This is a bit of a whopper of a post, but it is Sunday!
I recently spent 24 hours (not long enough, 48 would be better without being greedy) at Lime Wood. This is the most beautiful, luxury, boutique country house hotel and spa nestled in the New Forest. Upon arrival, you are met with a stunning Regency house which has been renovated and decorated in a wonderful relaxed and elegant manner, but informal enough that you can sink into sofas or cozy up in the Library wearing jeans and without standing to attention.
I promptly found myself meeting my two fellow Lime Wooders, Mrs M and Mrs G, in The Courtyard, faced with a choice of homemade cakes, crumpets and coffee. Note to self…must make it back here later for the proper full on afternoon tea and definitely try the Mar-tea-ni, a green tea special, infused with vodka and dry vermouth.
We dragged ourselves away from the opening luxury and onto bikes already loaded with a water bottle, helmet of choice and map of the bike trail to lunch. We then cycled the 6 miles through the New Forest to The Pig, the sister hotel of Lime Wood.
Lunch was in the Country Kitchen Restaurant where chef James Golding ex Ivy, Caprice, Sheekeys, Soho House and his team of foragers, gardeners and hunters are committed to offering a menu of home grown or locally sourced ingredients.
Naturally the menu choice changes constantly, but you can get a really good idea of your pending feast by checking out the sample 25 Mile Menu on their website http://www.thepighotel.co.uk.
And there’s no pretending you’re not interested in a pudd because the Gin and Tonic jelly will change your mind….you do have a bike ride home!
So, back onto the bikes, back through the New Forest and back to Lime Wood passing ponies, deer, squirrels and mad barking dogs (locked up in a garden- dont worry). All very entertaining to us ladies but maybe not so funny for the quiet type ramblers or the wildlife, the peace may have been disturbed.
Next we headed to the Herb House Spa for 5.30 massages, damn it – too full for afternoon tea and thats why you need 48 hours here, serious forward food planning is essential.
The Herb House Spa has everything, so forget 48 hours and check in for a week, then you can try the gigantic sauna with windows looking out onto the Forest or actually go outside into the steaming Hot Pool or the outdoor garden bath or the roof top herb garden for some yoga, meditation, sunbathing or a glass of something – healthy please, not over lunch yet.
Back inside there is a beautiful serene pool, double sized baths, private steam rooms, treatment rooms galore including one for couples, fat luxurious bathrobes, towels and slippers and a super slick gym, but no thanks just cycled tour de france.
A food bar – Raw and Cured, serving all natural, delicious and healthy looking fare and you can indulge with some wine or champagne too.
I spoilt myself to a Bamford De-stress massage….wonderful……now fully de-stressed…enough said. Mrs M and Mrs G both had Bamford Rose Relaxing Upper Body and Facial massages and by the time we regrouped in the relaxation room they were positively glowing. Apart from the Bamford products the Herb House Spa also uses Voya, Nude and Tri-Dosha. All of which are from celebrated spa product houses in the British Isles.
Up to the room for a recharge…
And a rummage through the drawers – such goodies to be found….
And the bathroom filled with Bamford giveaways….
Back down to The Bar which feels like a swanky city bar with a really show off menu of everything, but especially martinis and an oversized ice bucket sitting on the bespoke silver leaf counter crammed with champagne. So a new dilemma, oh what to drink? Do I need to nip back to the spa for a quick de-stress massage to get over this…no just deal with it….champagne please!
Dinner was in The Scullery, we could have gone posh and eaten in The Dining Room, but we’re saving that for next time. The Scullery is a white floored, white walled adorned with white plates room.
The menu is a goody it even has an option of baked beans on toast, but as we missed out on afternoon tea we all tucked into Ling Fish Fingers and chips, Grilled Sea Bass and Steamed Pollock finished off with half baked chocolate cake with shortbread, cinnamon doughnuts and vanilla ice cream…..glorious !!! Then back to the swanky bar and sit by the fire to sample the mojitos, the aim was to sample the non alcoholic version, but sadly that didn’t happen, never mind…they were great! Time to hit the sack.
The next morning we were back in The Scullery, the breakfast spread is heaven even for a non breakfast person.
And I loved the shelves above filled with jars of pickles, chutneys and oils and bottles and bottles of ketchup and brown sauce and pots of mustard and marmite. We could have parked ourselves there for hours, but luckily we came to our senses and managed to have a wander around the grounds.
And back inside we found ourselves in the kitchen where there is a chef’s table for 8 right in the thick of it all, definitely booking that one for next time!
Back to the Herb House Spa, where I managed to walk away with only 2 garden candles from Daylesford, just to restock my prezzie cupboard obviously. A few more photos of the stunning flower creations by Catherine Coombes Flowers.
And then into the cars and goodbye Lime Wood