With its enviable position on the tip of the Sandbanks peninsula, the Haven Hotel is the epitome of style and luxury.

This waterside restaurant, boasting incredible views across to the Purbecks and Old Harry Rocks, has long had a reputation for quality and service. The Point Restaurant, formerly known as La Roche, has been given an elegant make-over. The decor and the menu have had an entire overhaul, with both hotel guests and local residents able to enjoy a whole new dining experience.

"It hadn't been refurbished for a while and we wanted to do something new, different and exciting" explains Marketing Manager, Julian Butterworth. "It made sense to give it a new name and identity. We loved the name being closely linked to the shipping navigational areas North and South Haven Points which restaurant sits in-between.”

With help from interior designers, the restaurant now features simple elegant black tables with classic gold edging, with matching serving stations. The lighting has been refreshed and even the cutlery and crockery has been hand-picked to add a stylish finishing touch.

"We just wanted our diners to have an exceptional experience from the moment they sit at these beautiful tables, to taking in the view, to eating the food.” says Julian. "Everything is of outstanding quality, when you dine here you are transported to a totally different level of restaurant, which is accessible to everyone.”

One of the main aims of the redevelopment was to make the restaurant accessible to those who live in the area, as well as guests staying at the hotel.

"One our biggest responsibilities in marketing the restaurant is to make it welcome to everyone, not just hotel guests," says Julian. "We don't want anyone to presume it’s too highly priced, which it isn’t, or that its inaccessible to non-residents. It’s a smart casual restaurant open to all!”

A new booking system has been introduced at The Point Restaurant, meaning guests can now make reservations online. This is soon to be complemented by the introduction of an SMS text confirmation service.

Of course, no restaurant revamp would be complete without a menu redesign. Head Chef, Jason Hornbuckle, has introduced a new, two-tier menu offering, in order to appeal to everyone who visits The Point Restaurant.

"We want it to be known for as a stand-alone restaurant," he explains. "There is a delicious daily changing menu, with a choice of three starters, three main courses and three desserts, and also a chef's special menu. The special menu – as it says in the title – has truly exceptional unique special dishes, like Portland crab and hand-dived scallops, line-caught sea bass. We are also ordering things like marsh-fed lamb, whole, then we will butcher them down and make dishes out of the whole lamb. We are using more experienced skill levels in producing these finer dishes, so the prices will reflect that."

There is a larger emphasis on seafood at The Point Restaurant during the summer months, but Jason is quick to stress that it is not purely a seafood restaurant.

"The meats that we buy from the area are great," he says. "Our produce is probably first and foremost our priority - we buy the best we possibly can - ‘start with the best ingredients and you can't go wrong' has always been a philosophy of mine.

“We have been working on lifting the standard of the food, creating an outside customer following. Growing, from not only, being a great hotel restaurant but also being a foodie destination restaurant as well; and we felt the idea of offering two menus was the only way to do that."

Jason explains that the prices on the chef’s special menu had to reflect the quality of the food and skills needed to create the dishes; yet he wanted affordability to everyone and therefore chose to offer competitively priced daily menus too.

"Our objective is to be able to bring everybody together and be able to enjoy the food at the Haven Hotel at all different levels," he says.

Jason is thrilled to have been involved in the refurbishment of the restaurant - and admits he was almost more excited about the cutlery than about the food.

 "First and foremost it's obviously the food on the plate - but for me, dining is all about a journey and an experience. Food is my passion, and eating good food is my favourite past-time.

“Some places you remember not only for the food, but the whole experience. We don't want to be a pretentious restaurant that thinks it’s all about the food. Here you are experiencing textures of the plates, the designs, the service, the exciting anticipation of what’s is next – that really interests me.”

"The other thing for me that was really important was what you eat with - the feel and balance of the cutlery in the hand when you're actually eating the food. Choosing the cutlery was probably one of the most exciting points.”

It's that attention to detail that both Julian and Jason have invested in the refurbishment that will set The Point Restaurant aside from its competitors, as a real destination restaurant for both hotel guests and foodie locals alike.

"I think we've really considered everything at a totally different level," says Jason. "It's going to enhance the experience for everybody."



The Sandbanks Hotel proudly opens its new pop-up Chinese restaurant, Ocean Palace at Sandbanks, offering customers a unique Asian dining experience at a stunning beach-side location.

Diners will enjoy an array of tasty Chinese dishes authentically cooked onsite in the hotel's very own dedicated Chinese kitchen. With a vast menu choice, jam-packed with delicious delights to tempt your every visit. There are more than 100 menu choices including better known dishes such as crispy aromatic duck to lesser known specialties such as sizzling Mandarin fillet of beef, or baked lobster in spicy black bean sauce – from light tasters through to mouth-watering three courses.

To book a table at Ocean Palace at Sandbanks call 01202 707377.