With its clifftop setting and modern, yet relaxed decor, the Ocean Beach Hotel's Italian Cafe is the perfect spot for a summery evening dinner.

The eaterie is just one of several dining options at the Oceana Bournemouth resort, which includes the Ventana Grand Cafe at The Cumberland, the Overcliff Pub at The Suncliff and the Royale Grill Room at The Royale, all available for both hotel guests and local residents.

Situated at the front of the Ocean Beach, with its floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular sea views, the Italian Cafe has a focus on more informal dining, featuring - as you might expect - traditional dishes prepared by the team headed up by an Italian chef.

We took a seat in the lounge bar area while we perused the menu with a drink. For those who fancy a lighter bite, a snack menu is available in the lounge, with sandwiches, Paninis and authentic Piadinas (thin, Italian flatbreads), as well as afternoon teas.

The terrace balcony, which runs the length of the lounge and cafe areas, offers a beautiful, al fresco spot to sit and watch the world go by.

We were shown through to the restaurant area before the friendly, attentive staff took our order. I chose the Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (£4.95) to start, while my husband went for the Sapori Mediterranei (£6.95) - San Daniele Parma ham, fried dough sticks and buffalo mozzarella.

While waiting for our food, we had time to take in the finer details of our surroundings. The cafe is decorated in a combination of dark greys and purples with splashes of bright yellow which, along with the light-coloured chairs and photos of Vespas, give the open plan space an airy, Mediterranean feel.

Our starters were both attractively presented, and full of colour. The crispy Bruschetta was topped with deliciously fresh tomatoes, extra virgin Italian olive oil and basil, on a bed of rocket., while my husband's smokey Parma ham was complemented beautifully by the warm dough sticks and creamy mozzarella.

For our main courses, I opted for the Chef's Italian Carbonara (£11.95) and my husband chose the Vulcano pizza (£11.90) from the "classic pizza" selection. There was also a selection of "white pizzas" to choose from - without tomato sauce - as well as a variety of lasagnas, calzones, meat dishes and sharing platters.

Both our meals were generous in size - the pasta a steaming dish of Tagliatelle and Italian cured pork cheek, smothered in a creamy sauce made with egg yolks and aged Pecorino Romano cheese, and the pizza overhanging the edges of the wooden serving board.

My pasta was full of flavour and peppery heat, while the thin and crispy pizza was covered in hot, spicy ground beef, topped with fresh chilli, plus the standard mozzarella and tomato base.

Both dishes were equally tasty, but I sadly had to admit defeat with the pasta, after becoming concerned I wouldn't have room for dessert!

The menu for the final course featured more traditional favourites - some with a slight twist - including Amaretto tiramisu; strawberry tiramisu and organic clementine Panna Cotta (all £5.70).

However, still feeling somewhat full, we both opted for a simple scoop of the Amore Di Gelato ice cream (£2.50). I chose the pistachio variety, which had a pleasing, somewhat salty tang, while my husband went for the strawberry flavour, which he pronounced full of flavour.

We followed the meal with a stroll along the clifftop - a relaxed evening all round.