Archive for the ‘Bistro’ Category

Anticipation, Perspiration… Bloody Mary?

Friday, May 10th, 2013

After all the anticipation Christchurch food festival is finally upon us! Get your glad rags on and meet us down there for two days this weekend May 11t – 12th – Christchurch Food Festival Homepage

 

We’ve been hard at work preparing some outrageous delights to tempt your palate, and cannot wait to share them with you. Even Mark the owner has  been hard at it! HERE HE IS at our farm yesterday morning with MANAGER LAUREN, picking fresh rhubarb and mint for an extra special variety of homemade lemonades.

 

For the full menu of what we’ll be taking along cast your eyes beyond the picture below (spoiler alert).

 

 

A selection of the goodies we'll be taking with us. You can see more pics, with descriptions on our facebook page - www.facebook.com/theurbanbeach

The Menu

Pasties:

  • Veggie – Feta and Walnut
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Lamb and Mint Sausage Roll

Breakfast:

  • Sausage, Bacon, Beans, Mushroom and Tomato Quiche.
  • Veggie – Spinach, Beans, Mushroom, Tomato and Cheese Quiche.
  • Gluten Free Granola

Sweets:

  • Chocolate and Walnut Brownies (Gluten Free)
  • White Choc and Hazelnut Blondies (Gluten Free)
  • Almond and Berry Cupcake (Gluten  Free)
  • Selection of Cookies (Gluten Free)
  • Millionaire’s Shortbread
  • Almond Croissants.
  • Muffins
  • Carrot Cake
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake
  • Origin Coffee cake
  • Gingerbread Men
  • And cupcakes to match the cocktails:

Cocktails:

  • Lychee Daiquiri with Muddled Bell Pepper
  • Sweet Tea and Bourbon (featuring blueberries)
  • Peach Julep

(Pictured on our Facebook page – facebook.com/theurbanbeach)

Other Drinks:

  • Local Ales from the Dorset Brewing Company and Sunny Republic
  • Old Jon’s Spiced Rum (our own special recipe, includes almonds and raw talent)
  • Ginger Beer
  • Homemade lemonades (Featuring aforementioned mint or rhubarb varieties)

 

Expect a handy deal on Sunday morning too – A breakfast savoury and our award winning Bloody Mary for a fantastic (as yet undisclosed) price. It promises to be marvelous. Did you know we make our Bloody Mary with a homemade chilli, horseradish and mustard seed vodka? No? Well there you go.

So much love, we really hope to see you there!

Love,  Urban Beach xx

 

P.s. Check out our twitter competition for a chance to win a free lunch at our new cafe ‘Urban Renaissance’ along the seafront in Bournemouth (inside the Russel-Cotes Museum):

 

[Click on image for full view]

 

 

 

Sustainability Champions!

Monday, April 8th, 2013

We’ve just won a rather prestigious award! Check out this lovely blurb:

“A sustainable restaurant demonstrates responsible sourcing and best kitchen practice delivered by well trained staff using high-performing resource-efficient equipment and following good waste management policies. It is only with this holistic approach to the environmental, economic and social impacts of their business that the restaurant can be considered truly sustainable.”

 

Pretty swish. These words come from the most recent edition of the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Guide to Sustainable Kitchens. Just under two weeks ago they gave us their highest possible rating of 3 Stars, and we are elated!  This makes us one of only two restaurants in Bournemouth to be presented with the award, which is of growing importance nationwide. Allow us to elaborate:

 

The SRA, headed by president Raymond Blanc, is a non-profit organization driven by a passion to see the restaurant industry look after the environment, its staff, customers and the local community. They asses and advise restaurants and hotels like ourselves on fourteen key focus areas, illustrated beautifully below:

You can check out the SRA’s home page here – http://www.thesra.org/

 

As you can see they weren’t joking when they used the word ‘holistic’. There’s a lot to take into consideration! That is why we put so much effort into not just into sourcing and preparing our food, but also how we run things and treat the world around us as we do it. It is why we use biodegradable bin bags for our food waste (it can be used as compost and contribute to renewable energy resources). It’s also why Head Barman Adam won’t make a strawberry daiquiri most of the year round (see ‘Did you know’), and why manager Helen threatens to take us running with her if we use too much water in the kitchen!

 

**Did you know…
- A third of the European Union’s greenhouse gasses emissions are food related.

- This is largely because of import/export carbon emissions.

