Making the most of the last days of summer, our latest escape to the countryside led us on a journey to discover the charm and beauty of the New Forest, home to some of South East England’s most picturesque countryside. Accompanied by my little sidekick, this time we were invited to stay at The Montagu Arms, a luxury hotel set in fairy-tale woodland, situated within the breath-taking New Forest National Park in the quaint Beaulieu Village, which is also one of the best places to spot the wonderful New Forest ponies.
The hotel consists of 22 sumptuous bedrooms and suites in the main house, and a further 2 Hayloft suites and 9 Courtyard Rooms in the Gertrude Jekyll-inspired gardens, with elegant interior designs inspired by the British countryside.
We stayed in the Courtyard Suite, tucked away in a quiet corner within the grounds of the hotel, which featured a king size four-poster bed, separate lounge area, and a private terrace, with views overlooking the gardens. Seamlessly blending timeless elegance with contemporary style, the building has been respectfully designed to retain the original oak beams which gave it a bit more character, the high ceilings evoked a sense of grandeur.
The plush marble bathroom certainly lived up to our expectations, with a free-standing bath, large walk-in drench shower, double vanity unit with ‘his and her’ sinks, underfloor heating, fluffy bathrobes, and scented products from The White Company.
The room was equipped with an essential Nespresso coffee machine and kettle with a selection of teas, alongside a complimentary decanter of homemade seasonal gin and box of homemade flapjacks, which was a nice welcome touch.
Whilst they may not have an in-house spa within the grounds, guests are given complimentary use of the health club facilities at their sister hotel, Careys Manor in Brockenhurst, which is approximately a 10-minute drive by car.
Pampered Pooch Package
Accustomed to the suite life, Charlotte was treated to their brand new Pampered-Pooch package, complete with an in-room pet bed designed by Ralph and Co., sustainably created dog bowls by Beco, a welcome Beco Pets’ dog hamper on arrival, plus their new curated homemade À la Bark Menu – I do love hotels that go the extra mile to cater to guests and their four-legged family members which undoubtedly makes the experience even more memorable.
We dined at the hotel’s award-winning three AA Rosette restaurant, The Terrace, which offers a modern British menu featuring seasonal and local ingredients straight from the restaurant’s kitchen garden, from across The New Forest, and from the neighbouring coastal counties of Hampshire and Dorset.
We enjoyed refined dishes such as hand dived Orkney scallop with Dulse butter, cured ham, and XO, Cornish monkfish with mussels and smoked bone sauce, and an indulgent fillet of Lyons Hill Farm beef with bone marrow mashed potato, sweetbread, and Madeira jus. For dessert we opted for a deconstructed cheesecake with New Forest strawberries and the selection of british cheeses.
Breakfast the next morning was served in the lounge, where Charlotte was welcome to join us at the table, enjoying her sliced sausage whilst we tucked into a breakfast spread from the continental buffet, as well as freshly prepared dishes of Eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.
For a more casual affair, there is the hotel’s pub, Monty’s Inn, where guests can enjoy delicious heritage cooking and classic english favourites – muddy paws, wellies and families all welcome!
A word of thanks to The Montagu Arms for hosting us over the weekend; I hope to return again soon to explore more of this beautiful region, and perhaps pop into Monty’s Inn for a hearty pub lunch.
- My experience at The Montagu Arms was complimentary – views and photos are my own.