Situated on Richmond Hill in Bournemouth, where all the shops, clubs, bars and restaurants are, is the stylish, modern restaurant that is Wildwood. The restaurant serves a range of European and international favourites as well as menu’s for children.
The general atmosphere of the restaurant is stylish, modern, sophisticated and classy, but comfortable and relaxed too. We visited on a Monday evening, where you may think would be one of the quieter evenings, however, every table was full. The layout of the restaurant is comprised of two floors, the bar being situated on the ground floor. Seating on both floors.
The menu’s are varied but not too overwhelming, which I found a bonus. I don’t like too many options, but that’s just my personal preference. The drinks menu contained different types of lemonade, such as raspberry, passion fruit and mint, which I thought was quite unique and seemed to be quite popular. I ordered a raspberry one myself, Tazmyn went for mint. Both were lovely.
The staff were attentive throughout out meal, and service was good considering how busy they were, I can imagine at a weekend it would be a lot busier though, so would suggest booking a table if you were thinking about dining at any of the wildwood locations then.
For starters, we both decided to try the garlic & chilli tiger prawns on a bed of sourdough bread, I think we went for this starter simply because my mum makes the most amazing garlic and chilli prawns so we assumed they’d be similar tasting, we don’t usually order prawns when in a restaurant though. I’m going to be honest because I don’t want to give my readers a false review, to our personal taste, we really didn’t like these. Tazmyn took one mouthful and said she couldn’t eat anymore, I tried a few mouthfuls but again, couldn’t finish them. They tasted really weird, I’m not sure if they were as fresh as they seemed or whether they just weren’t seasoned enough for us, but either way we kindly told the manager we didn’t like them and apologised (not that it was our fault!) – I’m quite set on how I expect management to treat customers, I think this is because I’ve been to many restaurants and establishments and met some first class staff members, so I don’t see any reason why the level of service should be any less depending on where you go. Unfortunately the manager at this particular Wildwood restaurant, wasn’t very polite, and snapped at us when we said unfortunately we didn’t like the prawns. Her response was “well I’ve tasted them myself and they’re fine” – I didn’t want to get into an argument or disagreement with her because after all, this was a free meal which I was and am eternally grateful for, but I’m also not going to pretend I like something when I don’t.
Anyway, mains came.. and they were better.
Tazmyn went for the wild mushroom risotto, which came with chicken in, even though on the menu it states it is a vegetarian dish and no meat was included in it. When Tazmyn said to the waitress she thought it came with no chicken in, the manager then yelled from the other side of the bar “well are you vegetarian?” Again, I didn’t really think this was professional, and whether you are vegetarian or not, if something says it does not include meat, it shouldn’t include meat lol. Anyway, trying not to be difficult, Tazmyn ate it regardless and said it was lovely, full of flavour.
I had peri peri spicy chicken pasta. I’m Italian, so generally I’m fussy when it comes to pasta, and I am yet to find a better pasta dish than one from my favourite restaurant of all time which is Zizzi, and this wasn’t about to be a contender unfortunately. The actual sauce was nice, and it was spicy, but there was far too much cream in it for me, and I didn’t like the chicken which was thinly sliced like the type you get in a plastic packet in Tesco. It just wasn’t for me, but I ate it regardless. I just wouldn’t order it again.
Dessert – unfortunately, the dessert menu lacks much imagination and there wasn’t anything that actually stood out to me. I would have been happy not having dessert (which is super unlike me) but Tazmyn wanted one so we both had a sundae.
So, Tazmyn went for the chocolate baileys sundae, which contained Oreo biscuits and just all the chocolate basically. She actually said this was one of her best desserts ever. So she thoroughly enjoyed it and would have it again, presentation wise I think it looks okay, but it is priced on the menu at £6 and I’m not sure if it justifies that in my personal opinion. I went for the Eton mess sundae, and again I’m going to be honest because that’s only fair really, I was horrified at its presentation. Again, priced at £6 I just expected presentation to look a bit better than this, because if you compare the presentation of the desserts to the general style and decor of the restaurant, they don’t really add up in my eyes. I’ve had sundae’s at gala and mecca bingo which range in price from about £1.70 which look the exact same as this sundae from Wildwood. I had two spoonfuls and left the rest, it just tasted really cheap and bland. I think if I could suggest anything, I’d possibly keep sundae’s to maybe the children’s menu but eliminate them from the main menu, as they just aren’t very sophisticated in my opinion, and they’re quite dated as well.
I feel terrible being so negative about a free collab with a restaurant that reached out to me and invited me to try their menu, but at the same time, if I lied and said everything was perfect, the companies I really do think are perfect aren’t given the true recognition they deserve and I don’t want to fill people’s minds with false impressions. My review has been nothing but honest, and are only my opinions.
Thank you so much to Wildwood for this opportunity, I’m honoured to have been able to review your restaurant at the Bournemouth location, and i am confident, had we ordered maybe something else from the menu, we would have had different opinions, but all I can talk about is what we actually ate. If you have a Wildwood near you, do check them out, I’d love to know what your experience with them was like, what did you order? Send me pictures and let me know about your visit.