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The Montagu Arms, Hampshire review

Feast on stellar Sunday roasts and Seville orange soufflés at this small country house hotel in the waterside village of Beaulieu

The Montagu Arms in a nutshell

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A small country house hotel in the waterside village of Beaulieu.

Doubles from £125, check availability at booking.com


The atmosphere at The Montagu Arms.

The Montagu Arms is a just a short cycle ride or drive from Brockenhurst, an ideal jumping off point for a tour of the New Forest. With open fires and wood panelling inside, and a terrace bar and pretty kitchen gardens outside, it’s a characterful spot no matter which month you visit. Add in the promise of a good supper and charming bedrooms and you’ve got the perfect recipe for post-walking or cycling pampering.


Which room should I book at The Montagu Arms?

Bedrooms stick to a tried and tested English country house theme, with floral wallpaper and curtains, white-painted furniture and pastel sofas. The hotel is proud of its rather old-fashioned sense of style and, while some guests might not appreciate the slightly yesteryear feel, for others it’s in keeping with the setting. Our room (room 6) was very comfortable, if a little on the cosy side, but it suited a quick weekend stop-off just fine.

A bedroom with white walls and pink linen and cushions on a double bed
Bedrooms stick to a tried and tested English country house theme

The food and drink at The Montagu Arms.

Head chef Matthew Whitfield has brought a seasonal approach to the menu, with an emphasis on produce from the surrounding coast and countryside. There’s a kitchen garden where head gardener Barry Daniel grows, prunes and plucks ingredients to then use in the Terrace Restaurant. Go à la carte for the likes of New Forest mushrooms with confit chicken wings and crispy shallots, or hake with smoked bacon rainbow chard, and Seville orange soufflé with bitter dark chocolate ice cream. A seven-course tasting menu showcases the best from the à la carte menu, or you can opt for an entirely vegan menu. Time your trip over a weekend and you can also sit down to a stellar Sunday lunch, tucking into hearty plates of beef and pork served with duck fat roasties, seasonal veg and Yorkshire puds.

A white plate with a piece of white fish on top with vegetables
There’s an emphasis on produce from the surrounding coast and countryside

Breakfast at The Montagu Arms.

The first meal of the day is approached with as much care as the dinner menus. A breakfast menu included thick-cut smoked bacon and sausage from Ponhead farm, eggs from the hotel’s own hens, crumbly, freshly baked pastries and delicately flaky smoked haddock – the perfect start to a day spent cycling or walking.


What else can foodies do in Beaulieu?

Perched on the southeast edge of the New Forest The Montagu Arms makes a great base for walkers and cyclists wanting to explore. If it’s pure indulgence you’re in search of, however, guests are welcome to use the spa facilities at sister hotel Careys Manor, six miles away (these stretch to an indoor pool, sauna and steam room).


Is The Montagu Arms family and dog-friendly?

No.


montaguarmshotel.co.uk

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Food photographs by Jodi Hinds Food Photographer London