Dorset,Brownsea and Rick Stein.

When I have visited Brownsea in the past ,I have always taken the direct route from Poole.However, my son decided to book a small motor boat from Sandbanks so we could travel to and explore around the Island .A great photo opportunity.The cost, shared between four was not prohibitive; £85 for two hours took us around the Island twice. You can get up to six people on board safely.

Once we cleared the harbour it was plain sailing and brownsea could be seen in the distance.

B opened up the throttle of the boat; I’ve been on more powerful boats. However, it was meant to be a leisurely cruise. Some advice, even on a sunny day take a warm top as the breeze can be a little chilly in open water.It was clear that many people moor up around the island overnight and were having breakfast on their small boats- idyllic.

As we travelled around the Island the light gave us some stunning views off the water.

There is only one way around the island which is clockwise and we got a glimpse of the sandbanks to shell bay ferry.

As you can see from the photos below there is a lot of erosion going on around the island.

All around the island it is a watersports playground.

On the far side of the Island is Poole harbour, a very busy area. We were given strict instructions to give way to all craft. There is also an oyster farm.

It takes an hour to circumnavigate Brownsea but worthwhile doing it twice. Pleasure seekers are not the only ones using the harbour and the Royal Navy can be seen regularly flying over.

We headed back to Sandbanks; the only tricky part was finding where we departed.So before you leave take a marker. Before we set off I thought I would be able to do a little birdwatching , but only a few glimpses of some well known species which can be seen below.

By the time we got back it was time for lunch; my son booked Rick Stein restaurant at Sandbanks.

We booked for the experience. I am not a connoisseur of fine dining and never will be but my son and partner love their food and wanted to go. As an experience I really enjoyed it but was in my opinion far too expensive for lunch. First the grubby part,the bill for three courses and couple of drinks each came to £250 including service.Wine was not included and the list is below.

Same as the previous restaurants I will mark out of 5 for atmoshere and food quality. As a starter, I had fish soup and I have to say it was delicious. For a main course I had Thai seafood curry and the quality of the ingredients was fantastic.For a dessert I had pineapple tarte. The scores for atmosphere was 3/5. They didn’t show much love and did not give me the experience I wanted. I suspect it may be better in the evening. The score for food was 4.9/5 as the pudding didn’t quite do it – a little soggy on the base.

Love Poole and all it has to offer; a great three nights to break up the monotony that is covid!

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