Arriving at this ivy-clad bolthole, the smell of wood smoke lingers in the air. A home from home the moment you cross the threshold, it’s cosy, inviting and rustic in the most delightful way. A palette of olive and soft grey sets the tone throughout; the floorboards are uneven, walls are heavy with bookcases and log fires roar and crackle at every turn. Stroll down to the walled garden and you’ll find the foragers at work, busying themselves in the beds of spinach, kale and mint. Make your way to the paddock and you’ll meet chickens, wild ponies and of course the pigs themselves.
Rooms take on a farmhouse feel with exposed beams, light colours and charming floral details minus the chintz. Cocooned in the most luxurious of linens, the marshmallow soft beds make for a great night’s sleep, while the tension-melting monsoon showers are a welcome luxury after a gruelling forest hack. Though there’s no spa, the Potting Shed offers a tempting line up of Bamford treatments in an intimate garden setting.
Taking centre stage here is the restaurant. The emphasis is on unfussy, British food and the chefs stay true to their 25 mile menu; what can’t be foraged from the kitchen garden is sourced locally. It’s booked up every night of the week and there’s a real buzz about the place, plus the design is pretty special to say the least. Decked out to look like a Victorian greenhouse, you can expect low-hanging lanterns, columns entangled with foliage and a fabulous tiled floor. Cocktail wise, order a round or two of the ginger-infused Pig & Bread. You won’t be disappointed!
Best room: Both of the Hideaway rooms – Tamworth and The Hen House – are great.
Dress code: Wax jackets and tweed. Save room in your luggage by leaving your Hunter boots at home - borrow a pair from reception instead
Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst
Phone: 01590 622354
Doubles from £149