Fox & Hounds, Lyndhurst 18/25

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Fox & Hounds

bronze  18/25 £££

22 High Street

Lyndhurst

Hampshire SO43 7BG

Tel:023 8028 2098

Website: foxandhoundslyndhurst.co.uk

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Public car park

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Above average, look out for splinters!

I recently enjoyed meeting 3 friends here for lunch. It was a nostalgic visit; way back in the fifties my father used to manage The Grand Hotel (now the recently closed New Forest Hotel) and my sister and I used to practically live at the riding stables behind the Fox & Hounds. Cant remember if the pub was there then but the big black gates at the front of the pub were the entrance to the stables. I think that what used to be the stable yard is now the al fresco area of the pub. I spent many a happy hour mucking out in there! We loved the horses and I can remember that as 2 very young kids we were able to go off riding on our own in the forest, can just imagine that happening these days!

Back to business…. the pub has recently been refurbished in a very pleasing but familiar style. Nooks and crannies, sludgy colours, mismatched chairs and memorabilia. We had a cosy little table by a window. Our server was charming; a very polite young lady but obviously a little inexperienced and even though it wasn’t busy there were long waits between courses so don’t know what was going on in the kitchen. We didn’t mind, we had lots to chat about so not in a hurry.

We were delighted to find they have a Winter Lunch Menu, 2 courses £10 and 3 courses for £13 so very good value for money, we do love a set menu!

Two chose the home made Soup of the Day, vegetable, served with croutons and masses of crusty farmhouse bread…. this was a meal in its self it was such a generous portion. I really enjoyed Rosary Goat’s Cheese with confit cherry tomatoes and beetroot salad. Fourth member of the party sensibly saved herself for pudding.

Our mains… we all chose the Chargrilled Owton’s Pork Sausages, delicious sausages, mashed potatoes (could have been creamier), braised red cabbage and red wine gravy. Our puds were a wee bit disappointing. The Pecan pie was a little dry and the Bread & Butter pudding… well it just wasn’t really Bread & Butter pud! Nice accompanying ice cream.

I will go again, I enjoyed the atmosphere, oh and they now have a Farmhouse Café where they serve lighter bites and sell local produce.

 

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: Fox & Hounds

bronze LWL Bronze Award awarded March 2015

Cost £££

3/5 Quality of food

4/5 Variety of menu

3/5 Staff and service

4/5 Ambiance and décor

4/5 Value for money

18/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!

Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant, Milford-on-Sea 24/25

Verveine Logo & Michellin Guide
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Verveine

award.gold  24/25 £££££££££

98 High Street

Milford-on-Sea

Hampshire SO41 0QE

Tel: 01590 642176

Website: www.verveine.co.uk

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Public Car Parks

Wheelchairs: OK on top level

Loos: Excellent

This restaurant features in our Discount Directory and is offering just for LWL Discount Card holders, a FREE coffee and chocolate with lunch on presentation of your card. If you don’t have a LWL Discount Card, click here to find out more – and start saving!

Last week we enjoyed yet another marvellous lunch at Verveine. David, the owner and our favourite chef (he’s twice been the winner of Hampshire Chef of The Year), invited us to see all the changes he has been making to both the décor (we approved) and of course more importantly to the menus!

The set lunch menu (it changes daily) is still on offer, excellent value at two courses for £17, three for £21 and is a great introduction to David’s innovative and creative style of cooking. He decided that we should have the lunch time tasting menu and that he would be choosing what it would include as it progressed. Apparently many of his regulars love this, they arrive and never know what they are going to eat… what fun, mystery dining!

We were given a pre-starter of Smoked mackerel pate in little flower pots covered with edible soil and planted with radishes, accompanied by fig granary & farmhouse white breads. We also tried David’s version of pork scratchings, the pork skin is dehydrated for three days then scraped then deep fried so you’ve only got the skin with no fat. Very light and fluffy so obviously no calories!