- BUT some local food can actually be worse for the environment. If it’s grown out of season in greenhouses, or kept for too long in fridges which drain oodles of energy.**

 

Those of you familiar with our bistro will likely already know that we ensure that as much as food as possible is sourced locally and in season, or where possible from our very own farm! We are hoping very soon to take some customers along with us for a visit to the farm to sample some of the produce, and enjoy an old fashioned barbeque as soon as the weather capitulates to our needs. Of course, our fish is always responsibly sourced as well; in season and from sustainable sources. We do not buy fish from the fish to avoid list www.fishonline.org and we only use Marine Stewardship Council fish in our fish and chips and fish cakes recipes.

 

Whilst we are incredibly excited to have received this award (we could even shout it from the *ahem* NEW ROOFTOP), the best part is that it is an amazing incentive to keep pushing on and tackling new challenges. Sustainability is an ongoing battle and an area of fundamental importance. We are in fact taking it so seriously that we have taken on our very own ‘personal sustainability expert account manager’. That’s right, they are so important they got a title with more syllables than you can count on your eco friendly fingers,

Here’s to the very lovely Mother Nature,

Love,
Urban Beach xx

 

 

P.S. If you would like some more information about our sustainability endeavours please visit our relevant webpage Here.

Alternatively,  feel free to ‘Get in Touch’ or pop by anytime.

 

 

 

Sparkly New Outdoor Re-Fit This Week!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

It’s been a little while since our last update but we’ve been holding on to a special piece of news, just waiting for the right time for the big reveal – not unlike a machiavellian mastermind hiding away in the shadows before unveiling the master plan, only less evil and dressed more in summer shorts and bright colours. Like all good things this will certainly have been worth the wait. Before the end of next week old patrons and new customers alike will be enjoying the benefits of, wait for it… (drum roll)… Urban Beach’s new outdoor roof!

 

This is an artists rendition of what the new structure will look like. Yes it does include a saloon car sitting out front, it was non-optional.

 

Many of you who visit us already will know what a key feature the outdoor decking is to the venue, and how popular it is throughout the year. Of late the old ‘sail’ roof has fallen into a state of disrepair and our beautiful hotel lost some of its lustre. The freezing weather, and unpredictable torrents of rain took their toll on the canvas, and a few rips and tears eventually led to a look which erred precariously on the wrong side of shabby chic and did little to keep out the elements. Time then to rejuvenate, re-invigorate and make the most of this wonderful outdoor space in any season.

 

The new fabric roof will be completely waterproof, unlike its predecessor, and will be motorised so it can open or close depending on the weather. Whilst we are concerned with keeping out the cold and rain, we don’t want to lose those lovely summer evenings under the open sky by building a permanent immovable roof. It does however mean that, with heaters underneath, the space should be something to enjoy all year round. Owner Mark Cribb explains some of the changes,

“As always plans have got a little carried away and we are now looking at reinvesting yet another £30k into keeping the beach at the top of it’s game. So, we are taking down the stone gabion wall, replacing it will a fully rendered wall and inserting the pebbles into the render. On top of this will sit a glass screen the entire length of the deck a bit like the one on the balcony of the reef, but not as high. This will give people a wind proof space to sit behind.”


If you would like to investigate the style of roof we are putting in place before meeting her in person, you can head over to this gallery online for pictures of real life examples- http://www.loca.eu/en-EN/Galeri/

 

We haven’t forgotten to take care of the indoor aesthetics either. Inside the structure will be built in lights for year round use, as well twinkling fairy lights and ivy to create a ‘magical garden’ feel. “There will be a new bench going all the way along the deck, which will also be planted up and dotted with cushions.” Says Mark. Sounds just lovely.

 

We hope you are excited about this as we are, and invite you to come down and check out the new look as soon as possible. If all goes according to plan, it should be up and running by the end of next week. We will post up some photos as soon as we have them!

 

ALSO: EXPECT OFFICIAL RE-OPENING PARTY VERY SOON!

We’re thinking rum cocktails… or maybe a few g&ts would hit the spot.

Love,

Urban Beach xx

 

Have yourself a Merry Urban Christmas!

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

 

53 days to go until Christmas Day is upon us folks! That’s really not long you know and there’s lots of Christmas shopping and wrapping to be done ;-)

Be organised by booking your festive lunch or dinner with us too. We’ll fill you to the brim with lots of love, good tidings and seasonal joy.

Grab a pew in our bistro and enjoy the smells of Mulled Cyder and cooking spices. Relax with a glass of vino, or perhaps a bottle or two ;-) and we’ll get busy cooking your Christmas dinner in the kitchen.

Thursday nights play host to ‘live music’ evenings where resident musicians will be singing lots of songs to get you in the party mood. Listen out for the Christmassy tunes too.

So grab your mates, family and work friends and join us for lunch or a sumptuous seasonal dinner from 1st – 24th December. We’re open Christmas Day too!

