Pictures by Amy Murrell
Let’s be honest, January is a rubbish month, so there is no better time to treat yourself to a bit of R&R, and Lime Wood is just the place for that. First off, it’s in the middle of the countryside in New Forest, which always provides great escapism, especially if you live in London. Secondly, it’s basically what rom coms are made of. At the end of the a long drive, a charming country house appears, dreamily covered in ivy. Sadly, Mr Darcy is not included.
As mentioned above, it’s the ultimate countryside escape, but with a stylish twist. Yes, there are still the cosy fireplaces, giant armchairs and bookshelves you associate with an old manor, but there are modern, eclectic touches too, from the art deco style glass-roofed gallery (complete with pink swivel chairs and marble bar) to the Scandi-inspired breakfast room.
There is a room style to cater for everyone, and to be honest, they’re all great, from the cosy eaves rooms overlooking the grounds, to the secluded lake cabin with a copper bath on the balcony. We stayed in the Forest Suite, which included a gigantic four poster bed, separate lounge are with TV, and white marble bathroom with both a rain shower and bathtub, also overlooking the gardens. Luxurious yet cosy.
Whilst staying at Lime Wood, you simply must book a meal at Hartnett Holder & Co, an Italian restaurant that’s full of character yet unpretentious. I suggest you go there early, because it’ll take a while to decide between all the delicious-looking dishes, which change seasonally. We sampled the parmesan gnocchi and garganelli with pheasant ragout, followed by a date cake with quince sorbet, all of which was, in case you hadn’t guessed, delicious.
If you’re not feasting or sleeping, the Herb House spa is the place to be (you seriously won’t want to leave the hotel, ever). Designed over three levels, it has a massive sauna and indoor hydro pool with stunning forest views, a mud house and a steaming outdoor hot pool. It also features private treatment rooms, including a specially designed one for Sarah Chapman treatments, which I tried. I had the new Deluxe Stem Cell Collagen Activator Therapy, which basically made me look 10 years younger.
Jokes aside, this facial uses advanced stem cell technology to lift, smooth, plump and regenerate the skin. It targets collagen in three ways, through massage, superficial micro-needling and LED light therapy, which sounds a little painful but was oddly relaxing. I even fell asleep, which was bliss. The results lasted a couple of weeks, and even helped reduced some acne that I was experiencing.
From £385 per night (room only). The Sarah Chapman ‘Deluxe Stem Cell Collagen Activator Therapy’ is £225 per person (90 minutes).