Having enjoyed several family breaks there as a child, the New Forest is somewhere I have been keen to return to for quite a while. With the arrival of luxe establishments such as Limewood and the Pig, coupled with the fact our mutual friend Amanda from The Online Stylist lives there, there was really no other choice for a girls weekend for my friend Helen and I.So, early on Saturday morning, Helen and I set off on an adventure of relaxation and sightseeing on the Dorset & Hampshire borders. On the agenda for the weekend was dog walking, beach visits, afternoon tea, girly chats and general weekend unwinding. First stop was Amanda’s house, where we collected the Online Stylist family and latest edition, ‘Biscuit’ the dog, and went walking in the forest among the bracken and wild New Forest ponies.
As it was a beautiful summer evening, post walk we went to the local pub for some wine in the sun and enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Three Tuns in Bransgore; a quaint country setting with traditional thatched roof and good food.
Our hotel for the weekend was The Pig in Brockenhurst, which is a gorgeous boutique esqe country hotel with a renowned restaurant. After checking in, we took a stroll around the lovely grounds and came across their super cute spa, which took the form of a potting shed on the far side of their lily pond. You can read my full review of our stay at The Pig here.
On Sunday morning we headed for Steamer Point to blow away the cob webs and take a look at the coloured beach huts which have frequently made an appearance on the Instagram feeds of many a favourite blogger.
Despite it being warm, the sea breeze was pretty strong and blustery, so after a brisk walk along the promenade admiring the beach hut art we made our way back to the car, spotting a couple settling down for their day at the beach, complete with fisherman’s hats. The only thing lacking was a bucket and spade and you would’ve had a tradition British postcard right there!
To add a cultural element to our weekend we visited Highcliffe castle on the cliffs near Christ Church. This stunning mansion house was built in the 1830’s by a Lord to surprise his wife whilst she was away and was home to the Selfridge family some years later. Today it is a popular wedding venue and a great place to relax overlooking the sea.
No girls’ weekend is complete without afternoon tea, and so Helen, Amanda and I spent the afternoon indulging in sweet treats at Lime Wood. We gossiped, ate cake and drank champagne (what could be more enjoyable?!), before heading out to explore the beautiful grounds, which provided the perfect back drop for an outfit post photo or two!
There are lots of lovely villages within the new forest, of which we explored many during the course of the weekend. One of my favourites was Beaulieu, where we saw the wild ponies wandering through the town, admired the quaint houses and pub decorated with blooming hanging baskets, and sat along the riverbank enjoying the last couple of hours of sun.
Another lovely town we visited was Lymington and en route to Stanwells boutique, we stumbled across an incredible sweet shop that sold every type of confectionary you can imagine. We purchased some quarters of old fashioned favourites and went a little wild with the huge selection of pick and mix for the car journey home.
The final stop on our tour of the New Forest was Chewton Glen; somewhere that has been on my radar for a long time. Chewton Glen is a country house hotel that is renowned for its spa and five star service, so I was insistent on stopping by to have a look. Torrential rain hit just as we arrived, so we ended up running from the car into the main house to take shelter, where we stayed for the next couple of hours.
Obviously it had been several hours since our last meal, so we felt it time to partake in our favourite past time once again and ordered a delicious cream tea for two in the hotel bar. We sat in the comfy arm chairs reading the papers and contemplating going back to reality (and work) tomorrow, and with no sign of the rain subsiding we made a final dash to the car and headed for home.