View our festive menus via: www.urbanreef.com/christmas/urban-beach-christmas.html and give us a call: 01202 301509 to book.

We look forward to seeing you.

Love the Urban Beach crew. xx

 

Urban update on our Fawkes ‘N’ Hoes Festival!

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

So the dates are now in your diary – Friday November 2nd till Sunday November 4th – and you’ve been getting warmed up ready to take part in our conker championships! Well we thought we should give you the heads up that some of the Urban Beach crew have been taking their training very seriously with conker matches on a daily basis ;)

The Urban crew taking their conker training seriously!

Join the festivities from 8pm on Friday 2nd and if you think you’ve got what it takes to win our conker championships, bring it on! The overall winner will be lucky enough to bag an overnight stay with us in one of our 12-boutique luxury bedrooms.

There will be more ‘battling it out’ on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th as the snail racing begins. Join in with the heats on the Saturday and if you’re up in one of the top spots, come back on the Sunday and take part in the finals to be in with a chance of winning a full three course meal for two with drinks. Our snails have been in training for a few days now getting fit and ready!

You’ll be able to enjoy a host of live music on Sunday 4th too from the likes of the lovely Beth Lowen (www.facebook.com/BethLowen?fref=ts) Luke Adams (www.facebook.com/lukeadamsmusic1?fref=ts) and the One Man Destruction Show (www.facebook.com/pages/One-Man-Destruction-Show-Adam-J-Harmer/139326396170097?fref=ts)

Snail in training

All of this combined with a selection of mouth watering pies and scrumptious ales to wash it all down with.

Come and join in to help us celebrate this gorgeous season that is autumn!

Love the Urbans. Xx

P.S: Here’s a reminder of our conker etiquette’ rules so you know what to expect from the games!

Conker Etiquette:

  1. All conkers and laces are supplied by Urban Beach.
  2. Each player is given a new conker and lace at the start of each game and they may knot the lace a maximum of one knot. Players may not re-use conkers from earlier games, however, you can re-use your laces. Laces may not be used from footwear incase of fungal contamination.
  3. The game will commence with a toss of a coin, the winner of the toss may elect to strike or receive.
  4. A distance of no less than 8’’ or 20cm of lace must be between knuckle and nut.
  5. Each player then takes three alternative strikes at the opponent’s conker.
  6. Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut, no deliberate mis-hits.
  7. The game will be decided once either of the conkers has been smashed.
  8. A small piece of nut or skin remaining shall be judged out, it must be enough to mount an attack.
  9. If both nuts smash at the same time then the match shall be re-played.

10.  Any nut being knocked from the lace but not smashing may be re-threaded within 10 seconds and the game shall be continued.

11.  A player causing a knotting of the laces (a snag) will be noted, three snags will lead to disqualification.

12.  If a game lasts for more than five minutes then play will halt and the ‘5 minute rule’ will come into effect. Each player will be allowed up to nine further strikes at their opponents nut, again alternating three strikes each. If neither conker has been smashed at the end of the nine strikes then the player who strikes the nut the most times during this period will be judged the winner.

The Chief Umpire’s decision shall be absolutely final!

Disclaimer:

Urban Beach does not accept any responsibility for broken bones, loss of limbs or death caused by this conker event. We urge participants to think about health and safety of themselves and others and suggest wearing eye goggles, welding gloves, American football helmets, kneepads, elbow pads, bulletproof vests, steel tapped boots, high visibility jackets and a cricket box for the fellas! Be warned – this sporting activity may contain nuts!

Fawkes ‘N’ Hoes Festival!

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Urban's conker championships

Save the date boys ‘n’ girls for our harvest, bonfire ‘Fawkes n Hoes’ Festival at the Urban Beach!

Live music, real ales, snail racing, conker championships, epic pies and much much more! Running from the 2nd – 4th November for the whole weekend so pop the date in your diaries and we’ll keep you posted as we add to the line up.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page over the next few weeks for updates and photos of the preparations. We’ve got snails on high carb diets and sit up routines and have been polishing our conkers…

And speaking of conkers, here are our ‘conker etiquette’ rules so you know what to expect from the games ;)

Conker Etiquette:

  1. All conkers and laces are supplied by Urban Beach.
  2. Each player is given a new conker and lace at the start of each game and they may knot the lace a maximum of one knot. Players may not re-use conkers from earlier games, however, you can re-use your laces. Laces may not be used from footwear incase of fungal contamination.
  3. The game will commence with a toss of a coin, the winner of the toss may elect to strike or receive.
  4. A distance of no less than 8’’ or 20cm of lace must be between knuckle and nut.
  5. Each player then takes three alternative strikes at the opponent’s conker.
  6. Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut, no deliberate mis-hits.
  7. The game will be decided once either of the conkers has been smashed.
  8. A small piece of nut or skin remaining shall be judged out, it must be enough to mount an attack.
  9. If both nuts smash at the same time then the match shall be re-played.

