UNTIL now, The Cottonwood Boutique Hotel has been renowned for it’s rather lively decor and outrageously decadent all you can eat chocolate buffets.

What’s not so well known about this art deco style hotel on Bournemouth’s East Cliff, is the ground-floor Garden Restaurant.

You still find yourself taking a sharp intake of breath as you stroll through the hotel lobby and lounge which is a riot of pinks, pastels and florals.

The restaurant is toned down by comparison, although it could still be described as bold.

But the main feature that marks out this restaurant above all else is value for money. Two courses for £17.95 or three courses for £21.95.

And there’s plenty of choice on the ‘Dinner table D’hote’ menu – six starters and six desserts and at least nine options for mains.

And they don’t scrimp on service or style either. Tables are adorned with crisp, white tablecloths and napery, candles and the compliment of cutlery.

For starters I chose the mackerel fillet which had been skinned, sliced in half and was presented with a smudge of basil flavoured mayonnaise, mixed salad leaves and a smattering of crispy capers.

Not a complicated ensemble, but the ingredients were good quality and it was well presented.

Meanwhile my husband was dipping into his tomato soup which looked thick and creamy and came with slices of crusty bread.

We ordered a bottle of Spy Valley Sauvignon from New Zealand £27 which was too warm at first so we had to wait a while for it to chill in the ice bucket. For mains I went for the catch of the day which was a trio of sea bass, salmon and plaice nestled on a pea puree with cubed sweet potatoes, plenty of chargrilled vegetables on the side and sprinkled with red amaranth which added a vibrant colour and an earthy flavour.

To round off the meal I had a seasonal fresh fruit platter which included pineapple slices, strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon with balls of mango sorbet while my partner tucked into a ramekin sized rhubarb and ginger crumble with a jug of chilled creme Anglaise.

Each dish was elegant in presentation and included all the little finishing touches.

So if you’re looking for a good place to eat out during the week that won’t break the bank (and your bored of beige!) then this must be one of the best deals in town at the moment.