The Kitchen is a spectacular waterside restaurant and ice cream parlour that was unveiled with a grand opening back in July. 

Situated on the edge of Swan Lake in Poole’s historic park, The Kitchen boasts stunning panoramic views across the water and a remodelled interior with new bar area, open kitchen and outdoor terrace.

Thanks to a full refurbishment and £500,000 investment, the former Boat Shed site has transformed into a stylish new venue to eat, drink and relax in a breath-taking location. 
A new ice cream parlour, Scoops, situated alongside The Kitchen, serves a range of ice creams and drinks.

The ambitious project is the brainchild of Poole husband and wife team Richard and Sarah de Lisle. The couple also own the award-winning family attraction The Ark, recently awarded a Poole and Dorset Tourism Award in recognition of its outstanding achievements. 

The Kitchen is led by South Coast Caterers’ executive chef Robert Holmes, 42, who is working to build the exciting brand, design new menus and oversee the company’s outside catering business, The Ark, and The Kitchen.

Robert was born in Poole and attended Bournemouth & Poole College where he completed a string of culinary courses. His impressive CV boasts 10 years of training including hotel and catering management, bakery, artisan and speciality courses, he worked on the QE2 as head chef, and completed a Heston Blumenthal Science of Cooking course in Cambridge.

“I’ve learnt a range of skills over the years,” explains Robert. “I was always fascinated with food at school and went through a bit of grief for doing home economics. But here I am as executive chef, I love it.” 

Robert has also worked with Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsey. “It was a mind blowing experience to work with these people. 

“I’ve designed the whole new menu and done a lot of research to put them together, drawing on my vast knowledge. I’m really proud as this is my first project as an executive chef,” continues Robert.

“It’s exciting because it’s a family company that wants to give something back. The park is regenerating and footfall is increasing so we must be doing something right, I have a great team who are working hard.”

The Kitchen is all about simple, honest, fresh food. Robert is proud to use the finest ingredients, locally-sourced where possible from family-run artisan producers. Their all-day menu and daily specials are inspired by the changing British seasons, offering excellent value for money. The Kitchen serves the very best of British classics and comfort food favourites, along with handmade wood-fired pizzas cooked in a traditional clay oven. 

“My philosophy is to use locally sourced wholesome produce wherever possible to create a meal with that ‘wow’ factor. I like drama and height in dishes.

“Fresh vegetables are delivered from a local market every day, berries come from Sopley Farm, local butchers deliver our burgers made to my own recipe, we use suppliers in Charminster, Bransgore, local breads, Dorset crab and line-caught cod; I’m a great believer of supporting local businesses.

“Food inspires me. When a supplier comes to me with new produce I think how I can turn that into something special on the plate. A lot of work goes into the product and it’s amazing when customers call you out to say thank you and they enjoy it.”  

“I love making people happy with food, I’ve always loved it. I can’t get that passion out of me. Food is my life. I love coming to work as there is always something different going on. It’s exciting.”

Signature dishes 
The Kitchen burger
Their handmade 100% beef burger is a popular dish on the menu. The fresh burger is topped with beef brisket (which is cooked for 14 hours in red wine, rosemary, bay leaf and black pepper) and is served with a buttered brioche bun and delicious Roskilly’s burger sauce. The dish is completed with rustic fries - cooked three times - and coleslaw, all served on a wooden board. 

Mixed Seafood Salad 
This flavoursome fish salad includes fresh Dorset smoked mackerel from The Dorset Smokery, Dorset white crab, and leaf lettuce grown by a specialist local company who deliver it daily. It is topped with Robert’s own lime and chilli dressing which gives a power punch alongside the tasty crab and smoked mackerel. 

•    The Kitchen and Scoops, Poole Park, Dorset, BH15 2SF, 01202 742842,