10.  Any nut being knocked from the lace but not smashing may be re-threaded within 10 seconds and the game shall be continued.

11.  A player causing a knotting of the laces (a snag) will be noted, three snags will lead to disqualification.

12.  If a game lasts for more than five minutes then play will halt and the ‘5 minute rule’ will come into effect. Each player will be allowed up to nine further strikes at their opponents nut, again alternating three strikes each. If neither conker has been smashed at the end of the nine strikes then the player who strikes the nut the most times during this period will be judged the winner.

The Chief Umpire’s decision shall be absolutely final!

Disclaimer:

Urban Beach does not accept any responsibility for broken bones, loss of limbs or death caused by this conker event. We urge participants to think about health and safety of themselves and others and suggest wearing eye goggles, welding gloves, American football helmets, kneepads, elbow pads, bulletproof vests, steel tapped boots, high visibility jackets and a cricket box for the fellas! Be warned – this sporting activity may contain nuts!

 

Kay’s Savoury Shortbread Buttons!

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Savoury shortbread buttons

This recipe is from our wonderful baker Kay. Using some lovely herbs from our piece of land out in Sopley, the New Forest. Fairly quick and easy to make too! So here you go:

Ingredients –

-          170g flour

-          125g butter

Rub the butter into the flour and add one or a mix of the following:

-          5g parmesan

-          Pinch of cracked black pepper

-          Pinch of fresh or dried herbs – we use herbs from the Urban Farm out in Sopley!

-          Couple of finely chopped sundried or black olives

 

Method –

-          Squish your mixture together to get a smooth soft dough, careful not to overwork it though

-          Rest – both you and the dough ;)

-          Roll out the mixture on a lightly floured surface until it’s approximately ¼ inch thick

-          Stamp out 1 ½ inch rounds of whatever shape you fancy

-          Place the rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (they do tend to keep their shape so can be placed fairly close together)

-          Bake in a preheated oven on 175*C for approximately 20minutes until they start to colour. Please note, ovens vary in temperature, so please check the shortbreads as they bake

-          Leave them to cool slightly and then enjoy!

We at Urban think these are lovely with a bit of cheese and chutney :)

 

Too Good to Waste!

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Too Good to Waste!

 

Have you heard of the doggy boxes that have been storming London? (And no we’re not referring to boxes that can fit those tiny little dogs that our celebrities seem to carry around with them nowadays!) Theses boxes are the cardboard variety which have been specially created by the ‘Sustainable Restaurant Association’ (or the SRA) www.thesra.org in association with ‘3663’ www.3663.co.uk/ and ‘One Water’ www.onedifference.org//food-drink/water

The idea behind the boxes is when you’re out having a meal in your favourite restaurant, but perhaps your eyes have been a little bit bigger than your belly and you can’t finish your grub, you can take the leftovers home. So they’re like doggy bags but a little bit posher and slightly more robust!

These boxes are very green too as they’ve been manufactured by London Bio Packaging (www.londonbiopackaging.com) They’re made of 100% recycled and biodegradable materials, so once you’re done with eating your leftovers, they’re suitable for recycling and composting too. Perfect for helping our crops to grow at the Urban Farm then ;)

Here at Urban Beach we’re a part of the SRA, we love being as green as possible as we love the environment, and we want to keep it as amazing as possible for as long as possible.  While this doggy box scheme is something that’s currently unique to London, we spoke to our friends at the SRA who put us in touch with London Bio Packaging so we could get involved too by purchasing some of these boxes for you guys, our very lovely customers.

So here are some of the facts as to why we need to become a little bit more food waste conscious*:

-          A whopping 600,000 tonnes of food waste comes from restaurants each year. Much of it filling up landfill space. This is the equivalent of three Double Decker buses for every restaurant

-          For every single meal that’s eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted! This is a combination through food prep, spoilage and from what’s left behind on the plate

-          Us Brits also waste an awful lot of food at home. We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year. This costs £12bn!

-          Much of the food that gets wasted from our homes could actually have been eaten and the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking one in five cars off of the road!

If everyone did their little bit by eating their leftovers, it would all help. And often eating the food for the second time around is just as good or even better (we’ve all been there at home eating our left over takeaway the following morning!)

