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A classy Get-Away in the New Forest.
Forest Lodge Hotel (Hampshire)
Member Name: jammaker49
Forest Lodge Hotel (Hampshire)
Date: 26/01/02, updated on 03/03/02 (446 review reads)
Advantages: Peaceful, Comfortable, Good food
Disadvantages: Expensive if not on special offer
All four hotels are RAC and AA three star rated. My husband and I have stayed twice at the Forest Lodge, so this opinion will concentrate on that hotel, although my daughter assures me that the Beauleiu is just as good!
The group call themselves the Care Hotels, due to their "green" influences. Being in the heart of the New Forest, they are very aware of conservation, and as such have a policy of recycling and preservation. All waste is saved in recycling units, and everything is set up for minimum wastage.
As many of you will already know, I make jam. During my visits I asked the waiters if I might have the empty individual jam jars left at breakfast time. Not only did they save them for me, they washed them and packed them up ready to transport home.
How to find the Forest Lodge.
You really need a car to access this hotel, as the nearest main station would be Southampton, some 15 miles away. Beaulieu station is about 4 miles into the New Forest, but is so out in the wilds, I doubt they would have a taxi service! And a car is also necessary to explore deep into the forest whilst there.
By car, one needs first to get to Southampton, then take the road to Lyndhurst. It is well signposted. As you reach Lyndhurst, the hotel itself is well signposted, and lies back from the road, on the right.
Our room on both occasions was spacious and comfortable. We had tea and coffee making provisions which were replenished regularly, an en-suite bathroom with shower, and toilet, de
sk, hairdryer, towels which were changed whenever they were left in the bath for that purpose, and extra bedcovers and pillows should we need them. We went in February, during a bitterly cold spell, and found the room warm enough without needing the extra covers.
Nothing was too much for the staff in the restaurant. At breakfast time, you could help yourself to just about anything from the buffet, whilst they prepared your cooked breakfast to order. The apricots in juice containing cinnamon sticks were divine! There were several types of cereal, yoghurts, prunes, grapefruit, cheeses, croissants, just about anything you can think of, including four different kinds of fruit juice.
For the cooked breakfast you could have the full English, or any combination from the menu, including eggs cooked how you wanted, or boiled eggs, poached eggs on toast, smoked haddock and kippers! Hubby usually had the full whack, while I tended to be slightly more restrained, having bacon, sausage, beans, tomato and hash browns!
Then followed the toast and preserves; as much(or as little!) as you wanted, brown or white. Tea and coffee was replenished as required.
The evening menu was table D'hote or a la carte. Being a plain food lover myself, I couldn't fault the fillet steak (well done) with a mixed salad (no dressing!) and new boiled potatoes! One night I experimented with the rolled pork fillet in herbs with saute potatoes, baton carrots and baby peas. It was delicious! Hubby, being more adventurous tried the venison steaks, and a stuffed chicken dish, and pronounced them both wonderful.
My favourite desert was brandy baskets filled with fresh fruits. I'm drooling right now! I made the mistake one night of ordering cheese and biscuits. I received a basket of biscuits, a bunch of grapes, an apple, and about a pound of cheddar cheese! Oh, and celery sticks too!
There is a fi
tness room for guests to use, together with a steam room, sauna and swimming pool. We only used the pool, which, although small, was adequate for a leisurely dip before dinner. Towels were provided, so you did not have to take your room towels with you. There was also a shower in the ladies changing room (and the men's I presume!) with shower gel, shampoo etc, so you could change before going back to your room.
There was a bar in the cellar, and a bar next to the restaurant. Tea and coffee after the meal could be served in the visitors lounge. There was a bookcase full of best sellers and plenty of games if you wanted to challenge any fellow guests to a Trivial Pursuits match.
The surrounding area.
The Forest Lodge is on the edge of Lyndhurst, which in itself is worth a visit. My favourite shop is a Spanish Lace shop where I stock up on tablecloths etc each time I go. They are a real bargain at around £10.00 each. It is also on the edge of the New Forest, and we have had many a walk alongside the Ponies which run free in the Forest. Strangely enough, so do pigs, although they tend to be close to the small farms dotted about the forest. Only 15 minutes away by car is the coast, where you can watch the ferry leave Lymington for the Isle of Wight, and gaze across to the Needles.
The usual cost of a double room is £110 per night (2 people bed and breakfast) plus £21.50 per person for a 3 course table D'hote dinner. However, just before and just after Christmas, for the last 3 years, they have run a special offer of £29.99 per person for bed breakfast and evening dinner, minimum 2 night stay! This sometimes rises to £39.99 at weekends. Believe me, the evening meal alone is worth that!
Check out their website:
Here you will find details about all 4 hotels, and any currently running specials.
We will certainly be going again!
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