Tucked along a tranquil lane in the depths of South Dorset close to the market town of Wimborne yet still only 20 minutes from the sea, Les Bouviers is an exclusive dining venue combining exquisite food with first-class service.
The accommodation is surrounded by five acres of woodlands, lakes, lawns, trees and gardens which offers a tranquil and peaceful setting for your meal, event or night’s stay.
The restaurant opened in 1990 and since then has built its reputation on delivering everything from grand functions to dinners-for-two with great flavours and finesse. The menus developed by two rosette chef and patron James Coward include the 3-course set Menu Goumond and the Menu Surprise, where James recommends the best of the day’s ingredients plus the perfect wine to accompany.
For traditionalists, there’s, of course, an a la carte menu. Dinner and special menus are served between 7pm and 10pm Monday to Saturday. The restaurant doesn’t open on a Sunday evening but Les Bouviers can serve an evening meal to guests in their rooms until 6.30pm by arrangement. Snacks and light bites are available throughout the day if you’re here for a function or event and find yourself a little peckish.
The menus change seasonally and are subject to change but the sample Menu Goumond features a delicious medley of starters including pates, soups, terrain and melon followed by a sorbet to refresh the palate. The sample mains include a honey glazed Magret duck breast, a tenderloin of English port fillet, a wild Portland grey mullet and a vegetarian moussaka. Delicious desserts on the sample menu include home-made ice cream and sorbet, lemon tart, ginger crème brulee and cheeses.
Menu Surprise and a la carte
The Menu Surprise consists of seven courses. Four complementing wines will be selected and served by the glass during the course of this delectable banquet!
The sample a la carte menu can be served in two (starter and main) or three courses (to include dessert). Delights on the sample starters menu include sautéed Scottish scallops and Les Bouviers’ hot cheese soufflé served within a walnut, apple, rocket and ‘frizzy’ salad.
There is an additional fish course for a supplement charge with sample dishes such as whole wild Dover sole and steamed wild Icelandic halibut.
The mains listed on the sample menu feature West Coast mature fillet of beef, local English lamb, Highland venison and Scottish prime chateaubriand. Sample vegetarian alternatives include a delicious-sounding honey roasted tofu with a vegetable fettuccini.
Desserts to tempt you on the sample menu include a crème brulee of lemon with a gin and juniper berry sorbet, crepe suzettes and individual hot apple strudel.
If you’re coming to Les Bouviers for lunch, the meal is served from 12pm – 2.30pm with a choice of two or three courses. The sample menu is subject to change according to season and simply mouth-watering. Starters include a duck liver parfait studded with pistachios and a broccoli and mandarin soup.
For mains, how about a ballotine of guinea fowl filled with a poultry and tarragon mousse vegetable puree? Or seared sesame coated Scottish salmon? Followed by a vanilla and mascarpone panna cotta with warm autumn berry compote. Remember the ingredients are seasonal so your lunch menu may instead reflect the fresh flavours of spring, for example.
Indulgent afternoon tea
Besides formal meals, Les Bouviers is a popular venue for afternoon teas, which are served between 2.30 and 5.30pm. You can choose from a Classic Cream tea with two homemade scones with preserve and clotted cream, the Premium Tea with assorted sandwiches and two homemade cakes or pastries or the indulgent Deluxe Tea with the sandwiches, the scones and the cakes and pastries!
Les Bouviers wants its guests to feel relaxed and comfortable during their stay but they do prefer gentlemen to wear jackets in the evening. They also politely request that guests do not wear denim clothing to dinner.
While the venue is primarily a restaurant, Les Bouviers has six stunning bedroom suites to transform your perfect day or night out into a real occasion. The bedrooms – all named after famous artists – range from the luxury Bellet suite to the standard, yet still incredible Nixon and Krasnyansky suites. Each room is matched to its namesake artist and their style and work characterises the décor and design.
The Bellet Suite
The Bellet Suite is Les Bouviers’ four poster Superior Room with its own balcony offering views across the venue’s stunning grounds. The en suite bathroom boasts a luxurious air bath for a relaxing and luxurious spa experience to help float away any stresses and strains. With a Vi sprung mattress, you’ll sleep like a king! This room is also Les Bouviers’ honeymoon suite and provides a blissful end to the most special of days.
