Welcome to autumn. September’s arrived, and with it comes a yearning to pull on a jumper and our favourite pair of wellies and start stomping around the woods. But we’ll need a particularly lovely retreat to call home, of course: Lime Wood hotel in Hampshire fits the bill…
STYLE Mannered modern manor
SETTING New Forest’s ancient capital
WHY THIS WEEK?
There’s no better season to enjoy the English countryside than autumn, when the last rays of summer sun are still shining, the long winter nights haven’t quite taken hold. And if long hikes through the trees work up your appetite, you’re in luck: book a Forest Foodie Getaway to enjoy award-winning seasonal dining at Hartnett Holder & Co and a few thoroughly relaxing hours at the Herb House spa.
OUR FAVOURITE BITS
Lime Wood took home the Best Hotel Restaurant gong at our Smith Hotel Awards last year, so you can guess what the highlight is for us: Chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder combine their Italian and British heritage with their love of hands-on ingredient sourcing to bring you foraged fungi from the neighbouring forest, hand-reared meat cured at the onsite Smokehouse, and an entire menu of refined comfort food. And then there’s the three-floor Herb House spa, a sprawling complex of bathhouses, pools and steam rooms. If you’re after a pleasingly decadent British break, Lime Wood is the place.
YOU SAY… ‘The spa was exceptional. I loved the gorgeous country walks, the food and the blissfully peaceful surroundings. The service was great too.’ Heleana, GoldSmith, January 2015
MR & MRS SMITH SAY… ‘After my second glass of complimentary wine, I declare our little corner of Lime Wood ‘New England show home’ in look. White painted slatted walls, exposed eaves, sisal matting, everything gleaming, no detail overlooked. (Actually, they forgot a corkscrew, but the nice tweed-capped chap soon puts that right.) There’s even fresh fruit and reference books to identify the local trees and tips on how to forage for mushrooms. Yes, there are two massive plasma TVs, but the kids are champing at the bit to choose from a rainbow of borrowable Hunter wellies and bikes. As there are not yet child seats or stabilisers, Mr Smith rediscovers the lost art of the ‘backie’ and we’re off.’ Read our full anonymous review.
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