Birthday Spa Break: Balmer Lawn, New Forest

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!

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  1. April 27, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Awh what a lovely birthday surprise and treat Bexa – you certainly were spoilt! The hotel looked absolutely beautiful and the New Forest is such a stunning part of the country. I’m glad you had a really relaxing time away xx

    Rebecca |

    • April 27, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Aw thanks so much Rebecca! 💖 It was such a lovely treat and we had a really nice time. The New Forest is so beautiful. Glad you enjoyed the post 😘🌷 xx

  2. April 27, 2018 / 8:28 am

    What a lovely and relaxing place.

    • April 27, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Thanks Liz! 💖 It was perfect 😍 xx

  3. April 27, 2018 / 8:28 am

    Wow how well did Shaun do chowing such a beautiful place 😃 The food all sounded amazing , I would love to give creme egg rocky road a try and the sandwiches looked huge for ‘light bites’. Glad you enjoyed a nice break away for your birthday 😊

    Melanie |

    • April 27, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      Aw thanks so much Melanie! 💖 Shaun picked such a good place, I was very impressed 😍. Mmm you gotta try the rocky road creme egg, it’s amazing! Glad you enjoyed the post 😍 xx

  4. April 27, 2018 / 11:17 am

    Lucky you!! Shaun’s a keeper! It looks so so lovely there xx

    • April 27, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      He he, thanks Ellie! 💖 He did very well, I was really impressed 😍 xx

  5. April 27, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing birthday! I’d love to go on a Spa weekend cos I haven’t had a proper one yet. Love the photos as well x

    • April 30, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      Aw thanks so much Katie! 💖 I would definitely recommend, it’s such a lovely treat! 😍 xx

  6. Alys George
    April 27, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Happy birthday! It sounds like you had such an amazing time, and the spa look perfect for a little mini break away (:

    Alys /

    • April 30, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Aw thanks so much Alys! 💖 It was perfect, such a lovely relaxing break 😍 xx

  7. Tia Teilli
    April 27, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    Such a beautiful place! Sounds like you had an amazing birthday. Great post! ❤

    • April 30, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Thanks Tia! 💖 It was so lovely, I was very lucky 😍 xx

  8. Charlotte
    April 27, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    This is such a lovely birthday surprise, the pictures look fab! ☺️ Shaun seems like a very kind and caring person! ❤️

    • April 30, 2018 / 1:55 pm

      Aw thank you so much Charlotte 💖. Yeah, I’m a very lucky girl, it was a lovely surprise 😍 xx

  9. April 27, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    Happy belated Birthday! Looks like it was a very relaxing birthday weekend. Those cakes look delicious 🙂

    • April 30, 2018 / 1:55 pm

      Thanks Anna! 💖 It was such a relaxing break with tasty food 😍 xx

  10. April 27, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    This is my idea of a perfect birthday weekend! Glad you had a great time ☺️I’m now sat here desperately wanting a rocky road with creme egg 😋Haha and you’ve just made me even more excited for my spa trip I have planned in 2 weeks time, I cannot wait for a massage! Xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:15 pm

      Aw thanks so much Holly! 💖 Yesss the rocky road with creme egg was amazing, I want another one 😍 he he. Hope you have a super chilled spa day, that’s so exciting! 💕 xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Aw thanks so much Jenny! 💖 It was such a nice relaxing break 😍 xx

  11. April 27, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    This spa looks lovely, this Post is getting me excited for my spa day that I’m going on for my mums birthday! Hope you had a great time x

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Aw thank you so much Aaliyah 💖. That’s so exciting, hope you have an amazing spa day with your mum 😍 xx

  12. April 27, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    Oh wow what an amazing gift. You two looked like you had a blast. That sandwich looks yum. Those horses are so cute. My daughter loves horses x I would love a spa day.

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Aw thank you so much Kerry! 💖 The sandwich was soo tasty! I loved being able to pet the horses, it was such a cool experience 😍 xx

  13. April 27, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    This looks lovely! So glad you had a great time xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:20 pm

      Aw thanks so much Cara! 💖 xx

  14. April 27, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Oh my god, even the thought of a surprise trip to a spa is dreamy.. 😍 The surroundings and the food look absolutely gorgeous, I hope you had a truly wonderful weekend! I’ve added The New Forest to my list of places I need to visit on staycations.. 🙊

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Aw thanks so much lovely! 💖 It was such a sweet surprise treat 😍 I’d definitely recommend a visit to the New Forest, it’s such a beautiful place 😍 xx

  15. Leann Kelly
    April 27, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    What a fantastic Birthday surprise & good work from Shaun keeping it a secret. It looks like a perfect little getaway & so relaxing. The food looks immense especially that roasted veggie sandwich. Great photos & love the up close pics with the animals.

