Monday, 13 August 2018

Could this be the Ultimate Escape to the New Forest

About a 30 minute drive from Southampton and, in fact, for us about the same from Lymington, this beautiful hotel nestles in the heart of the New Forest.

For me, this is a place I visit quite often for coffee with friends, but today was a special treat.  We were here for lunch.

Even more of a treat in store for Malcolm has he has never been here.

A drive through the New Forest is always a pleasure but when you live somewhere you rarely do any sightseeing, which is a pity really.

The drive, of course, can be slow sometimes ....
so if you have a deadline give yourself time to drive slowly!

We did, of course, set off early and arrived with time to start the lunch with a welcoming glass of fizz!
and there was more .....
This cute little pan of delicious scrummy nibbles were delightful.

Please forgive me.  I have forgotten what they were called, just trust me when I say they were a gastronomic delight.

We were looked after incredibly well and were shown to a very stylish restaurant, with views of the gardens.

We opted for the Seasonal Set Lunch menu.  There was the option of two or three courses and very reasonably priced.

A quick peek down to the bottom where the deserts caught my eye so the three courses would probably be the order of the day!

I always think it's rather rude to get the professional camera out in a restaurant (unless of course you're working on a commercial shoot) so I tend not to do it.  Please take our word for it .... the food was delicious.

Of course, if you don't believe us, you can always go and try for yourself.

After lunch Paulo very kindly took us through to the lounge for coffee, after which we thought we ought to try and walk a little before getting back in the car.

A wander is a must.  These gardens are full of surprises.
And the view of the building is stunning from many angles.
 It is truly beautiful, so I'll let you wander with us for a while .....
 I sat on this bench in a secluded area of the garden and watched the butterflies and bees.
But if you want to be a little more energetic, there's a forest ramble.  Not for us on this occasion..... I do wonder where it goes though?
You could always extend your lunch to an overnight stay?
There are many options here.  All seem to be quiet, private, and unique.
 No Malcolm, not today ...... maybe another time though :)
 Lodges, cottages, forest suites, hideaways ........
with a little more wandering and we came upon the Lake Cabin.  
Looks like the sort of place you could peacefully curl up with a book or stay a little longer and even write a book!

If it's peace, tranquillity and luxury you are after, then this is your ultimate escape to the New Forest is, of course,

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

You've Got to Admit at 90 years old It's Impressive.

And we're off!
 And just over 20mph it feels more like 90mph :(
 Whew!  Thank goodness we're only going just around the corner.
It's the 19th Lymington Rotary Summer Spectacular.

In the past I have visited this spectacle with my son and his family.  My granddaughters have enjoyed the bouncy castle and pony rides in their time.  My son has enjoyed looking at the cars and my daughter in law and I have quite liked the gift and clothing stalls would you believe :)

Never did I think I'd be taking the road to Lymington Summer Spectacular in a 90 year old Austin 7!
Co-owned with a couple of friends and now named Myrtle.

I have to admit she is rather cute and quite fun.

A bit of marshalling required...

As Malcolm had been asked to help with the marshalling it was an early start for us and we arrived at 8.30am.  

We pulled up beside another chap who had bought three Austins of different makes and ages.  

Nope!  Don't even think about it Malcolm!
All sorts of cars turned up for this event.  All shapes and sizes and different ages.
Of course, Malcolm was in his element getting up close and personal with these vehicles. 
Although he got a little confused when .......
the Bentley joined the lineup?  
Oh I'd like to bring to your attention the extra passenger on the back seat.

(explanation = my Essential Images Teddy Bear, with photography prop of hat which I thought was very appropriate and a little hamper that my grandchildren used to play with many years ago!)  

Well, we all know what a softy I am and we thought it was a bit of fun.

Essential Images Teddy got a lot of 'ohs' and 'ahs' - almost as much as the car - well nearly :)

But not quite as many as this little chap to be totally honest.  How cute is that?
I don't think this chappie was interested in Ethel the Essential Images teddy bear either, do you?
Umm?  Think it might have been the engine?

No interest in cars or teddies for this little dog.  He was only interested in keeping cool and found a place for doing just that.
Well, of course, this is not all about cars.  There are plenty of things to do and lots to see.  Also plenty of food and drink choices.

It was a boiling hot day so I opted for some iced coffee from Taste the Bean.
And a piece of Blueberry and Lemon cake from Fiona @realfood
Fiona's food is truly scrumptious and there was no way we were leaving without having a piece of her cake.
I think the handmade fudge must have been quite delicious too.  It certainly got the attention of these two gorgeous little girls.  Aren't they cute.
Time for the off then.

Ah I think someone wants a lift?  Be my guest.

I took a much more comfortable ride in a much later model - quite a new edition of a Discovery actually :)

Sweet Myrtle is very cute and at 90 years old is very impressive. 

I'm sure she has some stories to tell.
Now that would be interesting wouldn't it......could we find out d'you think?

Until the next time .... safe travels all.