The Rope and Anchor, Poole

Been a while, hasn’t it? It’s been a bit chaotic here with trying to run a copywriting business on the one side and market a newly-published novel on the other. Unfortunately, you will see a bit less of Expensive Tastes in the upcoming months while things fall into place. Hopefully, we won’t be gone too long, and will be back with a load of new content and a couple of guest contributors in tow.

In the meantime, here’s our latest review…


It has been a while since I was in the habit of visiting Poole town centre. But when I was there most recently, I took a walk into the old town, where some of the town’s better restaurants and pubs are situated. This includes our five-year reigning high-scorer, Storm.

You will find more and more pubs the closer to the Quay you get, which gave my visit a nostalgic element, given my social circle and I have enjoyed the odd pub crawl down there. Not recently, though. One venue that I have never visited before is called The Rope and Anchor.

This pub is one of those that looks a Hell of a lot smaller on the outside. From its narrow entrance opened up a rather spacious bar and restaurant with a beer garden beyond.

Breaded Crab Claws with Chilli Dip

Their menu was full of choices, not to mention a few specials. On a budget as I am these days until business picks up, I couldn’t be enjoying any scallops on this occasion. Instead, it was a few Breaded Crab Claws with Chilli Dip (see pictured).

These are a Chinese buffet restaurant staple. They are delightfully moreish, though they weren’t made up of crab meat as I enjoy it. It was the rubbery, lightly-fish-flavoured stuff that are used to make fish-sticks. Still, when deep-fried in breadcrumbs with a light chilli sauce coating, that little imperfection is masked just fine.

Fine quality and good old-fashioned fare came into play in the main course. I have not had faggots in a restaurant since Expensive Tastes was only a couple of months old. This was at The Market House in Bridport; also the first place I ever tried scallops. I must admit, I have better memories of the portion size from six years ago. That’s not to say that The Rope and Anchor was stingy, just that The Market House’s portion size nearly winded me at the sight of it.

Butcher’s Faggots with Red Wine Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables (carrots and broccoli)

Faggots in a Red Wine Gravy with Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables as served by The Rope and Anchor (see pictured) fulfilled every expectation I had. These were proper Welsh meatballs from the butcher; not something whipped up in the microwave. Anyone who’s calorie-conscious will be pleased to hear that these are actually very good for you and rich in protein. It’s the flavour that might get you.

If you buy them from the supermarket – one of the chain manufacturers like Mr Brains, then the flavour is more reminiscent of sausage meat. However, if you taste the genuine ones from the butchers, then you will definitely detect the offal. That’s no problem to me since I love offal. And these faggots were particularly delicious. Very meaty and juicy. And more than enough to line one’s stomach until dinner.

How do we rate the service? The barmaid on duty was nice enough and quite conversational when serving me directly at the bar. However, there was no real extra effort to ensure everything was okay with the meal or anything like that. In a pub, I suppose it’s not so much of a requirement. Especially when it’s a party of one.

Nevertheless, I’d happily see it added to a pub crawl venue list…

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