Exploring the New Forest
With the weather so incredible last month I thought why bother forking out to go abroad this school holiday when England has had the best summer for decades. We love the New Forest and the kids are obsessed in Paultons Park or for the little ones Peppa Pig World. So we decided to head down to New Forest for a long weekend. Its only a 2 hour drive from Essex and so so pretty with horses, donkeys and sheep roaming freely. We booked a room at a family owned hotel, The Bell Inn in Brook and just loved staying there. Actually it has to be one of the best locations geographically we’ve ever stayed in the New Forest. It was only around 10 minutes to Peppa Pig World and if you need any emergency supplies like raincoats Southampton is only 20 minutes away. We went for a day trip on a Cunard ship for a fun Hotel Transylania 3 screening and event in Southampton. Then spent a day at Peppa Pig World/ Paultons park and then drove down to Bournemouth beach which is only 30 minutes away from our hotel.
Our hotel was dog friendly, but unfortunately Winston isn’t a good traveller or he could have come. The hotel has actually been part of the current owners family since 1782. The hotel only has 28 rooms, so is really cosy and friendly with rustic charm. It has lovely open fireplaces, a country style bar, restaurant and two superb 18-hole golf courses.
But most importantly the food is fresh and so incredibly tasty yet really reasonable in comparison to London prices. The best bit is they are really accommodating to children and also annoying people like myself who are following strict diets. The Chef Mark takes real pride in his menu/ dishes and most important supporting and sourcing local produce which is of a high standard just like his dishes.
Honestly as a parent who is a bit of a foodie this can be one of the hardest things to find, fresh delectable food at reasonable prices. No I will not take my kids to Nobu because they won’t sit still for longer than a minute but at the same time I want them to eat good, fresh food and so many places are chains that have frozen food.
Bonus points for the food! Our room was a family room overlooking the golf course with a large king size bed for us, a double sofa bed for Fleur and a single roll-out bed for Rocco, perfect we even get our own beds! The room was spacious and had a really large bathroom so super easy to bath the kids.
The staff were all so helpful and the pub garden is just gorgeous on a sunny day like the day we arrived. We did plain to explore the local area but with giant size games in the garden for the kids, the sunshine and peace and quiet there was no need to move. It really is the perfect family/doggie friendly hotel and after our long days out we were super relieved to comeback to the hotel and just be able to chill.
If you are heading to the New Forest check out The Bell Inn you won’t be disappointed, we loved our weekend and can’t wait to go back!