Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK

Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK

The ultimate New Forest staycation, Lime Wood has recruited Amelia Freer, Sarah Chapman and Angela Hartnett to lure in well-heeled Londoners in need of a little R&R.

as a hunting lodge in the 13th century, this Regency
county home today offers laid-back luxury to a clientele of city
slickers and well-to-do locals. Yet, unlike other country retreats
of its ilk, Lime Wood adopts a convivial approach, placing its
focus on moreish food and quality time out.

In place of pretension you’ll find pleasantness, while whispered
tones are swapped out for friendly small talk. Humming with
activity, the click-clacks of billiards in the games room are
joined by the hubbub of a competitive game of scrabble at a
neighbouring table; a similar scene plays out across the way at
Herb House spa.

Contagious cackles spread from the pool loungers to the tables
at the spa’s adjoining restaurant, Raw & Cured – the telltale
of a day well spent, relaxing with waffle-robe-clad friends. The
dress code for dinner is almost as relaxed (stopping just shy of a
terry towelling dressing gown), which comes as a real blessing
after a day spent exposed to the elements, hiking or biking your
way around the New Forest. The hotel’s main dining space
places a focus on family-style dining and favours wooden tables
over white tablecloths laid with an arsenal of cutlery, making
Hartnett Holder & Co the perfect note on which to end your


Eaves, the most compact room offering, has real character but if
an attic abode is not your idea of fun, then the romance of the
main house bedrooms might be a wiser avenue to pursue. One tier up,
a homely, luxury cabin, just a few minutes’ walk away from the main
hotel offers an added sense of privacy – of these, the Lake Cabin,
plotted at the end of a winding private pathway, is certainly the
most novel. Then there are the knee-weakening options: the

Pavilion One (the grandest of the gang) is split over two
levels. Downstairs there’s a spacious lounge with a private terrace
that leads straight out into the forest, plus a mustard-hued
kitchenette and a big larder stocked with cocktail ingredients,
bottles of wine and complimentary midnight snacks – Popchips, Ombar
chocolate and Jelly Babies. Upstairs, a whimsical bedroom awaits
you. Inspired by the woodland setting in which it rests, the master
bedroom is decorated in forested wallpaper in periwinkle pink, to
compliment the vaulted ceiling. In a room worthy of a Windsor, the
huge bed and roll-top bath – not to mention a plethora of
entertainment including a flat-screen TV, Roberts radio and board
games galore and a library’s worth of books – do what they can to
keep you hunkering down longer than intended. Don’t worry; check
out isn’t until 11.30am.

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am in The Scullery. A spread
of croissants in pyramidal piles and other butter-laden delights
are shouldered by an assortment of fresh fruits and cereals, while
farther along the breakfast counter a selection of freshly squeezed
juices and smoothies stand to attention. The extended hot breakfast
menu is worth surveying, too, for those after something a little
heartier. If you want to take the morning at your leisure, order
room service – pricing is the same as in The Scullery. Just
remember to leave your breakfast card outside your door before 2am
the night before.

How about lunch and dinner?

Hartnett Holder & Co – the brainchild of Angela Hartnett and
Luke Holder – is the hotel’s main restaurant and is open for lunch
and dinner. Sharing and provenance take priority here; a menu of
elevated, home-cooked Italian classics feels fitting. The primi
selection is the menu’s crowning glory. Choose from a sumptuous,
handmade pasta dishes and follow with a scoop of lemon sorbet or
cherry gelato.

Don’t fancy a full meal? Take a seat at the restaurant bar and
enjoy some nibbles – the on-site Smoke House is responsible for the
smoked salmon, salami, pastrami, pancetta et al. that you see on
the menu. Alternatively, dine in The Courtyard, where a menu of
lighter bites (think simple salads and HH & Co nibbles) is
served. The Courtyard also offers a scrumptious cream tea.

If you’ve gone for a treatment in the afternoon or a intense gym
session and find yourself a smidge peckish, head to Raw &
Cured, which is located within Herb House spa. The menu offers a
selection of raw boards as well as healthy salads, courgette
pancakes and lip-smacking smoothies.

Is there a bar?

The Martin Brudnizki-designed Courtyard Bar is the hearth of the
hotel. It’s a meeting point filled with cosy sofas and swivelling
Chesterfield-style bar seating – enjoy a glass from its extensively
researched wine list or a freshly shaken cocktail.


Note to self: make use of the helipad if you want to arrive in
style. Once you’re here (whether you’ve arrived by air, land or
sea) get straight to exploring. If that extends to hilltops and
hinterland you are welcome to use the hotel’s bicycles and boots.
If a lush spa with outdoor hot pool, indoor lap pool and
hydrotherapy suite is more aligned with the expedition you had in
mind, then make your way to the Herb House.

Spread across three floors, the Herb House spa’s impressive
treatment list includes relaxing Bamford massages and Sarah Chapman
skincare treatments (Herb House is one of only three destinations
in the UK where you can experience a Sarah Chapman facial). We
recommend signing up for the Skinesis deluxe stem cell collagen
activator therapy treatment. Spanning 90 minutes, itl incorporates
microneedling, LED light therapy and a Skinesis gymnastic-style
massage – you’ll leave with the face of a flushed five year old
(the redness subsides quickly while the regenerated youthfulness
has some staying power).

On the top floor of the Herb House you’ll find a
state-of-the-art Matt Roberts gym with forest views and the very
latest Technogym equipment. Sign up for a PT session, take a core
class on the roof terrace or try aerial yoga in the studio.

Things you should know

Quite a few things, actually. Firstly, the nearest train station
is Brockenhurst – it’s a 15-minute drive from Lime Wood and a taxi
will cost between £15-20. Next, a note on packing: there’s a whole
range of Hunter wellies and waterproofs to borrow at base, so no
need to waste precious case space by towing your own.

Now to the main bulletin. Food is the centre stone of life at
Lime Wood and to that end there are a couple of things foodies will
find particularly interesting. To start, the Kitchen Table – the
working kitchen next to the restaurant – is free to drop into if
you fancy a natter with the chefs or simply want to sit amid the
hustle and bustle with a newspaper and coffee. You can also arrange
private dinners and lunches in this space. Perhaps you might want
to sign up for a cooking class with Hartnett Holder & Co and
get schooled on some of the dishes you’ve tasted over the course of
your stay – that’s also an option. Additionally, Amelia Freer
offers her nutritional guidance across Lime Wood services – look
out for her well-being workshops and cookery classes as well as
other events hosted by Amelia across the calendar year.

Within a short walk you’ll find

Lime Wood is situated in the heart of New Forest in Hampshire, so guests are spoiled
for choice when it comes to beautiful landscapes (near and far) to
explore. Ask for a walking-route map based on the time you’d like
to spend out and about – the team will be able to share a
planned-out route with you. Oh, and ask for a lanyard in case it

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