The Scullery at Lime Wood

Delicious, laidback eats at the New Forest's newest hideaway

Where? The Scullery at Lime Wood, Beaulieu Rd, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7FZ (023 8028 7168,

That’s a fancy hotel, what’s everyone doing eating in the kitchen? Seriously enjoying themselves, as far as we could see. The atmosphere here, with its country-house-kitchen styling and large open fireplace, is conducive to long, laidback suppers or boozy lunches that last all afternoon. For those who do want to get all dressed up, Lime Wood’s swanky restaurant – The Dining Room – is just next door.

What’s on the menu? There’s an extensive choice of starters (or ‘small courses’, as they’re named here) with traditional dishes like potted beef with oxtail jelly, and ham, lentil and pearl barley broth going down a treat with guests who’ve been out all day walking the New Forest trails. Along the same theme, there’s a whole ‘On Toast’ menu (toppings on offer include wild mushrooms, Forest rarebit and, of course, Heinz Baked Beans), plus sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes. For those wanting something a little more substantial, mains of John Robinson Lime Wood Sausage with mash and onion gravy, or Lobster & Chips can’t be beaten.

And to finish? Continuing the British, locally-sourced theme, the dessert menu is packed with traditional favourites. We loved the Laverstock Buffalo Milk Ice Cream with hot chocolate sauce and a rich ‘petit pot au chocolat’, while diners on the table next door made swift work of their sherry trifle and spotted dick with custard.

Need to know? The Scullery is open throughout the week for scrumptious breakfasts, lunches and supper. In the summer, call up in advance and request a table on the sun-drenched outdoor terrace then, after you’ve eaten, swing by reception for a map and walk off your meal on one of the easy circular rambles that start from the forest gate at the side of the hotel.

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