Forget looking at the horses, at Lime Wood, it's rock stars and models creating the view
I'd been tipped off before my visit to the New Forest's latest luxury hotel, Lime Wood, that under no circumstances should I make the trip to the main house for breakfast. At the destination made famous when it opened for hosting Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum's wedding, breakfast comes to you.
And so we sat on the little patio at the back of our not-so-little villa and wolfed down an entire hamper's-worth of foodie delights while trying very hard not to be aware that Jarvis Cocker and family were doing exactly the same one garden down. It might be the New Forest, but rock stars and models create the view here, not wild horses.
There are, of course, plenty of other distractions to keep people occupied at Lime Wood, not least the numerous walks and bike rides straight from the hotel grounds. For New Forest regulars used to competing with all the other holidaymakers for car-parking spots at the most popular starting points, this is something of a Godsend and, having tested out three different ones over our one-night stay (what can I say, I ate a lot of food, making any form of calorie-burning pretty much essential), I can personally vouch for the straightforwardness of the directions on the printouts handed over at reception.
After all that exercise, relaxing baths are a must, making the huge freestanding tubs in many of the rooms a real treat (bottle of champagne optional) and roaring log fires essential in the winter months (you'll arrive to the wood already stacked and matches at the ready, but when you're living like a Queen, it makes sense to call room service to have them lit for you).
But our absolute favourite feature of this feature-packed hotel? The tailor-made-for-a-country-girl Welly Room, complete with tens of pairs of colourful Hunter boots, huge umbrellas and even little scooters for the kids. Fabulous.
Details: Lime Wood, Beaulieu Rd, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7FZ (023 8028 7171, www.limewoodhotel.co.uk). Special offers for a 'Cosy' room start from £190, or £245 at regular rates. Suites range in price from £375 up to £725 based on two sharing.
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