Where to find the most Festive Outdoor dining experience in the South of England
Over the past few years dining domes or pods, or sometimes known as igloos have become hugely popular as an outdoor dining experience.
Providing al fresco unique dining you can enjoy all that the outside has to offer without feeling the cold, they look enchanting decorated with soft lighting, cosy wraps or blankets and sumptuous food and a glass of bubbly.
With the festive season upon us, I have located the top 5 South Coast outdoor dining experience domes available for private dining, small groups and parties or a romantic Christmas date night.
1812 Cocktail Bar - Bournemouth
Returning for the Christmas season, you can enjoy this outdoor dining experience in the cosy 1812 snow domes, situated on their terrace right in the heart of Bournemouth. Just a stones throw the from beach and the busy town centre.
Fully heated and with the option of the marvellous Asian creations of Oishii, these are going to be booked quickly. Imagine dining under the stars with one of their famous cocktails what a great way to start the party season.
Bookings are for 4 or 6 people and include Sushi rolls and Asian tapas dishes.
Prices from £92
Burley Manor - Burley The New Forest
Burley Manor dining domes are proudly displayed on the terrace in the beautiful New Forest countryside, partnering with Fitz English wine, what an amazing way to celebrate Christmas with a twist.
Available for 4-6 people for an intimate lunch, festive afternoon tea or evening celebration, available from the 16th November until 23rd December, or for a post-Christmas treat on the 27th December.
The menu is a sharing platter, you can choose from a variety of starters, mains such as; traditional free range turkey or salmon en croute, followed by desserts including your choice of Christmas pud or a winter berry crème brulee, for your party to share, and includes a glass of Fitz each too!
If you fancy something a bit lighter for your outdoor dining experience you can choose the festive afternoon tea menu – see my recent blog on festive afternoon teas for details.
Prices are £35 pp for the afternoon tea and £55 pp for lunch and dinner in the outdoor dining experience.
The Eastbury Hotel – Sherborne
A little further inland, the snug and cosy dining pod, described as a glass sphere is decorated with plush cushions, warm blankets, atmospheric lighting and fresh flowers, your outdoor dining experience takes pride of place under the trees in their country garden.
Ideal for an intimate romantic dinner, and available only for hotel residents this could make a really special romantic getaway pre Xmas, time to relax before the big day, recharge your batteries, make use of their gorgeous spa and have some well needed couple time.
There is a small supplementary charge of £8 per couple or £12 for 3-4 people on top of your dining. Reservation is required at time of hotel booking.
The Jetty Pods – Southampton Harbour Hotel
For something a little more contemporary, you can dine in one of three dining pods, set right by the water’s edge overlooking Southampton Marina.
I have spent many an afternoon sat drinking one of their cocktails watching the boats come and go and spotting some of the amazing yachts that dock here.
New to Southampton Harbour this year:
“Each pod is complete with speakers to plug in your own music, pendant lighting for the perfect dimmed candlelit atmosphere, and blankets and heaters to keep you satisfyingly snug on really cold days”.
Each pod can seat a minimum of 4 and up to 8 people
There are some special outdoor dining experience menus available from £55 p.p for a three course meal, sample menu available on the website.
Maybe you’d like to choose the “Feasting Surf and Turf” menu priced at £85 p.p suitable for groups of 4 or more.
Or if you want to go all out you can opt for their “Ultimate Feasting” menu at £125 p.p this includes:
The ‘Fruits de Mer’ towering platter of hot and cold seafood with garlicky rouille, mayonnaise and chilli sauce
On ice – Crevettes, crab claws, shrimps, oysters and cockles
Hot – Prawns in garlic butter, garlic scallops, mussels and calamari
You can also add lobster, subject to seasonal availability, from £25.00 half or £45.00 whole.
Followed by a delicious sounding Beef Wellington, Baked Alaska, Cheese Platter, and coffee and Petit Fours.
For £150, extra you can add a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and a selection of Jetty bites on arrival to each outdoor dining experience.
For this really special outdoor dining experience, pre booking and deposit essential.
Sobofish - Southbourne
Now for something a little different and a little bit fishy.
How about trying Sobofish, known for their locally caught fish & seafood, everything they use is sustainable & responsibly sourced from local day boats, fishermen & seafood suppliers all from the south coast.
This outdoor dining experience has more of a rustic feel to it, their outside area is separated into 4 cosy outside dining pods and 6 undercover & heated booth seating.
Each pod can accommodate up to 10 people and can be joined for larger groups of up to 20 people, so ideal for a festive xmas gathering, especially those not tempted by the traditional turkey.
The booths seat 4 comfortably. They are heated and warm but extra clothing is advised in really cold weather.
There is a selection of seafood menus to choose from, checkout their website for current menus and their festive selection too.