Urban Reef Restaurant
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Spring newsletter


Welcome to the 3rd addition of our Urban Reef newsletter. A little later than I would have hoped, but a beautifully sunny school holiday has kept us on our toes. Our payroll soared some £3k per week as we've been trying to match out team levels to demand, which takes a bit of practise. Thanks for your patience whilst we gear up for summer...we do love it!

As always feedback on this months newsletter or anything else is appreciated via mark@urbanreef.com

This month we'll be launching our new spring menu, we introduce you to lovely Lauren, a good friend of lovely Kay and lovely Janusz in 'meet the team', you get to meet the lovely Steve and Debra in our "meet a customer" section, we introduce 'Honey and Mustard vinaigrette' in our recipe section, the 'Seed Company' in our friends section, as well as the winner to our competition and some lovely refreshing spring lemonades in "hiccup"... action packed as always ;-)

Thanks so much for reading, enjoy the blurb, keep in touch and pop in and see us soon.

Cheers – Mark (Head Urbaner)

Mark Cribb Urban Reef owner  

The next 30 days

Boscombe celebration day!

Now I'm not always the council's number one applauder, but I do applaud them for Boscombe regeneration. You can't really argue that it is night and day different to just 18 months ago. The gardens, the pier, the overstrand, yes even the reef have really done a great job in something that I feel can only be achieved with the partnership of public and private sector. Anyway, as a little thank you for all of the local's patience during the construction phase the council are hosting a "celebration day" down on the seafront. It's on the 24th April (yes tomorrow!) and we'll be involved too offering a BBQ and some music on the deck.
You can find more details here.

Strum, strum, hum, hum...

Music is proving as popular as ever on Wednesday nights down at the Reef and Thursday at the Urban Beach. It won't be long and we'll be able to bring the music outside for some alfresco dinner and entertainment. Upcoming acts are listed here as always.

Spring menu

We try to follow the seasons with our menus and we adore spring as English produce really comes to life after the long winter. Asparagus has just come into season in the New Forest so expect to see that appearing on the menu. The first Hampshire strawberries are also available having been grown under cover. Expect some lighter salad and spring risotto dishes too. We hope to launch the new menu next week and the specials board will evolve along with the season as spring turns to summer and more and more local produce comes onto the market. Up to date menus will be available on the website here, but for specials you'll just have to come in and read the board each day.


Meet the team


Lauren is a specialist in her field (well actually beach). Lauren has worked in pretty much every sea side restaurant in town from Aruba to the Beach House, but we love the fact she's chosen us as her home since we opened last May and has become an amazing part of our management team. Lauren's unparalleled knowledge of the particular demands of seafront restaurants is invaluable. The quiet one minute and absolutely swamped the next kind of thing.

What's more, Lauren manages to ooze calmness and sophistication no matter what's going on around her and floats effortlessly around the building with a permanent smile on her face. Lauren is also in charge of all things deli from olives to oils to dips to breads and even our new New Forest soft ice cream served outside. If you have any deli questions you can contact Lauren via lauren@urbanreef.com
(no before you ask gents she is not single!).

Training - I have worked in the industry for about 8 years now. Always working in seafront and riverfront restaurants, for the view and a love of being outside! Spent a lot of time in Christchurch restaurants, then moved to Bournemouth for a brief period before settling at the Reef.
Favourite Food - anything Italian or spicy - I love chillis!!
Favourite drink - probably a Gin and Tonic on a hot day or a nice glass of red by the fire
Did you know - I lived in a converted bus on a farm when I was little!

Meet the Urban team



Meet a customer

We love Boscombe, and having made it our home for the past four and a bit years we really want to recognise the amazing local community who make this place diverse! Each month we'll introduce you to a couple of our lovely customers, who as a thanks for being special will also get dinner for two on us. To nominate yourselves please email community@urbanreef.com and let us know what you like about Urban Reef, Boscombe and life in general xx

Steve & Debra

This month let me introduce you to Steve & Debra:

Who: Steve & Debra met 25 years ago on a beach on The English Riviera - soon afterwards they married on the beach in the Seychelles, then they lived with their daughter Shellie on a beach in the Balearics returning a few years later to Christchurch Quay where their son Nyall was born.

Love: You've probably guessed it... 'the beach and all things water'.  When they were looking for a waterside home to settle, Boscombe seafront seemed the perfect choice.  Working away in London a lot, they love looking forward to getting home and are very impressed with the view out of the window having seen the Vulcan bomber, Spitfires, The Red Arrows, sandcastles the size of pyramids, kite surfers, paddle boarders and even fire eaters!  Not your average view!

Hiccup: Drinking Sailor Jerry's and coke with ice on the reef deck is a must try.

