Situated in the heart of the pretty Dorset market town of Wimborne, The Olive Branch is keen to remind you that it’s a pub but from first glimpse you know it’s so much more. This flagship Hall and Woodhouse brewery property is a grand, yet down-to-earth property occupying a prime corner of Wimborne backing on to the river.
You pull up in the car park and make your way to the front door surrounded by the dainty plants, well-tended gardens and quirky ornaments of The Olive Branch’s extensive and peaceful outdoor space. There’s room to seat 200 guests outside (on tables for up to eight people) and it’s a real suntrap with parasols and tables dotted around for your comfort. Come summer time the garden is often filled with the blissful melodies of local singers and bands serenading the gathering crowds.
Enter the pub to a well-styled yet lovingly decorated ‘Pantry’ main seating area. The seating is informal and comfy with long tables and stylish padded leather benches, which could easily accommodate a group of twelve. There is so much to look at with fun slogans on the beams and nostalgic pictures and props on the walls building a strong and likeable character.
You advance towards ‘Mission Control,’ manned by The Olive Branch’s effortlessly friendly and welcoming team. This is the hub of the operation, where you can make a booking, find your table or ask questions of the attentive staff.
Space for all
You can’t help but be drawn to ‘Colourful Coffee,’ The Olive Branch’s pop-up coffee bar, where talented baristas serve up comforting warm beverages and slices of tempting cake for you to enjoy back at your table or in the garden.
At the far end of the building is the bar, which is well stocked and serves a range of premium drinks including those brewed by Hall and Woodhouse. You’ve got plenty of options for where to enjoy your tipple – if you’ve brought your dog or for supreme relaxation pull up a cosy leather chair in ‘The Common Room,’ with a crackling wood burner in the winter and tastefully decorated to provide a restful and relaxing haven to enjoy your pint of Badger Beer.
For somewhere a bit livelier, why not scoot behind and settle down in the ‘Badger Cave?’ The arched ceiling of this dark little corner is lined with decorative beer bottles and there’s a see-through wall through to the cellar where you can see the kegs and racks and racks of bottles all proudly on display and reassuringly lined up ready for their moment in the spotlight.
Somewhere to socialise
Just behind Colourful Coffee is yet another welcoming space where you can enjoy a meal or drinks in sociable and cosy surroundings. Each area of this vast property has its own identity so pick the place that best matches your mood and your group. Here you’ll also get a glimpse of The Olive Branch’s well-stocked wine cellar proudly lit up and glistening with promise through the clear (locked!) glass wall. The Olive Branch is set up for socialising, whether your style is big and brash or cosy and intimate. But if you can’t bear to be parted from the rest of the world you also get 24-hours free WiFi connectivity throughout the venue.
Stylish pub grub
While it adamantly maintains it’s a pub, The Olive Branch has forged quite the reputation for its cuisine and is one of Wimborne’s most popular dining destinations. If you’re a resident of neighbouring 1777 at the Albion Hotel you are spoilt with a jaw-dropping breakfast display of continental and cooked treats including a natural honeycomb to slather on your freshly baked bread. Breakfast is served between 8am and 10am seven days a week to residents and the public too.
The Dining Room offers a more formal eating environment in full view of the open kitchen, offering a fascinating insight into the hardworking and skilled team and reassurance that your meal is well on its way!
Or you could choose to dine in ‘Gabi’s,’ a separate dining room again lovingly styled and overlooking the outdoors ‘Herb Garden,’ which provides the ultimate relaxing environment with its shabby chic chairs and tables and gorgeous aroma. The kitchen team use some of these home-grown plants and herbs in some of their dishes; no wonder they taste so good. Altogether, The Olive Branch can accommodate another 200 covers indoors, amounting to 450 guests at maximum occupancy.
All the favourites
Food is served from midday each day of the week and the kitchen closes at 9pm Sunday to Thursday and 10pm on Friday and Saturday.
The menu is extensive and caters for all appetites and occasions. If you fancy some ‘nibbly bits’ and sharers, you’re well catered for and there is also an extensive range of options to have ‘on bread’ or ‘on toast’ (12-6pm Monday to Saturday). The main menu puts a twist on traditional favourites with hearty pub grub dishes including pies, meat, fish and veggie dishes and old favourite hot and cold puds too (proper Spotted Dick or Clotted Cream Rice Pudding anyone?) There is also a kid-friendly menu which features favourites like burgers and sausage and mash alongside some tempting options like mezze and falafel. A Sunday in the pub would be nothing without the Great British roast and The Olive Branch pushes the boat out with a choice of beef, leg of lamb, half a chicken and pork loin with crackling – and all the traditional trimmings too.
If you’re planning to hold an event, conference or function in Wimborne, The Olive Branch can offer a private function room which can accommodate up to 50 guests. This is just a short climb upstairs through the Common Room and offers a quiet and professional space.
Setting the standard
It’s no surprise to learn that The Olive Branch is Hall and Woodhouse’s ‘Alchemy’ or ‘Concept’ restaurant. The venue gives each new idea a thorough run for its money before it is introduced across the group. This approach fits in with the personality of The Olive Branch – welcoming, laid-back and with bags of character.
The Olive Branch opens at 8am every day of the week and is open until 11pm Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday doors close at midnight and The Olive Branch is open until 10.30pm on Sundays.
Whether you need somewhere to grab a light bite between appointments, you want to meet a group of friends on a shared day off or you’re planning a celebratory meal for your extended family The Olive Branch will more than accommodate. Take a look through the menu online and start planning your next excuse for a great day or night out.