With being a country girl at heart my ideal getaway has got to be spending it in a relaxing retreat away from London. One special place I love exploring is Beaulieu right in the heart of the New Forest. Renowned for the National Motor Museum, which was opened by Lord Montagu in 1952 on the grounds of his stately home Palace House, this picturesque and quaint village is a quiet haven away from all the hustle and bustle of normal city civilisation – you get the picture.
The Montagu Arms Exterior
Right opposite the National Motor Museum across the other side of the river you`ll stumble across The Montagu Arms, which oozes charming character in the form of brick fireplaces with warm open fires (even in March) and beautiful oak panelling throughout. This award-winning hotel is set amidst beautifully well kept gardens and in my opinion is the perfect location for a romantic getaway. For the ultimate indulgence treat yourself to the deluxe suite, the red one is ever so cosy and my favourite, it consists of a large bedroom/living room with double sofa, arm chair and flat screen television, separate living room including a double sofa and flat screen television and a good sized bathroom, but many of them are furnished with four-poster beds if that`s more your thing. Having sneaked a peek at some of the other bedrooms while they were being cleaned they seemed more dated especially the blue decorated few but of course it`s down to personal preference. You`ll still receive a great service no matter what room you opt for, bottled water on demand and a fabulous restful nights sleep – guaranteed!
The Montagu Arms offers a truly memorable dining experience in The Terrace Restaurant, which recently won a Michelin star under the direction of new Head Chef, Matthew Tomkinson and provides a more formal yet comfortable setting overlooking the beautiful garden with a traditional mouth-watering menu.
At first glance the bright flower patterned chairs in the restaurant were a bit overpowering but after while they blended and somehow fitted in with the interior. During our evening meal we enjoyed a stunningly rich butternut squash appetiser with warm homemade rolls. Our starters of Scottish scallops come highly recommended and the asparagus complimented with a deep fried duck egg combined unusual flavours. If you have a love for fresh fish then we can recommend the grilled escalope of line caught sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke puree and sauté potatoes, and the pavé of wild Scottish halibut with sauté wild mushrooms, organic greens, roasted salsify and crispy potato for the main courses, which were presented beautifully and tasted amazing! With two courses down we were too stuffed to fit in a dessert but we could smell the delicious overpowering cheese board from the table opposite, so if you have room then why not try a selection of farmhouse cheeses from the trolley.
If you want to try somewhere a little more informal then Monty`s, which can be found just next door has a relaxed pub atmosphere and provides amazing quality home cooked classics such as homemade gourmet beef burgers, pork and leek sausages with creamed mashed potato and red onion gravy which caught out eye, as they were served to other tables but we opted for the battered haddock pea puree and chunky chips! Or otherwise sink into a comfortable sofa back in the hotel lounge next to a roaring fire and enjoy afternoon tea. You`ll be able to choose from a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and fresh baked scones with New Forest jam and lashings of clotted cream.
Another treat you might not expect with being a guest at The Montagu Arms is that you will be able to make use of the Thai award-winning SenSpa, where you will receive a preferential rate at their sister hotel Careys Manor, just six miles drive away across the New Forest. There`s no excuse not to book in for the half-day harmony, a couples ritual that combines use of the hydrotherapy, a Rhassoul mud treatment from the Atlas Mountains and a Swedish massage each. You`ll begin your experience in the relaxing hydrotherapy pool, which will relax your entire body and then you can make the most of the thermal treatment rooms and experience showers. Following this you will experience an exotic mud treatment in your own private Rhassoul and once the mud has been prepared by your therapist the idea is to apply the mud all over your body, face and even your hair! Once applied you can sit and relax on the heated mosaic seats in the Rhassoul where you will hear soothing music, the twinkling lights will calm your senses and the steam will open your pores allowing the therapeutic mud to work. After this treatment your Swedish massage will complete this totally relaxing and unwinding experience ready for you to enjoy a leisurely lunch in the authentic Zen Garden restaurant. An ideal way to spend a lazy Sunday amidst in the New Forest!
SenSpa Swimming Pool
Double Treatment Room
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