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 soufflĂ© 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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