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And then the delicious dishes just kept on coming…. A 63c local egg, Arbroath smokie and ratte potatoes (the only controversial dish as two of us are not egg lovers). Brixham crab chestnut, pear and parsnip. Lymington lobster, passion fruit, Serrano and white chocolate… the favourite! Pan fried scallops, laver bread and ventrenche ham porridge, 50 yr old balsamic vinegar. Roast Solent bass, mirin, soy, coriander and puffed rice, the next favourite! Then the puddings, Potato purée with Tahitian vanilla ice cream (yes potato & ice cream!) and finally Carrot cake.

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David decided we hadn’t had enough so spoilt us with just a few petit fours! Malt marshmallows, Bergamot fruit pastel, Fisherman’s Friend meringue, Salted fudge with edible wrappers, White chocolate and Beetroot stones, Rhubarb doughnuts and Warm valrhona chocolate mousse….. yummeeee.

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We accompanied our food with a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet Villemarin – Languedoc.

The only problem with Verveine is thinking of new superlatives to describe the eating experience in this unique restaurant! We were not surprised to hear that it has yet again been recommended in the Michelin Guide (after today’s delights it’s about time it had a star!), in Harden’s Guide and now, more importantly, by us!

Verveine is an attractive little restaurant, only about 30 covers. Our servers were lovely, efficient, knowledgeable and very friendly. We love the informality. Check out their website to read about events and special evenings, from wine tasting menus, cookery days and supper clubs, there’s always something interesting going on. And don’t forget there is a traditional fishmongers shop at the front of the restaurant. You can tell we love it and sure you will too!

 

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: Verveine

award.gold LWL Gold Award awarded February 2015

Cost £££££££££

5/5 Quality of food

5/5 Variety of menu

5/5 Staff and service

4/5 Ambiance and décor

5/5 Value for money (for the set lunch)

24/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!

No 5 Bridge St. Bar, Kitchen & Rooms, Winchester 21/25

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No 5 Bridge Street

award.gold  21/25 ££££+

5 Bridge Street

Winchester

Hampshire SO23 OHN

Tel: 01962 863838

Website: idealcollection.co.uk/no5bridgestreet

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Public car parks

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Average

This restaurant features in our Discount Directory & is offering a complimentary glass of house wine for LWL Card Holder + max 3 guests when ordering 2 or more courses. (See Discount Directory for t’s & c’s) If you don’t have a LWL Discount Card, click here to find out more – and start saving!

As we last reviewed No 5 sometime ago Ideal Collection invited us to re review to introduce their new website and of course their latest menus. We were delighted to accept and happy to report that we found everything still up to their high standards including the food and the staff!

We love the décor; a very stylish bar area painted in lovely sludgy colours and with lots of exposed timber and substantial wooden tables. This theme carries on through to the restaurant with an open kitchen. We were sat very near to it, we love being able to see where all the action is! In the Summer it would be lovely sit on their attractive terrace, not on this visit though, far too cold.

Having ordered a bottle of Paddock Chardonnay (£18.50) we enjoyed Artisan Breads served with Pratt’s oil, apple balsamic & dukkah & marinated olives to nibble on whilst we settled down to study what is an innovative menu created by chef Phil Reeves. It includes some unusual items and dishes to suit every requirement (check it out on their website). There are several different selections including one called smaller plates, ideal for a lighter appetite or order several to share. There are also sandwiches (they looked delicious) and salads.

Our choices: From No 5 Classics, Hampshire Beef Shin Cottage Pie, Black Jack porter braised beef shin, cheese mash with buttered kale. From the Grill, Local Pork Tenderloin served with SM’s choice of Autumn slaw and watercress pesto sauce. From Smaller Plates Air Dried Tomato Tart with basil & ricotta and with a green salad as a side. From The Specials board. Ale battered hake with scallop roe, pea fritters, triple cooked chips and tartare sauce.

All the dishes were very enjoyable, (I loved my tomato tart) with original combinations of ingredients and flavours and were well presented but we did think there was a bit too much batter going on on the fish dish!

We were all satisfied but still managed to find space for a pudding tasting, just 2 between us: White Chocolate & Peanut Butter ‘Blondie’ with raspberry jam and banana ice cream and Dark Chocolate Delice with coffee ice cream and salt caramel sauce. Both were heavenly the “Blondie” being my favourite but we would have liked more of the delicious caramel sauce with the delice.

