Simply Poussin

Fine dining in a laidback atmosphere at one of the New Forest's most famous bistros

Where? The Courtyard, Brookley Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7RB (01590 623063).

Mood? Quiet and understated

Why go? A slightly less expensive version of the award-winning, Michelin-starred Le Poussin (which is just down the road at country house hotel Whitley Ridge), Simply Poussin’s dishes are just as good, but with a little less pomp and ceremony, so perfect if you want fine food, but don’t feel like getting dressed up for the experience.

To eat? The twice-baked cheese soufflé is much copied, but never bettered, and if you miss the whole scallops you’ll regret it for years to come. For your main dish, the tomato tart tatin is a good choice for vegetarians, but meat lovers will adore the ‘Beef Le Poussin’ and the veal steak stuffed with wild mushroom mousse.

To drink? There’s a sommalier’s choice to go with every dish, so drink your wine by the glass for an all-round gastronomic experience.

Need to know? Simply Poussin was celebrated chef Alex Aitken’s first restaurant and has been operating for over 21 years; it’s now expertly run by his son. If you’re visiting in the summer, book ahead and ask for a table in the courtyard.

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