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Thanks so much Leann! 💖 I was so impressed with the surprise treat, it was really perfect 😍 xx

  16. April 27, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    What a stunning, fun break! xx The food pictures are totally mouthwatering hahaha! Fab post 🙂

    El @ Exclusory 💕

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:23 pm

      Thanks so much El! 💖 The food was sooo tasty! 😍 xx

  17. Huda
    April 27, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    Honestly sounds like the perfect birthday! 🙌🏼
    The food looks so good especially the desert and a 55 min massage! I know what I’m doing for my next birthday haha! xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Aw thanks so much Huda! 💖 The massage was blissful, I’d definitely recommend it 😍 xx

  18. April 27, 2018 / 8:03 pm

    Oh wow how lucky are you!? That trip away sounds amazing! So glad you had a great time.

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:25 pm

      Thanks so much Carly! 💖 We had such a lovely time 😍 xx

  19. Phoebe Rose
    April 27, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    Aw this is a lovely post, I hope you had the best time! You know you’re getting a treat when the hotel has robes for you haha!! You’ve got me wanting a spa trip for my birthday now!

    Phoebe x

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:27 pm

      Aw thank you so much Phoebe 💖. He he yes, fluffy robes is always a good sign 😍. I would definitely recommend, it was such a lovely break 💕 xx

  20. April 27, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    What a lovely surprise birthday treat, Bexa! I hope you had a great time with that 55-min massage – one would be so amazing right now!

    cabin twenty-four

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:27 pm

      Aw thanks so much Eena 💖. Yes the massage was amazing, I’d definitely recommend 😍 xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:28 pm

      Aw thank you so much Florence 💖. The food was delicious! 😍 xx

  21. April 27, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing birthday ( happy belated birthday!) I have always wanted a spa break, looks so relaxing and those handmade cakes look yummy


    • April 30, 2018 / 2:50 pm

      Aw thanks so much Melissa! 💖 It was such a lovely break with delicious food, those cakes were amazing! 😍 xx

  22. April 27, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    He did so well! What an amazing birthday treat! This all looks so lovely and your room looks incredible too! It sounds like you had a great day and a nicely relaxing break x


    • April 30, 2018 / 2:57 pm

      Aw thanks so much Sophie! 💖 It was such a lovely break, I was very impressed 😍 xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you lovely! 💖 xx

  23. Emily
    April 27, 2018 / 10:31 pm

    You look absolutely beautiful!😘 I’m so glad you had an amazing time, you most definitely deserved it. The Seat Trout looked delicious, I hope you enjoyed it!🙂
    Fab post as per usual Darling! xoxo

    • Emily
      April 27, 2018 / 10:32 pm


    • April 30, 2018 / 2:58 pm

      Aww Emily! 💖 You are so lovely. Thank you! It was such a fab break and the food was delicious! 😍 xx

  24. April 27, 2018 / 11:47 pm

    What a lovely surprise! I love the New Forest so so much, it’s a wonderful place and is lovely to see all the horses wandering around! Nice to hear about your trip Bexa, I’m glad you had a great time <3 xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Aw thank you so much Alys 💖 I’m glad you enjoyed! The New Forest is one of my favourite places too, it’s so beautiful and lovely to be able to pet the horses too! 😍 xx

  25. April 28, 2018 / 2:13 am

    Love love love how you were treated with a spa! Shaun is such a sweetheart for planning all of this out for you :). Oh man, you’re not kidding about the luxury!

    Those little horses are so cute!!!

    The food looks delicious as well! It’s so cool that the dip was in the little jar! Love how you made the most out of your spa day and your birthday (happy belated birthday!).

    Glad you were treated with love ♥

    • April 30, 2018 / 3:10 pm

      Aw thank you so much for your lovely thoughtful comment Nancy! 💖 It was such a perfect break, the food was delicious and the hotel was fantastic. So glad you enjoyed reading the post lovely 😘 xx

  26. April 28, 2018 / 6:16 am

    It looks like you had a lovely time there, what a lovely surprise for you! It looks so posh! I’m glad you were spoilt 🙂 Happy belated birthday x

    • April 30, 2018 / 3:10 pm

      Aw thanks so much Kat! It was such a lovely surprise 💖 xx

    • April 30, 2018 / 3:11 pm

      Aw thanks so much Fran! 💖 I know right 😍 it was such a lovely break 💕 xx

  27. April 28, 2018 / 9:41 am

    This looks so lovely! ❤️

    • April 30, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      Thank you so much! 💖 xx

  28. April 28, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Aaaww I hope you had a wonderful birthday! I This looks like such a lovely weekend break. Also that food looked delish!