The Benfield Suite
The Benfield Suite is an elegant and tranquil venue overlooking Les Bouviers’ garden patio and beautiful grounds. The large bathroom is a prime location for a spot of pampering, an invigorating blast in the steam shower or lazy soak in the air bath.
The Nixon Suite
If you want beautiful vistas across the pond out the front of the restaurant, the Nixon Suite is the choice for you. This bedroom is tasteful in design with unfussy yet eye-catching adornments. The Nixon has a blissful and invigorating steam shower and luxurious Vi Sprung bed.
The Krasnyansky Suite
Check in to the Krasnyansky Suite for a cosy night in this elegant double room. It has a grand steam shower ideal for blasting away the day’s excesses or coaxing you into the day ahead! Plus, his and hers towelling bathrobes and matching slippers and the Les Bouviers trademark Vi Spring bed.
The Kinff Suite
With views across the luxurious grounds and pond adorning the front of the property, the Kinff Suite is a beautiful executive room. The en suite features a luxurious air bath and invigorating steam shower and the bed has an indulgent Vi Sprung mattress.
The Rut Suite
Book yourself into the Rut Suite for beautiful views out across the garden patio and the beautiful landscape beyond. Luxurious touches include an air bath and steam shower in the large bathroom and comfortable Vi Sprung bed for a blissful night’s sleep.
Checking in and out
Rooms are available from 3pm on the day of arrival unless a different time is agreed at the time of booking. The rooms must be vacated from 11am on the day of departure. Les Bouviers reserves the right to charge £10 for each subsequent hour after the agreed departure time. Pets are welcome to stay but must be booked in advance and confirmed by Les Bouviers in writing. There is a £25 cleaning charge supplement if you are bringing your pet.
For every occasion
There are many reasons people check into Les Bouviers. From those inspired by attending a function here to make a return visit to locals intrigued by the look of this cosy retreat. Les Bouviers is popular for golfers visiting the various reputable courses in the proximity and provides a romantic setting for a blissful weekend getaway.
It’s unsurprising that Les Bouviers is a popular choice for wedding parties and breakfasts. There are three beautiful churches in the parish where you can marry before heading here once the formalities are finished or you can take your vows here as it holds a civil wedding ceremony licence. Les Bouviers’ in-house wedding coordinator will handle all the details while you visualise your dream day in this idyllic setting.
Your day, your way
You can choose to hold your wedding in one of Les Bouviers’ two dedicated function suite or perhaps you’d prefer to set up a marquee on the lawns. The grounds have many romantic landmarks to make your photographs extra special including a lovers’ footbridge, mature woodland, the manicured lawns and weeping willow trees.
Resident chef-patron James Coward will create a feast to match your occasion and suit all dietary requirements. Perhaps you want a formal sit-down meal, a buffet, barbecue or hog roast?
Private function rooms
In fact, Les Bouviers is set up for any event. They can throw team building events, murder mystery parties, wine tastings and themed dining occasions.
There are two private function rooms; the Tarkay Suite, which can accommodate 40 seated and 50 buffet style and the larger Peter Max Suite with a capacity of up to 120 seated and 150 buffet style. These rooms provide the perfect, private setting for your function, whether you want to host a respectful wake after a funeral service or throw a christening or anniversary celebration.
Due to its secluded location, getting to Les Bouviers means a car journey although it’s just a few minutes from the market town of Wimborne and a few miles from Bournemouth and from Poole. If you’re bringing the car, parking is free and on-site.
Many happy returns
Whatever your reason for checking out Les Bouviers, once you’ve been here you’ll likely join the many others who find it the ideal venue for any occasion. You may want to host a special dinner, perhaps throw an event or function or just toast the end of a busy week with a loved one. Whatever brings you to Les Bouviers, you know they’ll make your visit into an occasion. Check out their website for upcoming events and room availability or start planning your next slap-up meal!