Travel: Lime Wood in UK’s New Forest National Park

Nestled amongst the trees in the UK’s New Forest National Park, Lime Wood provides an exclusive country getaway where rest and relaxation is firmly on the agenda. You begin your stay, meandering up the drive, past private cottages to the main house.  It’s a breathtaking Regency building that can thank Ben Pentreath of Working Group Design for its careful restoration. Entering the reception area you’re greeted by a log fire (at this time of year anyway) and a friendly team ready to cater to your every whim – be it serious respite or Forest adventures.

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The Hampshire bolthole also boasts interiors by David Collins and most recently Martin Brudnizki, who’s chic, upbeat visions include the restaurant, Hartnett Holder & Co, and the Courtyard bar. Charles Morris, whose résumé includes home to The Prince of Wales, Highgrove, designed the additional out-buildings which include a further eleven suites and two guest rooms in addition to the sixteen bedrooms in the main house.

During my stay, I was to experience one of Lime Wood’s coveted Pavilion out-houses, their ‘forest lodge’, complete with roll-top bath in the bedroom and a huge domed ceiling, painted gloss black, providing a chic but cosy atmosphere. Another feature was particularly notable to us at Team OP – the out-buildings are dog-friendly, meaning your furry friend(s) can join you on your break. The team lovingly set up dog beds, bowls and treats for your arrival (and for the adults, mini platters fresh from their smokehouse and champagne are also waiting).

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The Herb House Spa’s 60 minute destress massage was also on our to do list, with Bamford oils whose delicious earthy aroma lingered all day – the perfect holiday pick-me-up after a busy show season! Beginning with a relaxing foot bath, this full body massage ensures every ounce of taut muscle is fully attended to, before you glide, perfectly zen-like, in to the relaxation room to enjoy a herbal tea. A swim around the hydropool followed by a healthy lunch and smoothie at Raw & Cured (all produce is grown on-site) is a must too.

Your stay should be topped off of course by dinner at Hartnett Holder & Co… begin with an aperitif in the Courtyard (served in a cute mint julep cup in many cases) and try some of the duo’s nibbles as you move in to the opulent restaurant space to peruse the menu. Chef Angela Hartnett MBE, who has worked alongside the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wareing, and Lime Wood’s Luke Holder create locally sourced, seasonal English dishes. Their ethos is “fun dining, not fine dining” and the attentive staff combined with delicious courses certainly do mean you’re in for a treat (or two).

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Lime Wood has endless options to explore – there’s a garden with a pretty patio and super-cool swings hanging from the trees, a large wine cellar to marvel over and billiard room. Their calendar is also packed full of events to make your stay even more memorable, from hosting their music festival ‘Smoked & Uncut’, to supper clubs and private evenings and talks with national luminaries.  Even on a quiet autumn week, it’s impossible to leave this place without feeling inspired and revitalized.

About the Author

Based just outside London, Sarah-Leigh Bunting is a seasoned editor and marketer, having worked with some of the world's biggest fashion and interior brands and retailers. In 2012 Sarah-Leigh co-founded What Peggy Did Next (http://www.whatpeggydidnext.co.uk/), an event and communications agency based in the UK. You can follow Sarah on... Instagram - @sarah_leigh_b Twitter - sarah_leigh_b Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SarahLeighsStyleFiles/