Modern British dining is not just about the food, it’s the experience. From amuse bouche to petit four; the flavours, the aromas and the textures, the knowledge that every ingredient has been intricately picked and specifically chosen to create each dish, and always with seasonality and locality at the fore. It’s the ambiance of the restaurant, the excellence of the service, and when you choose a dining break, your bedroom only steps away that you can retreat to for peace, and your best night’s sleep in the heart of the New Forest.
The New Forest is an abundant larder. It supplies much of our ingredients, from asparagus to celeriac, whilst our wonderful Heirloom Tomatoes are grown just across the water on the Isle of Wight. Our neighbouring coastal county of Dorset supplies our Hand Dived Scallops, our Short Rib of White Park Beef comes from Lyon's Hill Farm, and as you may know, we grow as much as possible in our very own kitchen garden, including fragrant fennel and delicious green chillis, all for our New Forest restaurant and cosy country pub, Monty’s Inn.
The wonderful part of visiting our New Forest hotel on a dining break is that the New Forest and local towns and villages have many offerings of their own, so whilst you are here, be sure to pop to local breweries, pick up some wine to take home from nearby vineyards, visit a food festival or stay close and simply enjoy the delicacies our hotel restaurant’s offer.
If you are a herald of hops, you will want to head to one of the local New Forest breweries. The family-run PIG BEER Brewery & Tap Room in the village of Brockenhurst grows their own hops on site and give great focus to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Venture over to Vibrant Forest Brewery, a small brewery at the edge of the New Forest with a passion for ‘modern beers packed with flavour.’ The Brew Forest was created by brother and sister team, David and Helen, who welcome you to pop in to their ‘Nano Brewery and Taproom’ for beers inspired by the forest, brewing in small batches for freshness of flavour. In Ringwood you have the well-known Ringwood Brewery, founded in 1978, the small but mighty brewery produces mainly cask ales and some bottled beers. (Each brewery has differing opening times, check before you go out to avoid disappointment.)
Book a tour of Beaulieu Vineyard, the 45-minute Vineyard Tour and tasting will tell you all about the grapes that have grown at Beaulieu since the medieval times, it should be noted that bookings must be taken three months in advance.
Visit the wonderful Hattingley Valley, near Alresford in Hampshire, producers of our chosen House English sparkling wine, you can enjoy a guided tour through their 600-tonne capacity winery followed by a tasting of their award-wining wines. One of the leading wineries in the UK, they follow the traditional method for producing sparkling wine, with some ageing taking place in oak barrels for up to nine months.
Or perhaps you would rather spend time relaxing, reading or enjoying our English country garden, in which case, can we tempt you to enjoy an Afternoon Tea, why not make it a Hattingley Valley Reserve Afternoon Tea.
What could be more delightful on a dining break than a day of discovering local produce and artisan foods all in one place. The New Forest Food Festival takes place on the 5th and 6th August 2023 and you can book your tickets now. The festival promises ‘gastronomic delights’ and a ‘vibrant atmosphere’ with pop-up stalls, food markets, crafts and music, as well as cooking demonstrations from our very own Monty Stonehewer and Tom Sheppard.
However, if it’s the coast that calls to you, discover the Lymington Seafood Festival on 14th, 15th and 16th July 2023 which will be celebrating Lymington’s rich coastal market town heritage with foodie stalls from local producers of artisan delicacies, as well as craft ales, English wines and local spirits and a host of live music.
From the 25th to 27th July 2023 head to the New Forest and Hampshire County Show; a celebration of the New Forest that began in 1920. It’s a spectacular festival of food, drink, local produce, and agriculture that brings the community together. Do not miss our own chefs demonstrating a dish from The Terrace on Tuesday 25th July at 4.30pm, and a dish from Monty’s on Thursday 27th July at 3.30pm.
If it’s a relaxing dining break you need, then stay close and simply enjoy ambles around our village of Beaulieu. Enjoy traditional heritage cooking and pub classics at our Monty’s Inn or a quintessential afternoon tea with our beautiful country garden as the backdrop. Served on a traditional stand showcasing finger sandwiches, delicate pastries, and warm scones ready to be smothered with fruit jam and thick clotted cream.
From arriving at our hotel, to sitting down to dinner in The Terrace, or breakfast the next morning, a dining break with us is one for connoisseurs of flavour and lovers of culinary experiences, and is certainly one that ought to be savoured, never hurried, and reminisced about with the most fondness.
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