With so many top hotels and award-winning B&Bs, Dorset and Hampshire provide the perfect weekend break. The team at Good Times have given a few of these establishments the once over and we think you’ll find the following a great choice for a special getaway– each is surrounded by stunning countryside or breathtaking coastal views or both!
BEST FOR ROMANCE
Brockenhurst, Southampton and Studland
From Portsmouth Port: Brockenhurst Pig 37 miles; Southampton Pig 18 miles
From Poole Port: Brockenhurst Pig 35 miles; Studland Pig 13 miles
The Pig, part of the Lime Wood Group, is a lovers’ dream. Off the back of this uber-chain’s resounding success in the New Forest, with its eponymous restaurant and hotel, there is now The Pig in the Wall in Southampton and The Pig on the Beach at Studland, Dorset. With superlative food, impossibly funky rooms and dreamy vistas across the board, what’s not to like? Unbeatable dinner views, the best pillows in the South West and killer cocktails to boot – a trio that will always impress your other half. There's no Martini to match a Pig Martini!
For bookings, call 0845 077 9494 or go to www.thepig.com
BEST FOR FOODIES
From Portsmouth Port: 35 miles
From Poole Port: 32 miles
With top chef Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder in charge, it’s no surprise that Holder Hartnett & Co restaurant makes Lime Wood a rare treat. But this five-star luxury hotel also offers a luxurious spa where you can do yoga on the roof in a herb garden – yes, really! - and take in views of the surrounding New Forest from the sumptuous sauna to boot. If you want to limber up in style this Summer, this is a great place to enjoy fitness and haute cuisine... Frankly you'd be mad not to!
Lime Wood, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7FZ
Tel: + 44 23 8028 7177 or go to www.limewood.co.uk
BEST FOR SPA
From Poole Port: 17 miles
Close to the seaside and surrounded by beautiful New Forest scenery, yet within easy reach of Southampton and Bournemouth, Chewton Glen is recognised – rightly - as one of the country’s finest privately owned hotels. For a truly unique and unforgettable experience, stay in one of the elegant Tree Houses nestled in a wooded valley within the grounds. Voted "In the Top 10 of UK Hotel Spa's" by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine Reader Spa Awards 2014, the luxury health spa at Chewton Glen embodies the unique purity of a New Forest and coastal location.
Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Milton, Hampshire, BH245 6QS
Tel + 44 1425 275 341 or go towww.chewtonglen.com
BEST FOR RIVERSIDE WALKS
From Poole Port: 10 miles
An historic country house hotel with beautiful gardens leading down to the banks of the River Frome, The Priory is nestled in a quiet corner of this popular market town. The restaurant, part of which is in the basement of what was once the abbots’ cellar, is a particular treat. Lunch on the lawn is one of Summer’s finest treats. And the walk down the banks of the Frome towards the sea – or even a kayak from the boat hire shop across the road – is unmissable. Don’t forget to ask for a room with a view of Creech Barrow – Dorset’s finest hill.
The Priory Hotel, Church Green, Wareham BH20 4ND
Tel: + 44 1929 55166 or go to www.theprioryhotel.co.uk
BEST FOR BREAKFAST
From Poole Port: 18 miles
Voted the best B&B in the world by TripAdvisor last year, Bindon Bottom is just a short stroll from the beautiful Lulworth Cove and is smack bang on the South West Coast path. The Purbeck stone Victorian country house has five bedrooms and this B&B is run with exquisite attention to detail by owners Lisa and Clive Orchard, who also cook delicious breakfasts. Seriously, if you only visit one place on this list, go here. It’s a gem. Lisa and Clive are truly lovely, and their breakfasts are – if possible – nicer still.
Bindon Bottom, Main Road, West Lulworth, BH20 5RL.
Tel: +44 1929 400 256 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org