The Paddle - Highcliffe
The Paddle is a great little cafe/restaurant on the corner of Waterford Road in Highcliffe don't make the mistake of walking or driving by as it is definitely worth a visit. If the front room looks full there is another room to accommodate diners and the staff will be more than happy to find you a suitable spot.
The owners Donna and Harry opened The Paddle almost four years ago and it is clearly going from strength to strength with another room added and a juice/smoothie bar open in the summer for passers by. The team are all relatively young but extremely good at what they do, making everyone feel welcome and providing a smooth friendly service. There is a huge selection of drinks available teas, coffees, juices and smoothies so many in fact I found it difficult to choose.
The day to day menu is changed every three months or so but inspired by their travels the daily specials menu, is creative and contains some more unusual options. I hear Harry who does the cooking is a big daal fan and you will find it on the menu on a regular basis.
One of the specials leapt off the board at me (chicken satay salad) and I was not disappointed, generous strips of chicken with a drizzle of a delicious satay sauce, a variety of fresh leaves all sourced locally, coriander, cucumber all topped off with fresh pomegranate.
I washed it all down with a Sweet and Sour juice a combination of apple, lime and pineapple, all in all I was very pleased with myself having chosen a very healthy meal and eaten a good portion of my five a day. Some of the other diners had chosen the not so healthy options of wood oven pizzas and burgers but where still equally pleased with their choices.
The restaurant takes on a whole new feel on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings when they stay open until 10pm the twinkling fairy lights give off a warm and cosy glow and a different menu is on offer have promised to take my husband there to try the pizza. Small independent cafe/restaurants are struggling in today's climate along with everyone else but if you find one that is this good lets shout about it and support them whenever possible.
Donna has spent some time abroad as a barista and was really enthusiastic about serving proper coffee so I ordered a flat white to finish, it was without doubt the best coffee I have ever had.
397 Waterford Road