After a stressful day in the office, an evening out at Jenkins & Sons is the perfect tonic

The minute we walked through the door of the former butchers in Penn Hill, we were met with a wonderful welcome. The atmospherehere is relaxed and friendly, echoing that of the other Urban Guild eateries across the area, and we instantly feel like part of the family.

Knowledgeable bar staff chat easily to us while we’re waiting for our table, as if we’ve been friends for years.

A mini blackboard displays a selection of bar snacks and it proves far too tempting, so we order a Scotch egg covered with caramelised onion sausages and breadcrumbs, which was simply delicious.

The bar/restaurant is pretty busy for a midweek evening, which is always a good sign of its popularity. The decor is inspired by the venue’s former use, with an industrial feel – think old fashioned light bulbs, lots of wood and metal – but it feels incredibly comfortable.

After being seated, we’re given two menus to peruse – one of classic dishes and an a la carte selection – as well as a blackboard of specials.

True to its butcher roots, the menu is dominated by meat dishes, but vegetarians are well catered for, and there are also many gluten-free options.

I was temped by the stir-fried veg with crispy pork (£7.50), but in the end settled on the broccoli, lemon and ginger soup (£5) from the specials board, while my husband chose the Josper grilled bread and dips (£4), which included a range of breads served with hummus and balsamic vinegar.

The soup was deliciously creamy, while being lovely and light, thanks to the subtle lemon tang, and I actually found it rather refreshing.

For mains, I went for the beef and ale pie (£14.50) from the specials board, and my husband chose the West Country 10oz rib eye steak (£24).

Considering the menu had stated the pie was cooked to order and would mean a 25-minute wait, it was actually served very quickly after our starters were cleared away.

I was instantly impressed by the size of the pie which, when I went to cut into it, was packed solid with beautifully tender meat. Along with the accompanying mashed potato peas and a pleasingly thick and flavoursome gravy, it was an extremely filling portion, and I only managed about half of it before having to admit defeat. But the waitress assured me I had made a gallant effort and, of course, I had to leave some room for dessert.

The steak, served with Josper-roasted flat mushrooms, garlic and thyme tomatoes, fat chips and a choice of sauce – my husband opted for béarnaise – had a wonderfully rich flavour and was melt-in-mouth tender, perfectly paired with the creamy sauce and satisfyingly crispy chunky chips.

To finish, I was torn between the butterscotch crème brûlée and coconut panna cotta (both £6.50), but eventually settled on the latter. It was the perfect light dish to end the meal, served with a sweet mango salsa, dried pineapple and a refreshing lemon sorbet.

My husband chose the knickerbocker glory (£6.50), which, while generous in size, was also relatively light with cream, ice cream and a berry sauce.

Overall, a great, friendly atmosphere, attentive service and really, really good food. What’s not to love?

Jenkins & Sons, Penn Hill, Poole

T: 01202 746604