The New Forest is one of the most popular travel destinations in the UK. The forest was created by William I in the 11th century for royal hunts, and now it is one of southern England’s best ways to explore the rambling English countryside. Look out for ponies, cattle, and pigs roaming throughout the area and occasionally venturing into towns. When you’re ready for a break and a bite to eat, visit one of these ten great restaurants.
Verveine Restaurant is one of the best fish markets in the New Forest. The innovative, award-winning cuisine is made from seasonal ingredients and fresh-caught seafood. The restaurant is based in the south of the New Forest in Milford-on-Sea, and it has its own in-house specialist fish mongers. Award winning Chef David Wykes draws inspiration for his dishes from his childhood growing up on the coast in Hastings and on the Solent in The New Forest.
Visit a country pub that serves cask ales from the Ringwood Brewery in the idyllic, rural Whitsbury. At The Cartwheel Inn, food is hand-made from local ingredients and served by warm and welcoming staff. Choose one of the daily specials or try the delicious pub favorites, like bubble and squeak or fresh battered fish and chips served with mushy peas. The Cartwheel Inn is a perfect dining spot for cozy special occasions or for a quick, relaxing bite between beautiful New Forest walks.
La Perle‘s head chef appeared on the TV series Professional Master Chef. All dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients from Hampshire and Dorset and prepared from scratch, as the website says, “from the bread and butter to the ice creams and sorbets.” The seasonal menus change based on what is fresh in Britain at the moment, and the seafood is delivered daily. In 2016, the restaurant was nominated for “Restaurant of the Year” by The Good Food Guide, and currently La Perle stands with two other frontrunners for the southeastern category. Weekly specials include beer-battered fish and triple cooked chips, Lymington lobster, and steak, all served with a complimentary glass of wine.
This picturesque pub located in the heart of The New Forest includes an upright patio where live music is performed throughout the year, a landscaped terrace for dining on sunny days, and an old coaching barn, which has been converted into a shaded outdoor seating area. The Fox & Hounds has cask ales and craft beers as well as fine food made from high-quality Hampshire produce. Come in to enjoy the lovely views and relaxing atmosphere.
Located in a 16th century thatched pub in the picturesque village of Rockbourne, Rose and Thistle is a stunning candidate for a traditional pub lunch. Enjoy a drink outside in the cottage garden on sunny days or inside in the traditional pub decked-out with beamed ceilings, carved wooden benches, and warm fires in the colder months. Enjoy the friendly, warm environment with a comforting meal of sausage and mash, homemade steak, or slow-cooked pork belly, all made using local produce.
This restaurant and bed and breakfast is one of the last standing free houses in the seaside town of Lymington. The family-run restaurant has all of the classic British pub elements in place, including the picture-perfect surroundings, the homecooked food, and the friendly service. Another essential sign of a good pub is the beloved Sunday roast dinner, and The Monkey House‘s roasts are hugely popular with the locals. Warm up by the fires in the winter and enjoy the bistro chic atmosphere.
Chef Peter Leyland-Jones and his wife Nicola bring excellence and experience to their restaurant and cookery school in Lanes of Lymington. The building was formerly a church and school located in a quiet area just off the high street. Now the venue has a romantic atmosphere with alcoves, balconies, and an open ground floor. The affordable dishes are made fresh every day using seasonal ingredients, so the menus change regularly. The sample menu includes delicious selections like sticky duck breast with lime marmalade served with crushed new potatoes, onion, and soaked dried apricots or guinea fowl supreme filled with an asparagus and onion farce, and more.
The Oak Inn is a beautiful country pub with an old-world feel. Like any true country pub would be, The Oak Inn is dog, rider, and horse friendly. The outdoor garden has ample seating and is a great spot from which to enjoy the gorgeous scenery. The menu features award-winning dishes made from fresh, local ingredients, and The Oak Inn proudly features a large collection of real ales. For literature lovers, Lyndhurst is the resting place of Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Everything at The Mill at Gordleton is made in-house, including breads, soups, sauces, ice creams, and puddings. The chefs here go the extra mile every time. Local ingredients and organic produce are sourced from local cheese to free-range eggs to New Forest seasonal venison and pork. The Mill has been awarded the New Forest Marque, a recognition of commitment to local produce and sustainable environment practices. With an outdoor area that overlooks the river and local wildlife, The Mill is a prime venue for al fresco dining.