It was my very first visit, and I am sure not my last, to Brockenhurst in the middle of the New Forest National Park.
Nate is on holiday with my parents, so hubby and I thought it would be nice to get away for some couple time. I have always heard such wonderful things about the New Forest, but I was completely unprepared for the horses/ponies. They really do run the show! They were everywhere, it was amazing! They literally just walk down the street, in the roads, on the pavements, wherever they want! I love horses so this was a real treat!
Since we booked at the last minute, I used Tripadvisor to decide on B&Bs and restaurants, I find it is much safer that way – you almost always know what you are going to get. I basically emailed all of the B&Bs in the top 10 of Tripadvisor, asking for prices and availability for this week, then waited for them to email me back. 8 emailed me back that night, 2 the next day, half had availability, so I checked out their websites and reviews and chose the one I thought best.
Meerut B&B Review
We booked with Meerut in Brockenhurst. They are currently ranked as the 4th best B&B in Brockenhurst, so we were very lucky to get in there last minute. Pauline and Mike were so warm and friendly, I felt like I was staying with family, they knew everything about the local area, recommended restaurants and wrote down a route for us to the follow the next day for our day trip to the beach. They provided packs of menu’s of the local restaurants, maps and information on walks.
They only had one room left, which was the smaller one with the toilet just outside, however the room was perfectly big enough for the two of us, and had everything we needed. They have a little patio area for each room to sit outside, plus a lovely summer house for guests to enjoy and a utility room exclusively for guest usage – this was invaluable! It included a washing machine, ironing board and iron, fridge and freezer, toaster, glasses, cutlery etc. The fridge was stocked with bottled water, which I really appreciated because I drink a lot of water. The breakfast in the morning was cooked to your liking (they ask what you would like the night before), both cooked and continental breakfast is included, so while we waited for our cooked breakfast we helped ourselves to cereal and juice. The cooked breakfast was all sourced from the local area too, which I felt was a nice touch.
The Fallen Tree
This restaurant is ranked number 1 out of 39 restaurants in Brockenhurst, so I had high expectations. When I walked through the door and saw a beautiful, quaint, romantic little gem of a restaurant with soft classical music playing in the background my expectations were even higher. Unfortunately, I have to be honest and say that as nice as the food was, and as good as the price was considering, it just didn’t fit. The food and the price point is not in keeping with the beauty of the location, when you walk in you expect somewhere near Michelin star level of food, which unfortunately you just don’t get, not in all the food anyway. My steak and chips came dry, so I asked if they had a jus? The waitress had no idea what I meant, so I said gravy. I received a gravy! I’m not a food snob, though I do love food to an obsessive level, I have no problem with gravy at say harvester or a carvery, not in the number one restaurant in Brockenhurst. The chips and the vegetables were flavourless, and needed more character, although the steak was beautiful. I also really enjoyed the cheesecake, it was the highlight of the meal and looked amazing, and more in keeping with the decor.
Rosie Lea’s Teahouse
This tea house and bakery is ranked 2nd in Brockenhurst, a little risky based on last night’s slight disappointment, do I still trust Tripadvisor, after having afternoon tea here I would say YES! It does not look much from the outside, and it a bit too warm inside, in fact it was so warm we almost didn’t go in, until I saw the homemade cakes in the display -wow! If they taste as good as they look, I might just be in heaven. They did! I tried the chocolate brownie (it was huge and only £2 per slice), and because of the price I also bought a slice of the carrot cake to have later, oh my the cakes were absolutely delicious! So delicious that my husband also bought a second slice of his amaretto cake.
We also ordered the afternoon tea, which came in beautiful old fashioned chine tea cups and saucers – so quaint. There were about 20 different teas on the menu, I had English Breakfast because I am not a real adventurist. I was slightly disappointed that they were tea-bags as apposed to real tea-leaves, that would have elevated it further, but the huge homemade scone and the generous portions of home-made jam and more importantly, clotted cream more than made up for it.
Next time I come to the New Forest this tea house is the first place I am coming back to! Wow.