half way through.

A relaxed evening with good quality food and friendly, attentive staff - all the ingredients for the perfect meal.