The Captains Club in Christchurch is not just any hotel, it is a magnificent hotel which has become firmly rooted in the local community.

This striking contemporary, four-star boutique hotel resides on the banks of the River Stour, just a short walk from Christchurch. Its Club Restaurant oozes charm and sophistication – the ultra-modern interior has been designed with such precise flair. The rich maritime theme flows from room to room throughout this fashionable establishment and the restaurant enjoys a stunning riverside view through floor-to-ceiling windows.

The restaurant’s cuisine reflects the feel of the hotel – uncomplicated, fresh, innovative and ultimately satisfying. There is something for everyone, whether it be lobster or sandwiches. Tim Lloyd and Robert Wilson own and operate the hotel and continued support from local residents pays homage to their high standards and hard work.

Indeed, the kitchen is where all the magic happens and pastry chef Tim Gower, 34, knows a thing or two about hard work, delivering dish upon dish of sublime desserts that look like pieces of art with flavours to amaze.

Tim was born in London and moved to Dorset with his family at the age of eight, and now resides in Southbourne.

“I went to Bournemouth and Poole College after school and did a patisserie course. From there I worked around the outskirts of London in various restaurants. When I was younger a friend was doing a chef’s course and I decided that wasn’t for me, I wanted to take the pastry route. Sometimes it can be very hard work but I enjoy it,” says Tim.

“I later moved out to Jersey and worked at the Commodore for a year. I returned and worked at Bistro on The Bridge in Christchurch for a year. I also went to work for a private company on a superyacht, it was hard work, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, doing whatever they wanted. But I got to travel to various places including Cannes and Monte Carlo.

“After that I worked at Pebble Beach for a year, then went to Australia for year, then came back and did four years at Chewton Glen. I’ve had the opportunity to gain a wealth of experience and knowledge over the years which is great,” added Tim.

During his career Tim has scooped a Silver Medal at the national trade show at the Olympia Hotel in London.

Who inspires him?

“I like the fun of Jamie Oliver, his food is messy but it is great to look at. On the pastry side it has to be David Ryan, chef, owner and manager from Bistro on the Bridge. He let me do what I wanted, that was nice. It was a lot of fun to be there.

“My three-year-old son inspires me of course. This is all for him, the long days are all for him,” continues Tim.

Since taking over the reins in September 2011, Tim has crafted a menu of homemade desserts to include crème brulee, chocolate fondant, summer pudding, sorbets, platters for the whole table and a fine cheese selection.

“We want to please people so we do what they want. The mini-dessert menu enables people to pick and choose. There is no point making stuff with foams and froth because that’s not want people want.”

Tim’s signature autumn dish to look out for is the famous chocolate mushroom dessert ‘Magic Mushrooms’. It is part of the themed menu which was first presented at Christchurch Food & Wine Festival.

The Captains Club also provides a Posh (Port Out Starboard Home) Tour. Guests can enjoy a safari aboard the hotel’s 34ft luxury motor cruiser boat. Afternoon Tea boat trips are also available.

Captains Club Hotel, Wick Ferry, Wick Lane, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 1HU, 01202 475111, enquiries@captainsclub

Signature dish – Mini Dessert Selection

Tim has designed an array of mouth-watering mini desserts to gratify all taste buds.

You can try them individually or build a tasting platter of your own, £3 each. Choose from Strawberry Pimms Jelly, Peach Melba, Millionaire’s Brownie, Raspberry Eton Mess, Choux Bun filled with toffee ice cream, or Mango and Coconut Rice pudding.

Here, Tim serves up three mini desserts; Peach Melba – a classy dish with raspberry, vanilla ice cream, peaches and cream, served in a brandy snap basket.

Eton Mess – instead of mixing up the raspberries, cream and meringues it is presented in layers, served in a little jar. A timeless dessert.

Choux Bun – filled with toffee ice cream with chocolate, coca with crackle crystals sprinkled on the top.