IT’S not often that amazing, high quality food is matched with a breathtaking view.

But that’s exactly the combination you’ll find at the Harbour Bistro at the Harbour Heights Hotel in Sandbanks.

On a summer evening, there really is nothing better than sitting in a relaxing, first class restaurant, watching the sun set over the harbour.

It’s all change at the AA four-star hotel for the summer months, with a new head chef and a new menu to match.

Diners can choose from a set menu, or order off the a la carte selection, and there are also new lunch and breakfast menus on offer, as well as a new barbecue selection for those warm evenings.

With not one, but two extensive wine menus, and an expert sommelier on hand to help you choose, everything here is tailored to giving you the perfect dining experience.

Local residents, first-time visitors or returning regulars are all treated to the same friendly, warm welcome, making sure you are made to feel right at home from the minute you walk in the door.

The waiting staff are discreet, while the managers and even the chef are on hand to discuss your requirements and ensure every last detail is taken care of.

I chose the grilled rosary goats cheese to start, while my husband opted for the south coast seared scallops.

The cheese was deliciously rich and creamy and accompanied perfectly by the crunchy samphire and deliciously sweet roasted baby beetroot, set off with a tangy lemon emulsion.

My only complaint was that the portion was slightly too large and, being so rich, I wanted to ensure I had room for a further two courses.

The scallops were cooked to perfection and beautifully complemented by the smoked flavours of the chorizo, the pea puree and a lemon confit.

For our main courses, I chose the slow braised rump of lamb, which was served with creamed potato, broad beans, peas and a lamb jus.

My husband, ever the steak fan, went straight for the chargrilled filet steak, accompanied by hand cut chips, a green salad, roast plum tomato and a peppercorn sauce.

Both dishes were very well received.

The lamb was deliciously tender and cooked just the right amount to ensure it was perfectly pink, but full of flavour.

For a chilly April evening, the mash was a comforting treat, while I just couldn’t get enough of the mouth-watering jus.

My husband declared the steak the best he had ever had, while the accompanying chips were perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – just the way hand-cut chips should be.

I had to finish off with something sweet so, while my husband chose the British cheese board, I went for the chocolate fondant pudding.

It was well worth the 15-minute wait while it was freshly baked. Quite simply, chocolate heaven on a plate.

The richness of the chocolate worked beautifully with the lighter flavours of the white chocolate ice cream, crushed praline and raspberries, although I did have to admit defeat half way through.

A quick taste of the cheeses confirmed they were the perfect end to a meal for those with more savoury-inclined tastebuds.

This is simply, fine dining at its very finest.