The changing season not only makes our ancient woodland a breath-taking destination for last minute breaks and romantic getaways, but true foodies will appreciate all that the autumn brings, for our New Forest larder is abundant and supplies many of the kitchens in and around Beaulieu.
Now is the time to plan your autumn or winter escape, not only to sample our new plates and seasonal menus, but to try the flights of local vineyards, taste artisan chocolate made by our local chocolatiers and wander Christmas markets to find those perfectly unique Christmas gifts.
The table is set… This is your culinary guide to autumn and winter in and around the village of Beaulieu in the heart of the New Forest.
Modern British dining at its finest cherishes the seasons and embraces the importance of locally grown produce for flavour and sustainability. The mastery is in how each ingredient is thoughtfully chosen and artfully prepared to deliver unforgettable flavours, textures, and aromas with every plate.
Foodies looking for a dining break in Hampshire needn’t look any further than our very own country hotel, with the choice of two restaurants - The Terrace and Monty’s Inn - you may want to stay for longer than planned. The menu at The Terrace is most certainly guided by the season and the freshness of the produce available; from the venison that’s sourced from the nearby Beaulieu Estate just across the river to the hand-picked New Forest mushrooms. Local is always the first choice when it comes to the ingredients, and if it can be grown in-house, our very own kitchen garden doesn’t get more local.
Just steps away from our Beaulieu hotel you will find the specialist Beaulieu Chocolate Studio; artisan chocolatiers with gold star awards from the Guild of Fine Food (the Great Taste Awards). Small and proudly independent, you will find delightful gifts suited to any occasion at the Beaulieu Chocolate Studio, perfect for those who appreciate artisan food and delicious chocolate. Or perhaps you’d like to call in for a sweet treat for yourself. There are flavours for all, from cappuccino buttons and banoffee bars to dark cherry choc and nut-filled creations.
We don’t always need a reason to get together, but yuletide festivities are surely one of the finest. A Christmas party or lunch with colleagues, friends or family is a more traditional choice, or perhaps a festive afternoon tea with a plenty of Christmas glitz is more your kind of indulgence. Whatever celebration you’re looking for, festive gatherings at the Montagu Arms are extra special, promising a party like no other paired with fine wine, fine dining, and fine company. The festive menus are already prepared and ready to be perused.
Wrap up and head out on a festive foray to a nearby Christmas market later this autumn and winter, to delight in the enticing aroma of freshly roasted chestnuts and mulled wine spice. There's nothing like a Christmas market to get you in the festive mood, and you're guaranteed good food; hog roasts, churros and bratwursts being popular festive eats.
Not far from us, you can experience a city by night; Winchester Christmas Market is set in the beautiful and historic grounds of Winchester Cathedral and is open from 17th November to 21st December 2023; one of the most popular, must-visit markets; discover an array of quaint chalets bursting with handpicked gifts, interspersed with delicious treats, and warming hot drinks to keep you toasty as you wander the streets of the old capital.
Or for something a little smaller and bursting with festive fun, explore the Christmas Market in Brockenhurst on the 10th December, and the chance to support local producers and crafters.
For those searching for a new winter tipple, step into the world of Wyrd Gin ‘The Spirit of the New Forest’ where you can tour the distillery, ‘discover the secrets of gin distilling first-hand’ and even create your own. Or perhaps creating a bottle for someone special is that unqiue and thoughtful gift you’ve been looking for. https://wyrdspirits.com
If a local wine is more to your taste, don’t miss a visit to the family-run Setley Ridge Vineyard, just outside of the village of Brockenhurst. At Setley Ridge they grow the grapes, make the wine, and bottle it all on site; pick up a bottle (or two) from the Setley Ridge Farm Shop – the perfect pairing for your festive celebrations. Vineyard tours are also available (by appointment only) until October, where you can enjoy a tour of the vineyard and a wine tasting. https://setleyridge.co.uk
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