Refined cuisine, good atmosphere and ideal location for boaters. Phil Sampson talks about Les Enfants Terribles of Weymouth, a restaurant that has it all …
Every once in a while you discover a restaurant that you would like to shout from the attic. Then, on second thought, you would selfishly prefer to keep it to yourself lest you never have a table there again.
Les Enfants Terribles, located on the quayside a short walk from the Harbor Master in Weymouth, is one such place. Discreet, understated and serving a menu predominantly of seafood to die for, the place is a dream.
The man responsible for making this particular reverie come true is Chef Eric Tavernier, a native Frenchman who learned his trade in Lille and whose CV includes personal chef spells from Rupert Murdoch and the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi.
The article continues below …
Eric has also managed several restaurants in London, but it is in the French Alps that our history has its origins. Eric was employed at the upscale Mont Blanc hotel in Megève, whose restaurant is called Les Enfants Terribles.
In creating his British version, Eric applied the culinary skills and the values of quality and service he acquired in Megève and around the world.
As regular readers of these reviews know, during the lockdown, we asked for restaurant recommendations from MBY forum users. Having visited Les Enfants Terribles in 2019, it is not surprising to see his name proposed by several users of the forum, which could not be more eloquent.
For anyone with a taste for fish, I would go so far as to say that I think it would be very difficult to come out disappointed with Enfants Terribles.
It might have been a long time ago, but Mrs S and I remember the experience as flawless from start to finish, with beautiful, fresh produce cooked, presented and served with the utmost care.
We really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the saloon-like bistro, and a special touch was that Eric appeared outside the house a couple of times during the evening to personally check that everyone was happy.
We both took mental notes to get back as soon as possible. In fact, the weather changed and we were forced into an unexpected extended stay in the city marina.
We decided to give it a try for a second visit to the restaurant but – holy blue and damn it – the word must have leaked already as the place was rammed for the rest of the week.
A second mental note was made to return the following year, but the pandemic got in the way. As of this writing, we hope this will be the lucky third time – Eric is waiting to wait for our call!
Getting there by boat
From the west Weymouth requires you to bypass Portland Bill, and from the east there is the Lulworth Ranges Glove to run – so in terms of dangers, take your pick! Once safely in Weymouth Bay, the harbor entered between two piers.
Moorings are available in the harbor channel, but many visitors will stay upstream from Town Bridge. Smaller boats can squeeze through at low tide, but larger vessels must wait for the bridge to rise every two hours. Contact the harbor master on channel 12 for more details.
Cost: £ 100 for two, based on a three-course dinner and a bottle of wine. Lunch for two, always with wine, costs around £ 70.
Times: Varies by season, check website for current information.
Verdict: Despite its name, there is nothing terrible about this restaurant, quite the contrary. And, despite the name again, kids are welcome – they even have their own menu.
Contact: 01305 772270; www.les-enfants-terribles.co.uk