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      Aw thanks so much Eva! 💖 It was really lovely and the food was amazing! 😍 xx

  29. Farrah
    April 28, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    This sounds like the perfect weekend getaway Bexa! I’m so glad you had a lovely day 🙂 also that rocky road with creme egg looks heavenly! xxx

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:07 pm

      Thank you Farrah! 💖 It was such a nice break and the creme egg rocky road was delicious 😘 xx

  30. Sophie
    April 29, 2018 / 8:39 am

    I’ve never been but would definitely consider it after seeing what a great time you had! So glad you had a nice birthday, this looks like it was a wonderful surprise! – x

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:08 pm

      Thanks so much Sophie! 💖 I would definitely recommend it, it’s such a lovely break! 😍 xx

  31. April 29, 2018 / 9:21 am

    Oh my gosh, what a lovely birthday treat!! It sounds like he really did find the perfect place for the two of you. I LOVE a good massage, they’re so relaxing and just make you feel so much more chilled afterwards! The baguette you had looks so bloody nice too and horses are the most adorable animals, I love the cute little fluffy pony! I hope you had the most wonderful birthday, it really looks like you did! 😍
    Alice Xx

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:10 pm

      Aw thanks so much for the lovely comment Alice! 💖 Massages are the best aren’t they 😍. The baguette was delicious, I could eat another one right now he he 😄. Aw yes the little pony was soo sweet 💕 xx

  32. Louisa
    April 29, 2018 / 10:27 am

    It looks like you had a really nice time. It all looks so relaxing and the pool just looks fantastic.

    Louisa |

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:11 pm

      Aw thank you so much Louisa! 💖 It was such a nice break, the pool was lovely! 😘 xx

  33. April 29, 2018 / 11:58 am

    awww what a sweet bday surprise! Mine is coming up on tuesday. Looking forward to getting myself a massage. It looks like you had a really relaxing and great weekend. Love the horsies!
    Do you feel all refreshed?

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:20 pm

      Aww yay! Happy Birthday! It’s today! 💖 I hope you have a lovely day ☺️. Thank you for the comment Rose and I’m definitely feeling more refreshed now 😘 xx

  34. Rachael Stray
    April 29, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    I’m a big fan of a spa break and we love a good couples massage you feel so relaxed afterward. Horses and food and a spa sound like my kind of birthday celebrations. Happy belated birthday!

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:25 pm

      Aw thanks so much Rachael 💖. It was so relaxing and I definitely felt chilled afterwards 😍 xx

  35. April 29, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    Wishing you a belated happy birthday Bexa.This was really a perfect birthday surprise for you. All your pictures look like this place was beautiful and relaxing. I loved the horses, pool and your vegetable sandwich with fries looks yummy. 🙂

    Via | http;//

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      Aw thanks so much Via! 💖 It was such a lovely surprise, I was so lucky! I’m glad you liked the photos too 😍 xx

  36. April 29, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    This sounds like such a nice break. I love the little ponies

    • May 1, 2018 / 4:49 pm

      Thanks so much Ashton 💖 They are super cute! 😍 xx

  37. April 29, 2018 / 2:04 pm

    I’m so glad you had a great time, Bexa! That rocky road looks AMAZING, it’s one of my faves too!xx

    Em ~

    • May 2, 2018 / 3:41 pm

      Aw thanks so much Em! 💖 The rocky road was amazing, you gotta try it with creme egg – delicious combination 😍 xx

  38. April 29, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    This looks so lovely and relaxing! The horses are adorable!

    • May 2, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      Aw thank you so much Lainy 💖. It was such a lovely break 😘 xx

  39. April 29, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    What a lovely surprise! That place looks super relaxing, glad you had such a great time! Such cute horses too! <3

    • May 2, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      Aw thank you so much Nele 💖 It was such a lovely break, we both had a great time 😍 xx

  40. April 29, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    This was so well planned out! I’m so happy you had such a lush spa day with him.

    • May 2, 2018 / 4:03 pm

      Aw thanks so much Caysey! 💖 It was such a lovely treat 😘 xx

  41. Shaun
    April 29, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    The Balmer Lawn is a great place to stay 😄. We had such a lovely time there and the couples massage was so relaxing! 💆🏼‍♀️💆🏻‍♂️. I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday treat ☺️. A lovely post Bexa 😄😍💖😘 xxxx

    • May 2, 2018 / 4:08 pm

      Thank you Shaun! 💖 It was such a lovely treat, I’m glad we both had a great time 😍. I wonder what we will do for your birthday 💖☺️😍😘 xxxx

  42. April 29, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    This looks so relaxing, what a lovely surprise! Happy Birthday 💕

    Tori  |
    Latest blog post: My favourite Disney Films

  43. April 29, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    Sounds like you had a great birthday! I would love to hang out at a hotel with horses haha 😍

    • May 2, 2018 / 4:09 pm

      He he, thanks Kristin! 💖 It was such a cool experience, I’d definitely recommend 😘 xx

  44. Jess
    April 29, 2018 / 10:02 pm

    I’ve never been to a spa but I’ve always wanted to go to one! So glad you enjoyed yourself! Your photos look great, I’m a sucker for anything sweet so that rocky road would have been amazing to me! Happy Belated Birthday lovely!

    Jess //

    • May 2, 2018 / 4:18 pm

      Aw thanks so much Jess! 💖 Rocky road is amazing! You gotta try the creme egg combination, it’s delicious 😍 xx

  45. Jessica
    April 30, 2018 / 12:25 am

    Happy Birthday Bexa!! Looks like you had a great, relaxing, fun but amazing time!! 💕

    • May 2, 2018 / 4:23 pm

      Aw thanks so much Jessica! 💖 It really was a lovely break! 😍 xx

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