Westbourne village is fast becoming a foodie heaven, boasting more than 50 places to eat and drink.

To showcase its diverse range of restaurants, bars and cafes, the village is hosting a foodie week from Monday, June 8 with special taster menus, tasting sessions, exclusive offers and cooking demonstrations.

Westbourne Business Association chairman, Steve Taylor, said: “There really is something for everyone here.”

For more information, visit www.discoverwestbourne/Foodieheaven

Dorset Society writer Nicky Findley went on a gastronomic tour of the village and here are some of the highlights.


If you are looking for good food in a restaurant bursting with character and ambience, then this place, situated in a renovated church, will exceed your expectations.

High arched ceilings and stained glass, exposed brickwork and dark wood floors, are the backdrop to superb food and service.

Plates & Co founder and Michelin star trained chef, Nick Atkins, opened the restaurant in July 2014. Nick, who worked at the Chewton Glen Hotel, is very approachable and you can watch him work in the open kitchen at the back.

His philosophy of “less is more” is so that quality produce can be “treated simply and allowed to shine”, which is why his menu is so refreshingly uncomplicated. You have the choice of one item such as fish, lamb, steak or duck and then you choose two accompaniments.

We went for a family meal on mid-week evening and shared some nibbles for starters (prices start at around £3) which included homemade carrot crisps, salted almonds, fresh bread, trout and crème fraiche.

For mains I had Gressingham duck breast (£17.50) two thick succulent slices, perfectly cooked with a hint of pink at the centre, and served with a rich potato gratin made with shallots and double cream, some seasonal vegetables and a large Portobello mushroom.

Meanwhile my husband was raving about his marinated slow-cooked lamb (£18.50) which was so tender it practically melted in the mouth.

Whether you want a small bite to eat or a special occasion meal, this place will have a plate that fits.


One of the best known vegetarian restaurants in the area, Zoukinis could convert even the most dedicated carnivore.

There is so much variety on the menu and the food is so full of flavour and texture, that you honestly don’t miss meat when you eat here.

We particularly loved the Thai Sweetcorn Cakes (£5.75) with sweet chilli sauce as a starter, and my husband enjoyed his Penang Curry with crispy fried tofu so much he almost scrapped the glaze off the plate.

For mains I had the Zoukinis Tagine (£11.50) with sweet potato, aubergine, red onion, carrots and apricots. The ‘meatballs’ were made with Freekeh, the new supergrain made from green wheat.

It was so filling I didn’t have room for dessert, although I had a taste of my husband’s Old Fashioned Crumble with apple and rhubarb (£5.75) – which apparently is not only gluten-free but is suitable for vegans too.

For drinks, we opted for the house Zoukinis Cabernet Rose from Chile (£14.95) which was vibrant pink with a fresh, floral aroma. Restaurant owner Kelly is on a mission to prove that vegetarian food isn’t boring and judging by how busy the place was on a mid-week night she’s certainly got the veggie recipe for success.


Traditional lunchtime staples such as sandwiches, soups, salads and quiches are taken to a whole new delectable dimension at Le Petit Prince & Cotea.

At Le Petit Prince run by chef patron Michael Russell, I had a wedge of warm homemade vegetable quiche which was light, fluffy and packed with spinach, leek and onion on a crisp pastry base served with ‘seasonal slaw’ – grated carrot and red cabbage, rocket, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a balsamic vinegar dressing.

The prices are reasonable for food of this quality starting at around £3.75. Everything is made on the premises from organic, local producers.

The café was due to close for expansion later that week as it is set to double in size which is a real testament to its success.

At Cotea, I had one of the best paninis I’ve ever tasted with avocado, mozzarella, mushrooms, red onions and garlic served with a salad doused in an exquisite fig and date balsamic dressing.

You also have a choice of more than 40 different types of tea. This is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by and enjoy a little taste of foodie heaven.