“GREAT cocktails, great food and great people” is the ethos for brand new Salisbury bar, Dancing Moose.

Situated in the heart of the city, the newest addition to the restaurant/bar scene offers a rustic, upcycled interior, hearty food and exotic drink concoctions all day every day, with something for every single taste bud.

As we first walked inside, getting treated to a taste of the lunch menu, we were immediately hit with the relaxing atmosphere and a ‘weekend’ feel (shame it was a Thursday!), and it stayed that way for the whole afternoon.

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Taking pride in being more of a drink-oriented venue, to start our lunch date we scanned our eyes over a unique list of cocktails that filled four pages of the drinks menu, offering combinations of fruits, sweets and more, alongside the finest liquor.

And of course they had the classic cocktails too – we were spoilt for choice.

Our dining experience began with two of the bar’s most popular cocktails; No Diggity, a refreshing and citrus blend of lemon, peach, jasmine, Prosecco and Tanqueray, and Electric Relaxation, lime, Cointreau and Aqua Riva, with a blob of candy floss on the side.

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It felt wrong having the sugary treats in the middle of a work day but they were a perfect starter, and highly complimentary to the plates upon plates of food we received shortly after!

“We’re all about the hosting experience here and creating a service where customers can sit back and relax,” explains Jarrod Cronje, general manager at Dancing Moose.

Jared brought his catering and waiting expertise to the city when he moved to Salisbury six months ago from Johannesburg, South Africa, with his wife and three children.

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With the venue only opening in July, he said: “It’s been going really well here so far. In South Africa we call looking after the customers ‘hosting’ and that’s what we all call it here.

“The team are great and I am so proud of them, they capture what this chain is all about.”

Lunch time! A huge variety of American-inspired cuisine was set upon our table, including a southern-fried chicken Parma, wrapped in a coat of melted mozzarella and mouth-watering Napoli sauce, crispy and salted skin-on fries, and the pub favourite, the Moose Burger – a rich beef patty topped with streaky bacon, Red Leicester, iceberg lettuce, juicy tomatoes, onion, house-made pickles and a touch of dancing burger sauce.

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Showing off the restaurant’s twist on brunch, California Eggs brought some fire to the table.

As I cut into the poached eggs, the yolk exploded beautifully across the chipotle BBQ pulled pork and grilled-to-perfection sourdough, decorated with the contrasting flavours of jalapeños, fresh avocado and house-made salsa, alongside a generous pouring of spiced hollandaise sauce.

This was definitely a dish I’d never think to order but will definitely return for!

And as for the Korean chicken wings, one of Jarrod’s favourites, - if I wasn’t so full I could have easily inhaled an entire kilo’s worth. The fusion of BBQ and spices alongside pickled vegetables was a new but welcome flavour, coating succulent pieces of chicken that came away from the bone with ease.

As we later got shown around, there was plenty to take in that really paid homage to the saloon-inspired feel of the pub, as well as an upcycled focus making the pub greener than competitors.

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Moose illustrations and comical signs covered the walls, adding to the homely, cosy feel of the bar.

Inside the cellar (which was to my joy nothing like the dingy, dusty, ‘horror film’ monstrosity that we all associate a ‘cellar’ with) boasted a “Heineken octopus”, claiming to be one of the very few of its kind in the area, designed to send the renowned beverages through 70m tubes across the pub.

And standing out against a city full to burst with eating and drinking venues, the bar transforms at the weekend into the perfect nightlife hotspot, with a DJ providing the best retro hits.

Straying away from the tourist hustle and bustle of Bournemouth and Poole, the Salisbury chain was described as “mature” and “all about the regulars”.

“Salisbury is obviously smaller, so we get to focus a lot more on our loyal customers and make them feel like they belong here. It’s much more emotionally based here,” Jared added.

With specialist deals throughout the week, including Happy Hour, cheaper wings on a Monday and Taco Tuesday, and a roast dinner every Sunday accompanied by live music, Dancing Moose is really setting itself up to be one of the most talked about bars. See you on the dancefloor!