Fine dining in the New Forest
Where? Careys Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7RH (01590 623551, www.careysmanor.com)
Mood? Grown-up and classic: think soft lighting, a piano tinkling in the background and champagne at the bar before eating. This is one of the few hotel restaurants left where people dress for dinner, so don’t turn up in trainers! The elegant décor is fairly restrained and formal, but this just means you can focus on enjoying the sumptuous food.
Who goes? This is definitely a great place for gazing wistfully into a lover’s eyes, so lots of smooching couples on mini-breaks.
The menu? Extremely imaginative and varied, it would be fair to say this is fine dining and then some. Only top quality products are used and the restaurant strives to use local, free-range and organic food. Think pan-fried New Forest Barramundi or New Forest Venison – we’re talking fresh from the doorstep.
Sounds expensive? It’s actually very reasonable as it’s a set price menu; a three course meal will cost £34 per person.
Not to be missed? The desserts are to die for and the bar staff also make a mean cocktail. Finish with a coffee and chocolates in the bar – how very civil.