All the staff were so lovely and welcoming and very knowledgeable about the food. He will most probably kill me for telling you but Chef kindly took the time to write out the recipe for dukkah for us. (DONT ask for it if he’s very busy!)

No 5 comes highly recommended! We really enjoyed our lunch and we were looked after very well. It’s a great destination for food at all times of day but would imagine that at night the bar is very atmospheric! They have live music nights and It also has some very attractive boutique rooms available, check out all the details on their website.

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: No 5 Bridge Street

award.gold LWL Gold Award awarded February 2015

Cost ££££+

4/5 Quality of food

4/5 Variety of menu

5/5 Staff and service

4/5 Ambiance and décor

4/5 Value for money

21/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!

The Dolphin, Hursley 15/25

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The Dolphin

bronze  15/25 £££+ tip

Main Rd

Hursley

Hampshire

SO21 2JY

Tel: 01962 775209

Website: www.dolphinhursley.co.uk

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Own car park

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Average

 

Four friends and I enjoyed a “good pub grub” type lunch here recently. The Dolphin dates back to 1550, built from the timber of the naval ship HMS Dolphin. It has a good atmosphere with many nooks and crannies to eat in. The outside garden area is a must in the warmer months! The car park next to pub is adequate, fortunately there is extra space at the rear.

From a good choice menu and specials board we chose the following –  Hursley Butchers Faggots with choices of potatoes and vegetables, regular size £9.95 and small £5.95.  Two chose the small portion, knowing they were going to enjoy a pudding!  Local sausages and mash with vegetables, again regular £9.95 and small £5.95. Very yummy and the regular size has 3 large sausages!

From the specials board my friend and I chose a beef hotpot and vegetables for £6.96.  Thin slices of beef but lots of them, topped with sliced potatoes and a sprinkling of cheese, very tasty. All the choices were generousl sized portions.

For puddings two had crème brulee including a piece of shortbread and two chose apple crumble with custard both priced at £5.55 each. I chose a two scoop toffee and butterscotch ice cream for £3.45.  The apple crumble was delicious and my friend declared it better than her homemade one!  Of course we don’t know what her’s is like, but her husband agreed!!

The Dolphin’s House Red was a very gluggable Merlot at £14,95.   We all had coffee at £1.85, which included a little biscuit on the side.

We all agreed it was good value and the staff are friendly so we’ve booked again for next months get-together…. a good recommendation.

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: The Dolphin

bronze LWL Bronze Award awarded February 2015

Cost £££+tip

3/5 Quality of food

3/5 Variety of menu

3/5 Staff and service

3/5 Ambiance and décor

3/5 Value for money

15/25 Total yummy factor. Review SM

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!

Lime Wood Hotel, Lyndhurst, for afternoon tea! 21/25

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Lime Wood Hotel

award.gold  21/25 £££££££

Beaulieu Rd

Lyndhurst

New Forest

Hampshire SO43 7FZ

Tel: 023 80287177

Website: limewoodhotel.co.uk

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Own car park

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Excellent

 

Last Saturday two very special friends took me out for the best ever birthday treat…. a rather delicious afternoon tea at the very glamorous Lime Wood Hotel.

My beloved drove us and dropped us at the front door having gone the wrong way around the one way system….. as if our old heap of a car wasn’t enough of an embarrassment amongst the Bentley’s and Lamborghinis, not to mention the helicopter parked on the lawn. Pat loudly declared how useless our chauffeur was as we entered!

We were greeted warmly, shown through to the conservatory and seated at one of the tables shown in the picture opposite the bar. It was very busy with some people, like us, enjoying tea and others who were obviously hotel guests. We ordered the Full Afternoon Tea along with a glass of prosecco, we couldn’t celebrate without bubbles could we?

