Number 9, Wimborne

by The Foodie Bugle Reporters14th July 2011

There are many reasons to move to Wimborne Minster, the pretty east Dorset market town at the confluence of the River Stour and the River Allen. It has some of the most beautiful 15, 16 and 17th Century architecture you will find in Pevsner, a 1930’s art deco cinema and theatre, the Tivoli, a wonderful Saxon church with Victorian and Gothic architecture church, a Priest’s House Museum and the highest life expectancy of anywhere in the UK.

And now we have found another reason. Number 9 Restaurant, in West Borough street, right at the heart of its bustling thoroughfares, is the sort of establishment that adds a nought to local house prices and joy to the hearts of its residents. Many beleaguered market towns in recessionary Britain would be so proud to have it in their midst.

The building itself dates from 1790, and one of the original brick and timber walls was found beneath a layer of plaster. The décor is light, bright, French country house meets Georgian parlour in feel. Toile de Jouie and stripy ticking linen upholstered chairs, glass chandeliers, wooden tables and floors, fresh summer flowers and French impressionist prints on the walls create a very peaceful, uncluttered, stylish and homely feel.

Outside there is a very large seating area on both sides of the building, and there is a very pretty cottage garden built into a walled bed. It is buzzing with honey bees and butterflies, and it provides an enchanting backdrop to an already handsome courtyard.

The Restaurant is owned by Roy and Linda Tazzyman, who are originally from Yorkshire, and the manageress, Helen, lives upstairs, in what would have been the bedrooms of this rich merchant’s house in the 18th Century. If these walls and cellars could talk, what a tale they would have to tell.

The service is excellent: bright and breezy waitresses are polite, cheery and enthusiastic to work here. And who wouldn’t be?

The Menus for both lunch and dinner feature very simple, seasonal and local food, created with confident and careful hands. Honeybrook Farm, a working Dorset farm for over 500 years, is one of their suppliers (http://honeybrook.org).

Here is a small taster of what you can look forward to: open steak or Dorset crab sandwiches; local cheese Ploughman’s Board; Old Sarum Blue and spinach, watercress and broad bean salad; poached and smoked salmon fishcakes with soft poached eggs; roast chicken with chorizo butter sauce and Parmiggiano crushed new potatoes; wild seabass and fennel cooked on the Plancha; salad of Honeybrook Farm ham hock; Raspberry and pink champagne jelly.

For pudding I enjoyed a classic homemade peach crumble served with lavender ice cream which was warm and cold, fragrant, soft and delicious.

There was a graduation ceremony that day at Wimborne Minster and the town was absolutely packed with parents, visitors and shoppers. The restaurant was full and then some, "Reserved" tags on nearly every single table, yet the ladies still managed smiles, speed, efficiency and good humour. It’s the Dorset air, the gentle, rural pace and the love of land, respect of good ingredients and passionate, simple cooking that have made Number 9 as successful as it is. Long may it continue. What a foodie find.

Contact Details

Number 9 restaurant,

West Borough

Wimborne Minster.

Telephone: 01202 887557

 

About the Author

The Foodie Bugle Reporters write about interesting artisan food, drink and craft producers and events.

 
 
Eddie Wesson

Eddie Wesson - 17th July 2011 3:26 pm

Happened upon this charming place on our way to Prezzo and thought, let’s give it a try; and we weren’t at all disappointed. Spent more than we had intended but thought it was extremely good value for money. Reminded me of a French bar whre you could turn up for a drink or choose a single item off the menu.

Charming barman and waitress. Excellent, beautifully presented starters that you could have paid an awful lot more for at a local “fine dining” establishment that Number Nine could easily equal, if not exceed.

My main was delicious and a perfectly cooked locally sourced steak. My wife’s main was a fish course that she felt was not right and on raising the issue with our lovely waitress, she took the dish back to the kitchen and asked what else my wife would like and she chose a chicken course which again, was beautifully presented and tasty.

When we asked for the bill, nothing was charged for my wife’s main course and although I protested that we should pay for the chicken course, they would not accept payment. A refreshing and generous gesture.

We’ll definitely go again.

Number 9, West Borough, Wimborne Minster, Dorset.

Number 9, West Borough, Wimborne Minster, Dorset.

As you enter the restaurant this is the dining area and fireplace on your right.

As you enter the restaurant this is the dining area and fireplace on your right.

This is the original wall, dating from 1790.

This is the original wall, dating from 1790.

Low beams, watch out!

Low beams, watch out!

The main seating area of the restaurant.

The main seating area of the restaurant.

There is a leather suitcase filled with toys for children.

There is a leather suitcase filled with toys for children.

One of the outside seating areas, to the side of the building.

One of the outside seating areas, to the side of the building.

The outside seating area at the back, with the walled cottage garden.

The outside seating area at the back, with the walled cottage garden.

Fresh flowers on every table.

Fresh flowers on every table.

Number 9 salad of the day - delicious, nutritious and fresh.

Number 9 salad of the day - delicious, nutritious and fresh.

Classic homemade peach crumble with lavender ice cream.

Classic homemade peach crumble with lavender ice cream.

More fresh cakes on the counter.

More fresh cakes on the counter.

Helen making coffee from the Gaggia machine.

Helen making coffee from the Gaggia machine. "It's really put through its paces!" she told me.