Column for Seven Days magazine

With all of the sweetness of Easter fast approaching, my team at Patrick’s understand how a decadent dessert is the perfect end to a fine meal.

The inimitable ‘afters were appreciated by the world’s most ancient civilisations, where candied honeycomb and honey-glazed dried fruits begin mankind’s love affair with the sweet.

While it is true that simplicity can sometimes be the making of a pudding, desserts as we know them today can be much more complex. Balancing strong flavours without overpowering subtle notes, like star anise, and finding often unusual blends like chocolate and chilli, can create a dish with elegance, originality and style.

But let’s not forget the old favourites and you can never go wrong with a Bramley apple crumble. We mix it up with the introduction of fresh seasonal blackberries and switch the crumble to oatmeal for a crisper crunch.

We seek a delicate and intricate balance of flavours in order to satisfy our diners’ sweet tooth. The hot and cold elements of our chocolate ice cream bar with warm fudge sauce complement each other so perfectly that we have made it our signature dish.

Our speciality sundaes, Chockabockerglory, Lemoncurd meringue and Rocky road, are a twist on the classics and always prove popular.

For those who are too full up and simply can’t find the room, we can whip up an Irish coffee to send you on your way.

Chris Howard has been head chef at Patrick’s restaurant in Ashley Cross Poole since it first opened its doors in 2006. He creates inspiring menus, which are updated regularly to showcase the best fresh produce of the season.