Birthday lunch at The Shell Bay Restaurant

Shell Bay Restaurant

A birthday treat

I was taken for a birthday treat lunch at The Shell Bay Restaurant on Sunday. We had intended to go by boat but on looking at the weather forecast we decided that it wouldn’t be a good plan. Maybe it would have been fine on the journey there, but with a full tummy on the return trip who knows what the result could have been!

We drove to Studland, parked up in the National Trust carpark and walked the few yards to the restaurant. On arrival we were greeted by ‘Ben’ and were told our table would soon be ready. We decided to have a G&T and sit outside in the sunshine whilst our table was prepared. We were certainly in no hurry, as it was so lovely just to sit and enjoy the surroundings. A short while later Ben came outside and took us to our table. We sat right at the water’s edge, and with the clear glass, frame-less doors it felt amazing. It felt like we were sitting outside, but in the warmth of the restaurant.

A fabulous view

The view was to die for, looking across to Brownsea Island and the other smaller islands with lots of boats and yachts passing each other. The famous chain ferry was kept busy too, going backwards and forwards across to Sandbanks taking vehicles and foot passengers.


We made our choices from the menu which is predominantly fish and shellfish (it does also offer steak etc). I chose the shell-on prawns as a starter and the beer battered haddock and chips for my main course – it was absolutely gorgeous and all washed down with a bottle of house white! To my surprise, having declined a dessert, Ben appeared singing ‘Happy Birthday’ with a ‘flaming’ sticky toffee pudding which we all shared….YUM!

I had a fabulous time and could not fault either the food or excellent, friendly service so will certainly be recommending it to friends. The only sad thing is, the restaurant closes in November (when the chain ferry is taken off for servicing etc) and re-opens on February 14th – just in time for Valentines Day. This was a fabulous birthday treat, I for one, can’t wait ‘til I visit again !

In the PRESS!

Here is what The Sunday Times Magazine has to say about them:

Three of the Best Seafood Restaurants
“An eatery with a panoramic view out to Brownsea Island that is almost as stunning as the beautiful fresh fish fish they serve.”

Finding the restaurant

Nuzzled on the edge of the Isle of Purbeck, we overlook stunning Brownsea Island, the waters of Poole Harbour and Sandbanks.
Either enjoy a scenic drive through the Isle of Purbeck from Corfe Castle and find us at the edge of the National Park that dominates this side of the Jurassic Coast. Or, if you’re coming from Bournemouth, Poole or Sandbanks, simply hop onto the chain ferry and you’ll find them there alongside the tip of the beach as you disembark.

Browse cottages in the Swanage and Purbeck Area