So help us to do our (and your) bit for the environment. And next time you’re visiting; don’t be scared to ask for one of these take home boxes. Just ask a member of the team who will be very happy to help.

*Stats from the ‘SRA’ website and the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ website.

 

 

A tasty mushroom dish filled with more mushrooms!

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Yummy veggie mushroom dish

Got some friends coming over this weekend for a bit of grub? Have a little look at this recipe. It’s fast, fresh and easy to make. This = more time eating and drinking with your friends and less time in the kitchen. Perfect!

This tasty mushroom dish is a real summer inspired treat. It’s fresh, light and lovely. It can also be found on our current Bistro menu, so if you fancy trying it out before testing this recipe out at home, do pop in!

Our Head Chef Ben told us this recipe serves four, so get your mates round and get stuck in!

Ingredients

  • Four large flat capped field mushrooms
  • Two large handfuls of rocket (dress with olive oil)

For the mousse:

  • 200g wild New Forest mushrooms
  • 50g cream cheese
  • Splash of brandy
  • 100g fresh nettles
  • Half a large onion
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the bisque:

  • Half a large onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons plain flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional – splash of red wine

Method

For the mousse:

  • Start by sweating your onions, mushrooms and nettles in a pan for approx five minutes
  • Put these ingredients into a food processor with your cream cheese and a splash of brandy. Blitz it up and leave to cool
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

For the bisque:

  • Next, sweat down your onions, carrot and garlic until soft. Add flour and cook for three minutes
  • Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and if you’re adding a splash of red wine, do so now. Then add your parsley and bay leaf. Simmer for 20 minutes
  • Remove the bay leaf and blitz the mixture in the food processor until it’s smooth. Pass through a sieve

For the rest:

  • Once the bisque is ready, add chopped new potatoes and your broad beans. Leave to simmer in a pan
  • Cook your flat capped mushrooms in the oven, or in a pan, for a few minutes. Fill with the mousse and cook in the oven for a further eight minutes
  • To serve, put the bisque in the bottom of a bowl, pop your large mousse filled mushroom on top and garnish with dressed rocket

Job done. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy. X

 

Meeting Mark Diacono!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The Urban Farm

 

We haven’t updated our blog with any Urban Farm info in a little while (we’re ever so sorry). Its just as it had been raining non-stop for what seems like forever, much of our fruit and veg took a fair amount of a battering due to over-flooding, so we didn’t have too much to write about!

However, the sun is now shining his little face off, so we thought we’d get back into the swing of it. Plus we wanted to fill you in about a recent meeting of ours with a wonderful chap, Mark Diacono.

Many of you probably already know, but for those who don’t, Mark Diacono is the ex-head gardener of River Cottage. The brainchild of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.

Mark also runs ‘Otter Farm’ a 17 acre farm down in Devon. Otter Farm is the UK’s only climate change farm. It’s home to lots of lovely stuff – dwarf kiwis, orchards of olives, peaches, almonds, chocolate vine, Szechuan pepper, apricots and Japanese wineberries – to name just a few. Mark also has a forest garden, a vineyard and a perennial garden.

We were lucky enough to be introduced to Mark through our friend Tim Sanders from Discover Dorset, have a little look here www.discoverdorset.co.uk/ at what Tim does (we’ve been on one of Tim’s Discover Dorset Tours and would highly recommend it!). After our introduction to Mark via Tim, we invited Mark to come and see what we’re all about! So he popped to see us for a day visit.

Mark seemed pretty excited about the Urban Farm, our little piece of land out in Sopley the New Forest, and the opportunities that it provides us with – we plant the seeds, they grow and flourish, we harvest the crop, bring it into our kitchen and plate it up for our customers. We get our customers enthused with our story and they go on to spread the word about the importance of ‘growing your own’.

After having a little look around Mark suggested we should extend our piece of land. We had a chat about a potential acre of vineyard to start growing our own grapes for wines –the staff got excited at the thought of this! We then got thinking about other things we could start to grow out there, such as planting an apple orchard to be able to produce our own cider, plus growing some other more high value crops. We also chatted to Mark about some of the stuff people don’t usually eat, such as the flowers from broad beans – we’re not going mad, it actually adds another dimension to eat certain flowers as part of your food.

Alas, our time with Mark came to end, but we felt there is so much more that we’d love to be able to learn from him and discuss with him, so we’re planning to invite him back for a BBQ at some point. We’ll pick some veg from the Urban Farm and enlist his help to cook it on the barbie.

If you want to find out more about Mark, you can have a little look at his website: www.otterfarm.co.uk and you can follow him on Twitter ‘@markdoc’ He’s a great guy, so we’d recommend you check out what he’s up to.