By Rachel Clark

STEPPING through the door into Hamptons Lounge Bar & Restaurant you cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer grandeur of the room opening up in front of you.

The high ceilings, ornate cornicing and beautifully tiled floors of this Grade II Listed Building complement the plush booths and handcrafted wooden tables which make up the vast dining area.

A friendly greeting from the staff behind the stylish and well stocked bar, plus the ambient background music create a lovely welcome and invite you to make yourself comfortable.

Indeed the bar catches your eye as soon as you enter as it spans one whole wall. It is stocked with every premium drink, spirit and wine you can imagine, plus an extensive and impressive range of cocktails including all of the classics plus some Hamptons exclusives – and of course the finest champagne from Moet to Veuve Cliquot.

Hamptons also offers a range of drinks packages, perfect when celebrating in a group. All drinks are served in beautiful glassware, adding to the feeling of class and elegance that exudes from this venue.

Hamptons (formerly Banque and Bohem) has been extensively refurbished in recent months and is open for lunch and evening meals, offering a range of sharing platters, small plates and main courses. Small plates such as Chicken Satay, King Prawn Tempura and Halloumi and Mixed Veg Skewers are £5.95 each or three for £15 and are perfect for a light bite with friends or a lunch meeting with a client. Main courses include Steak, Gourmet Beef Burgers, Salads and Fish and start at £6.95.

Diners may eat in the main dining area or pass through the original Norwich Union Bank vault door, installed in 1927, to dine in the intimate booths within the Vault Room – perfect for larger groups.

I chose a Goats Cheese and Walnut Salad to start, studded with pomegranate seeds and grapefruit and drizzled with a sweet honey dressing – it was delicious and the flavours worked brilliantly together. I followed this with Fish and Chips for my main course – the batter was beautifully light and crispy and the chips cooked to perfection. Generous portions left me feeling sated but, because the quality of the food was so good, not over full.

I rounded off my meal with a Mojito from the bar – infused with spiced rum it was sublime! Staff were extremely helpful, friendly and attentive and the quality of the food was excellent.

During my visit staff were preparing for two buffets to be held later that day in the upstairs event rooms plus a huge birthday party this weekend for a popular local figure and his 400 guests.

Christmas bookings are coming in thick and fast and several new business launches have been held here. This year's Christmas Menu is a very tantalising three courses and includes a glass of Prosecco plus live music, DJ’s and themed rooms. The spacious rooms upstairs are stunningly decorated and catered for by their own bar.

Also found on the first floor is the Red Room - this impressive room contains its own bar, opulent seating and DJ booth and is perfect for parties of approximately 100.

I cannot write this review without mentioning the ladies toilets, odd though that may sound! Not only are they spacious and beautifully decorated in an art deco style but they also incorporate an elegant seating area which would appeal to most ladies I know for that all important catch up in the toilets!

If you are looking for somewhere impressive and atmospheric to have lunch or dinner or an outstanding venue to hold meetings, launches or celebrations, plus live music and DJ’s every Friday and Saturday nights, Hamptons is the jewel in Bournemouth's crown and delivers on every level!

Hamptons Lounge Bar & Restaurant, Poole Hill, Bournemouth

01202 298033