Just a stone’s throw from world famous Beaulieu Motor Museum and Palace, The Montagu Arms was originally a 16th Century coaching Inn, and is now a charming Country House Hotel that has hosted discerning clientele such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and General Charles de Gaulle throughout its illustrious history. Set in the stunning surrounds of the New Forest, where horses and cattle roam freely, this is a quaint and comfortable hotel boasting sturdy oak floors and panelling throughout, and roaring brick fireplaces. The decor is old fashioned with plenty of interesting clues to the hotel’s past hanging on the walls, and the whole place has a very early 1900’s feel to it. Our room was large with an extremely comfortable bed, and had bags of character.
We were lucky to have good weather, and sitting outside before dinner in the immaculately maintained gardens sipping 30 day barrel aged Negroni’s whilst the birds chirped, and the suns amber glow slowly faded to the tune of the burbling fountain, was a heavenly delight.
Dinner in the hotel’s Michelin starred ‘Terrace Restaurant’ was truly excellent. We ate the richly delicious ‘Cannelloni’ of Braised Rabbit with Black Pudding Puree, Wild Asparagus and Mustard Veloute followed by the sensational Cornish Coastal Lamb with Slow Cooked Shoulder, Crispy Sweetbread Saute Wild Garlic and Glazed Potatoes with an eminently quaffable Pierre Amadieu Cotes de Rhone. Staff were super attentive and extremely charming, and really went out of their way to look after us. What also struck me was how knowledgeable they were about the food, specifically the cheese. Tarquin, a dashing Frenchman was passionate and engaging in a way that really inspired us, and set ‘The Terrace’ apart from many equally lauded London Restaurants.
Breakfast finishes at 9.30am on weekdays, a bit too early in my opinion, but to give them credit, the staff laid on a full Continental breakfast, which they set out for us in the drawing room, and was very kind of them. I was particularly impressed with the hotel’s tea selection, and found the tea menu really interesting and informative. I can certainly see why the hotel has won several awards over the last few years.
If you’re looking for a peaceful break from City life, and a deeply impressive fine dining experience, visit The Montagu Arms in beautiful Beaulieu. To book your special stay, visit www.montaguarmshotel.co.uk or call 01590 624467.