Whether you’re a local or tourist, you’re enjoying retirement or still pondering your first step on the career ladder, when asked to list your favourite things about Bournemouth the beach or the sea views will likely feature pretty highly. Imagine stumbling upon a bar and grill with sea views so endless that you’re almost surrounded. Take a quick stroll along Bournemouth’s iconic pier and you’ll imagine no more. Key West must have one of the town’s most envied venues – right at the end of the pier 200 metres out to sea, with waves lapping all around and views back to the beautiful golden sand towards Boscombe out to Hengistbury Head to the East and across to Poole and the Purbecks in the West.
Visit in the summer and you can enjoy your meal, ice cold drink or tea/coffee and cake deal on Key West’s sun terrace, while in the winter it turns into a cosy, twinkling grotto where you can wrap up warm while as winter waves crash all around you. The general opening hours are 10am to 5pm on weekdays and 10am till late at the weekends, but keep an eye on the venue’s busy events calendar for special food, drinks and celebration packages.
Food with a view
The menu here is unpretentious and extensive. Breakfast is served until 11.30am and you can choose a lip-smacking Full English with all the trimmings, tempting breakfast baps, a variety of eggs options (Florentine, Benedict etc), naughty pancake stacks and toast. If you’re here at lunch time can’t quite muster the energy for a hearty grill, the light bites menu offers some more modest morsels like nachos, home-made soup of the day, prawn cocktail, chicken wings and other gap-bridgers.
Catering for every taste
Key West also has a healthy list of salads and ploughman’s dishes, seafood options from Great British favourite fish and chips through to moules mariniere and hearty fish pie. If you’ve worked up an appetite walking along the promenade in the break sea air or building a prize-winning sandcastle on the beach, perhaps you’d rather a home-made pie, sausage and mash or comforting chilli con carne. Your grills are covered too, with steaks including a variety of cuts of beef plus tuna steak and gammon and a mouth-watering list of gourmet burgers and hot dogs. The menu also features snack favourites jacket potatoes, ciabattas and baguettes and a children’s menu for the under 12s. So, whatever brings you here, Key West can cook you up something to suit your appetite and the occasion.
Talking of occasions, it’s no surprise Key West is a popular venue for birthday parties, work dos, family get-togethers and celebrations. Wedding breakfasts are a hit with its stunning location and vast space comfortably seating 180 guests while Key West can accommodate an evening do of up to 250. There is a party and wedding coordinator on hand who can take your vision and make it happen. From a disco with spectacular ceiling light show to a sophisticated cream tea followed by a thrilling PierZip right back to the beach, Key West will make every occasion unforgettable.
Take a pause
Key West is a unique place to stop whatever you’re doing. You’ll find young families enjoying an opportunity to catch up while their little ones have plenty of space and fascinating views of the waves. Groups of young people after school seeking somewhere different to hang out. Weary shoppers breaking up their day in town before heading back to the high street. Holiday makers congratulating themselves on making such a great find for the short time they’re in town. People on their lunch breaks seeking a view that’s entirely opposite to their office (but probably similar to their screensaver?!) And daring Rock Reefers celebrating the cafe’s proximity to this popular end-of-pier attraction as the grab a well-earned snack.