Last week for my birthday, Shaun arranged for us both to go on a mini spa break. Exciting! Shaun did a very good job of keeping this a secret – all I knew was we were heading towards the New Forest and I’d need my bikini. The New Forest is only about 30-40 minutes on the train from where we live so it wasn’t long before the surprise was revealed. We were staying in the Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa in Brockenhurst. Shaun chose very well (apparently he did a lot of internet spa research at work) and before long we had checked in to this super luxurious hotel and were ready to begin the relaxation.
Our room was very posh (Shaun pushed the birthday boat out and went for a superior room). We had tea, coffee and biscuits, a bath, fluffy robes and a super comfy bed. We were right on the top floor so enjoyed a very scenic view overlooking the famous Balmer Lawn complete with horses.
We had access to the leisure facilities – a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna so decided to go out for some lunch before coming back later on for an evening swim.
The Balmer Lawn is a short 5-10 minute walk from the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest. Before we went for our walk we stopped for some obligatory Balmer Lawn photographs:
On the way into the village, the first place we happened to stumble across was The Huntsman. We were on the search for some good ol’ pub food and this place fitted the criteria. Being pretty hungry by now we didn’t waste much time making a decision and went straight on in.
I’d say it was a pretty good decision…
I ordered a roasted vegetable sandwich, with green pesto, rocket, on white rustic baguette served with crisps and coleslaw with added skinny fries. Shaun went for a similar but meaty version. This was actually from their Light Bites menu so we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of food we got. What a delicious feast!
After lunch we went on a little wander around the local area stopping to pet this chap who was happily having his lunch.
It’s not often you walk down the road and see a horse, unless of course you are in the New Forest.
In the village, we decided it was time for something sweet so found ourselves being enticed into The Buttery, a cosy little tearoom with a tempting selection of handmade cakes. I’m a big fan of rocky road anyway, but if you want something a little special, you gotta try this rocky road with creme egg, it was pretty amazing.
More horse watching.
Ha ha, this post looks like all we do is stare at horses and eat food! We did actually have a swim and chilled in the room before we ate back at the hotel restaurant for the evening meal. This is the sea trout, citrus sabayon, heritage vegetables and sea herb salad. We both agreed that this is probably the poshest meal we have ever eaten. It may not look a lot, but I gotta say it was delicious and very filling indeed.
The next day was my birthday and what a glorious sunny day it was! After breakfast we went for another swim and a walk around the hotel grounds. The hotel backs onto miles and miles of stunning open fields so we went to say hello to our new horsey friends again.
As an extra birthday treat, Shaun booked us in for a couples massage before we went home. I know, I know, how lucky am I. We had a 55 minute full body aromatherapy massage which was incredibly relaxing. We left the hotel feeling super chilled out and extremely happy that we had such a lovely birthday break.
I gotta say, every single member of staff at the Balmer Lawn hotel and spa were so friendly and helpful. We felt instantly relaxed the minute we checked in and knew we were in good hands (hah, massage pun there). The hotel is superbly situated in the beautiful New Forest and close by the the train station and village. It really was a perfect stay and a fabulous way to celebrate my birthday. A big thank you to Shaun and the Balmer Lawn! <3
Have you been to the New Forest? Which hotels and spas would you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!