When it arrived we couldn’t believe how much there was to eat: finger tea sandwiches (cheese & pickle, salmon & cream cheese, egg mayonnaise & ham & mustard), 4 each, home made scones, 2 each, clotted cream & strawberry jam, a selection of home made cakes, 4 each (!) and to drink your choice of tea. There is a massive choice of teas, see HERE, we chose ASSAM MANGALAM, an all day tea, strong and slightly spicy! Not really a great fan of trendy lighter teas.

Everything was delicious but the scones were the favourite; so light and fluffy with lashings of clotted cream and jam.. about a million calories I would imagine, very yummy! We were so full we each had a doggy bag to take home two of our cakes. The cakes were, carrot cake, little plant pots filled with a very rich chocolate concoction, marshmallow covered in white chocolate and iced shortbread to look like wellies (Hunter of course!)

Our server was a lovely young lady who contributed a lot to the enjoyment of my special treat. The experience comes highly recommended and I’m still dreaming of those scones!

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: Lime Wood Hotel

award.gold LWL Gold Award awarded January 2015

Cost £££££££

5/5 Quality of food

4/5 Variety of menu

4/5 Staff and service

4/5 Ambiance and décor

4/5 Value for money

21/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!

The White Horse, Otterbourne, Nr Winchester 19/25

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The White Horse

silver_crown  19/25 ££££££

Main Road

Otterbourne

Winchester

Hampshire SO21 2EQ

Tel: 01962 712830

Website: whitehorseotterbourne

 

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Own car park

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Above average

 

This restaurant features in our Discount Directory & is offering a complimentary glass of house wine for LWL Card Holder + max 3 guests when ordering 2 or more courses. (See Discount Directory for t’s & c’s) If you don’t have a LWL Discount Card, click here to find out more – and start saving! 

As we last visited The White Horse a few years ago Ideal Collection invited us to re review to celebrate their swish new website and of course their latest menus…… we were delighted to accept! This venue is a traditional village inn and it was buzzing! We were told it is very popular with the locals, they are lucky to have such an attractive pub/restaurant (with an AA Rosette) in their midst. It also has a large garden for al fresco dining with a great play area to keep the children happy.

On arrival we were warmly greeted by the staff, shown to our table and quickly received our usual G&T’s…. correctly served (not drowned in tonic!). We also ordered a bottle of their house wine, an Italian dry white which was quite acceptable.

Our starters: Baked Camembert, rosemary spiked with pickled shallots and garlic sour dough, from the Specials board: Beetroot falafel, cauliflower, couscous, mint yoghurt, pomegranate dressing and from the Small plates section: Butternut Squash Bhajis with Mint yoghurt and Soft Shell Crab Tempura with Charlotte Brown’s sweet chilli jam. The falafel was a little dry, the Soft Shell Crab was enjoyed but the definite favourite was the Camembert which we all dug into, it was plenty for all of us!

Our mains: from Pub Classics: Fish ‘n’ Chips (Ale battered hake, crushed peas, triple cooked chips, tartare sauce) the fish was nice and chunky and Cauliflower & Macaroni Cheese with ‘Waldorf’ salad and walnut pangratto. The macaroni would have benefited from more sauce. From the Mains: Sea Trout Fillet with Watercress crushed potatoes and chive butter sauce, this was very good. The last choice from the sandwiches selection was Seared Steak Wrap with local watercress, celeriac slaw and English mustard mayo. We also ordered a side of Sticky Red Cabbage.

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The home made puddings, we shared two, were delicious, Proper Apple Crumble with brandy butter ice cream and Milk Chocolate Parfait with honeycomb and dark chocolate sauce.

We had an enjoyable lunch in lovely surroundings so we recommend The White Horse for almost all day dining; the restaurant is open noon to 9.30 pm most days and even longer at weekends. Do have a look at their website for more details and also info about their themed nights and of course the menus.

 

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: White Horse, Otterbourne

silver_crown LWL Silver Award awarded January 2015

Cost ££££££

3/5 Quality of food

4/5 Variety of menu

4/5 Staff and service

4/5 Ambiance and décor

4/5 Value for money

19/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!

