Appear in your own big budget drama: Prepare to feel like a star at the luxury Lime Wood Hotel in Hampshire
- Lime Wood has 33 rooms with views over the impressive drive or woodland
- There’s a spa, Herb House, large indoor swimming pool, and smaller hot tubs
- Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett has collaborated on the hotel’s restaurant
Travel up the drive to this Hampshire mansion and you’ll be greeted by an imposing entrance hall with a sweeping staircase, opening out on to drawing rooms with leather chairs and log fires.
But despite the grandeur, there is absolutely no sign of froideur. The welcome is as warm as a deep-ribbed radiator.
I first came to Lime Wood in 2010 a year after opening, and it’s a pleasure to return. The staff still wear uniforms that make them look a bit like modish gamekeepers. Upstairs, the rooms have thick-pile carpets and the showers boast enough power to sink the Titanic.
Imposing: The facade of the Lime Wood hotel, which is located in the heart of the New Forest
Bedrooms in the main house tend to look out across the impressive drive but, at the back, there are pavilions housing more rooms with views over woodland. These can be split off into different configurations for families. Lime Wood feels like a period drama with a big budget (rooms are not cheap) – full of panache but partnered with an indulgent eye for historical accuracy.
To one side, where – in this potential period drama – there ought to be a laundry, now there’s the Herb House, a spa that pulses with good intentions.
It offers treatments using cult Bamford products, a large indoor swimming pool, and smaller hot tubs, plus classes that include aerial yoga and ‘metcon’ (workouts designed to boost metabolism).
Country class: Lime Wood’s impressive restaurant, Hartnett, Holder & Co, which serves up Italian comfort food
Frankly, guests might need their metabolisms boosting, because food is a huge part of the appeal of Lime Wood, from the extended and extensive breakfasts to the wonderful afternoon teas and dinners.
The food: Lime Wood’s restaurant, Hartnett, Holder & Co, is a collaboration between Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder, and the marriage has produced Italian comfort food with all the ingredients that the foodie New Forest can bring to the table. Raw & Cured, in the Herb House, lives up to its name with charcuterie and salads, and manages to impart flavour into healthy food.
The place: It lies in a clearing in the New Forest with wild ponies at the bottom of the drive. At the back of the hotel, a small gate leads directly into a nature reserve. All this, and London is only 90 minutes away by train.
The accommodation: All 33 rooms are luxurious, with a 1920s glamour. Newest – and most private – is the Lake Cabin, a wooden cube jutting out over the water, with all the free-standing baths and countryside indulgence you could ever want.
Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire. Rooms from £385 a night, without breakfast. For more information visit limewoodhotel.co.uk or call 023 8028 7177.
Source: Read Full Article