It's been stood empty for around ten years, before finally opening its doors four weeks ago, so we were eager to see what Neo, the glass-fronted restaurant at Bournemouth's Hermitage Hotel, had to offer.

Despite being built nearly a decade ago, the rotunda-style eaterie was the subject of a boundary dispute with Bournemouth Borough Council, so it was all hands on deck to transform the building into the glistening, contemporary restaurant it is now.

Ideally located in the town's Exeter Road to enjoy sea views, it features a light and airy bar area on the ground floor, perfect to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, as well as a spacious upstairs restaurant.

We chatted to the friendly, knowledgeable bar staff over a drink before being taken upstairs to our table, situated right in the window, overlooking the pier.

The spacious eaterie, called the Grand Cafe, has a classic art deco style and is surprisingly spacious, seating 200 people.

There are several menus available at Neo, including the bar/patio menu, served daily from 12pm to 5.30pm; a set menu, served daily from 12pm to 3pm and 5.30pm to 6.30pm, and the dinner menu, served daily from 6pm to 10pm.

A range of nibbles are on offer to pick at while you choose your meal, such as cured meats and pickles, oysters, patatas bravas and olives and breads.

I opted for the asparagus risotto (£6.50) - also available as a main for £11.50 - to start, while my husband chose the roasted scallops (£11.50).

For our mains, dishes on offer included chicken breast, roast pork belly, roast cod loin, duck breast and tempura vegetables, but we both chose from the Josper grill selection.

I went for the 10oz lamb rump (£21), while my husband opted for the 10oz ribeye (£23).

Service was very prompt, and our starters were both attractively presented.

My risotto was very generous in size, served with peas and mint and topped with deliciously creamy, tangy Isle of Wight blue cheese - simply delicious.

The scallops were cooked to perfection, and complemented well by the accompanying crispy strips of pork belly and apple.

Already feeling pretty full, I was rather worried when the mains arrived soon after our starters were cleared away, but the lamb was so tasty I couldn't help but tuck in.

The Josper grill - which uses only burning charcoal to cook and is described as the hottest indoor barbecue available - gave the meat a delicious chargrilled flavour, complemented perfectly by the accompanying buttery Bearnaise sauce.

I chose to have minted potatoes instead of the hand cut chips, which had a lovely fresh, salty taste.

My husband's steak was juicy, most and full of flavour, served with a good sized portion of satisfyingly chunky chips, as well as more of the Bearnaise sauce, caramelised onion and watercress.

I was intending to opt for a light sorbet for dessert, but was too tempted by the dark chocolate torte (£6.85) and my husband fancied the apple strudel (£6.85).

Again, both arrived promptly. Thankfully, the torte was much lighter than I was expecting, with a delicious bitterness that was set off beautifully by confit orange and a scoop of rich espresso Baileys ice cream.

The warm strudel consisted of crispy flaky pastry packed with tangy apples and juicy sultanas and topped with cinnamon syrup, vanilla and basil creme fraiche ice cream.

We were tempted further by the range of dessert cocktails, including the After Dinner Mint and Bakewell Martini, but had to finally admit defeat and head for home.

Great location, great service and great food - what more could you ask for?

Visit to book your table.