Like the Urban Reef because: ovr to them: 'It's only 120 steps from our home (200 on the way back!) and has become an extension of our kitchen for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's always a real pleasure to meet up with friends at Urban Reef, everyone loves the chilled atmosphere, the music and of course the great food. We've spent Christmas Day, News Years Eve, Birthdays, Easter and made various other ridiculous excuses to have a drink at Urban on a weekly basis since it opened. Never leave as we’d have to move home!  Keep up the good work guys. You've given Boscombe exactly what it needed. A new lease of life! (we do blush at these points... we don't write it... honest UR ;-) )

Urban Reef loyal customers

Steve & Debra


What’s in your tummy?

Honey and Mustard vinaigrette

This is not quite the special recipe we use on our salads, which we know lots of you like, but we can't give out all our secrets!  But it is a very close second and if you fancy having a bash at it you can find nearly all of the ingredients in our Deli, all sourced from our list of lovely local producers.


4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of New Forest honey
1/3 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of The Seed Company rapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon of Cornish Sea Salt

Put all the ingredients into a jam-jar, make sure the lid's on firmly and shake like mad!


Urban Reef What’s in your tummy?

Oohh, a competition...

Give a hug get a hug, that's our philosophy. Giving gifts is really fun and makes people smile. We love our customers, we really do, so we'd like to make you smile and give you a gift too. But we're competitive folk to, so you have to earn your gift, just like the special limerick writer to your right.

So this month we'd love you to design a postcard for Boscombe and send to competition@urbanreef.com. At the end of May we'll judge them all and turn the winner into a real "urban reef" postcard for our customers to use. As the winner you'll also win dinner for two on a night of your choice at the Urban Reef. We don't mind what's on the postcard, but showcasing how wonderful new Boscombe is would clearly be brilliant.

Congratulations to Bob Sharpe who won last months poem / limerick competition by making us smile. You can read the little ditty here and we look forward to Bob and a guest coming to enjoy dinner on us as our guest.

Competition winners

Competition winner
Bob Sharpe


Some of our bestest friends

The Seed Company

Based in Sherborne our friends at the Seed Company work closely with agronomists (seed experts - slip that word into conversation this week!) from their parent company, Pearce Seeds, a family business with more than 40 years' experience in agriculture.

" That means we care very much about the provenance of the rapeseed we have selected and we will never make oil from a blend of seed. We then grow the seed crop on selected neighbouring farms with whom we've forged loyal partnerships ".

The Seed Co's cold pressed rapeseed oil contains just 6% saturated fat, where most olive oils have 14% and most sunflower oils around 10%.  By taking just one pressing, the oil retains all its original properties, including essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6, 9 and Vitamin E.  Basically, less food miles than Olive Oil as a Dorset produce and flippin tasty too so give it a try.

Interesting Fact

They also distribute their oil to Olives ET Al (based in Sturminster Newton), who use it in their dressings (such as the raspberry and mint one we sell in the deli) and also the oil is used in Dorset Thick and Thins.  A lovely little local Dorset family kinda thing going on.

Urban Reef bestest friends  

Come with us

Oh it's so lovely. As I sit here now, the sun is shining and with the windows shut it looks warm enough outside for a swim. Anyway, the rapidly approaching summer means we need heaps of people to come and join the team. Right now we need really passionate people who have a genuine love of hospitality. We can teach you heaps, but we struggle to instil the basic human desire to make other people happy. If you have that please take a look on our 'job' page here and send us your details.  Part time, full time, managers, chefs, waiters, bar crew... we really need all sorts right now at both the Urban Beach and Urban Reef. In the summer we have almost 100 staff between the two locations... that is pretty crazy too... used to just be me...




Evenings are lighter, the days are warmer, Summer fruits are coming in to season, so we thought it was time to make some deliciously refreshing home made lemonades.

If you would like to make some yourself then you will need:

Fresh fruit – (Kiwi, strawberries, or rhubarb are now coming in to season)
Lemon juice
Sugar syrup (100ml boiling water & 100g sugar stirred, makes 4 shots)


Muddle (press inside the glass) the fruit
Add the sugar syrup (when cold!)
Fill the glass with some ice
Top up with still or sparkling water

Job done... Sit back. Enjoy.

Alternatively, if you just fancy relaxing on our wonderful deck, listening to the waves, with the sun warming your face, then our bar team would love to make some for you. Watermelon, ginger and rhubarb, strawberry, grapefruit or even a classic... what ever is in season, the flavours are endless. You can always add a dash of something stronger if the mood takes you!!

The Urban Reef Hiccup  

Maria wants to be included in your holiday!

Maria (one of our lovely bar crew) thought it would be nice if, whilst you are off enjoying yourselves in different parts of the world /country, you spare a thought for her and send her a postcard with an interesting or funny picture on it. Maria would love to decorate our blank wall with all the places you find time to go when you are not relaxing on our deck or enjoying yourselves in our restaurant. So, if you find anywhere to go that makes you feel happy, smiley and  Urban Reef like, send a postcard of it to Maria at Urban Reef via the address below and it'll be on display for your return.  Over the years we hope this will grow into a really interesting story of our customers around the world.

web: www.urbanreef.com

Urban Reef Restaurant
The Overstrand,
Undercliff Drive,
Tel: 01202 443960

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