AS the nights draw in, so the need increases for a little warming comfort. That'll be Jenkins & Sons in Poole's Penn Hill, then.

Homely, welcoming and with an ale list that would make the late Oliver Reed drool with delight, J&S is a gem in Penn Hill's crown.

And with the Dancing Moose set to open next door having taken over the former Cruel Sea premises, the former fishmongers and butchers on Penn Hill Avenue is upping its game even further.

Traditionally the home of the Urban Guild Burger, a thick-set patty wedged between a brioche bun and served with chips that could choke a donkey, the new J&S is something a little more refined.

New head chef, the appropriately named Matt Cook, has created the eatery's new A la carte menu while retaining some of the favourites from years gone by.

My carpaccio of hogget lamb (£9.50) got the ball rolling, while my partner opted for the Josper roasted New Forest red and yellow beetroots served with vodka and beetroot sorbet (£6.50). The thinly sliced lamb was melt-in-the-mouth good, while the couscous tabbouleh offset the lamb's sweetness perfectly.

My partner was not as keen on the sorbet beetroot, very much an acquired taste, but the punch of the vodka was inspired.

The 10oz sirloin (£21) chosen for my main did exactly what it said on the tin - juicy, tender and cooked rare, if anyone serves a better steak in a BH postcode then I am yet to taste it. Refreshingly, Matt has scaled down the size of the hand cut chips for the A la carte.

My partner's lamb from the specials menu was accompanied by a delightful potato pie, full of flavour and the perfect partner for the star of the show, the superbly cooked lamb.

A butterscotch creme brulee (£6.50) and iced walnut, praline and honey parfait with raspberry coulis (£6.50) rounded off the night superbly, while all this was washed down with a few bottles of Gulliver, the craft ale brewed exclusively for J&S.

Fruity and punchy, it's a pale ale not for the faint-hearted, but is sure to be a hit with the flavour-demanding brewing fans.