The Hand and Flowers, Marlow 25/25

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The Hand & Flowers

award.gold  25/25 £££££££££££££££££

126 West Street

Marlow, Buckinghamshire

SL7 2BP

Tel: 01628 482277

Website: thehandandflowers.co.uk

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Own car park

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Above average

 

I am a very lucky lady…. The Hand & Flowers has been on my wish list for several years so I was thrilled when my sons & daughter in laws took me and their father there for dinner last week to celebrate my very big b’day! It is the first pub to receive two stars in The Michelin Guide, its also the holder of four AA rosettes and currently has been voted number one UK restaurant by Restaurant Magazine….. so many accolades!

As we arrived early in Marlow the 6 of us went for a drink to Tom Kerridge’s latest acquisition, The Coach. It’s not far from The Hand & Flowers, very much a pub so you are welcome to just have a drink. The food looked interesting and they operate a no booking policy, very different to The Hand & Flowers. Apparently our table there was booked about 6 months ago and I’ve just checked on line…. no tables available on Friday & Saturday nights until Jan 2016!!!

We arrived at opening time 6.30pm and started with drinks in the bar. We were booked for 6.45 and had to vacate our table by 9.0 but at no time did we feel rushed by the friendly and welcoming staff. As soon as you walk in you feel completely relaxed, the atmosphere is charming, the low lighting creating a warming glow over the rustic surroundings. No white table cloths here, just candles and fresh flowers on the tables, delightfully informal.

Once seated the waiter brings you an unusual and substantial amuse bouche…. a complimentary dish of crispy whitebait served in a newspaper cone with a marie rose sauce, a basket of white soda bread, wholemeal bread, butter and with 2 pinch pots of salt & pepper to use to season the unsalted butter. My tip… go easy on the bread, of course you are hungry but leave plenty of room for the delights to follow!

Our delicious starters: Sausage and Whole Truffle Demi “En Croûte” with Port Sauce, Crispy Pig’s Head with Spiced Date Puree, Apple, Plum and Pancetta, Glazed Omelette of Smoked Haddock and Parmesan and Roast English Onion Tart with Étuvé Alliums, Smoked Butter and Salt Cured Pork.

Our magnificent mains: 3 of us chose the dish that was a winner on The Great British Menu, Slow Cooked Duck Breast with Savoy Cabbage, Duck Fat Chips and Gravy and 3 chose Fillet of Stokes Marsh Farm Beef with Hand and Flowers Chips and Béarnaise Sauce, to which we added a couple of sides, Buttered Brussel Tops and Curly Kale with Crispy Ham Hock….. gourmet heaven!
H.F (12) Yes we did manage some puds: Apple Custard Slice with Bramley Sorbet, Warm Pistachio Sponge Cake with Melon Sorbet and Marzipan, Sweet Malt Gateau with Malted Milk Ice Cream, Yeast Tuile and Crème Fraîche, Hand & Flowers Chocolate and Ale Cake with Salted Caramel and Muscovado Ice Cream and the most amazing Bitter Orange Soufflé with Sweet Toast Crumb, Cardamon Ice Cream and Citrus Syrup.

Wow! Obviously we knew the standard of the food was going to be superb but it surpassed all expectations, every dish was a triumph and I advise all foodies to sample Tom Kerridge’s creations, better get booking!

It is expensive but not really for a restaurant of this calibre. It deserves 5/5 for value for money for the quality of the food and the whole experience. What is very impressive is that they, as a 2 Michelin Star establishment, offer a set 3 course lunch for £19.50! In your interests we LWL are always banging on to restaurants to offer a set lunch menu.. I am so delighted that in future I will be able to say “Well if The Hand & Flowers can do it”????

Check their web site for the full menus and more details. We highly recommend, the whole experience was marvellous and all true foodies wanting a very special treat will love it. The best b’day present ever!

 

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring:The Hand and Flowers

award.gold LWL Gold Award awarded January 2015

Cost: £85 a head, includes 2 bottles of wine, drinks & tip

5/5 + Quality of food

5/5 Variety of menu

5/5 Staff and service

5/5 Ambiance and décor

5/5 Value for money

25/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!