I am of the opinion that country weekends are the best weekends. Throw in best friends and some bubbles? Well then you’re really on to a winner.
As a teenager I was always desperate to get to London, fleeing the countryside at every opportunity for the bright lights of the big smoke. Things are a little different now, maybe it’s because I live here now or maybe I’m just getting old, but now the appeal of a weekend outside of London is often too strong to resist.
As a result, a few weekends ago, Friday afternoon saw me hopping in the car with my bestie, off to her parents house in Lymington for the weekend. After a lazy evening and morning we decided to get out the house so along with our friend Leila we headed down the road to Limewood for a spot of lunch in the sun. Nestled in the heart of the New Forest, we’ve been coming here for years. Great to come for dinner and drinks, there’s also a spa and rooms in case you fancy an overnight visit.Full of cosy nooks for curling up when the weather’s grim, I could quite happily laze away a Sunday morning here with a cup of tea and the papers.Light streams through the glass ceiling in the bar area, making it the perfect spot to while away the afternoon.And maybe grab a spot of afternoon tea….But as much as I love the interiors, today we were more focused on the outside, deciding to make the most of the last of the lazy summer afternoons whilst we still could.Grabbing ourselves a tables on the terrace we got on with the important work of the afternoon.The restaurant at Limewood is run by Angela Harnett and Luke Holder and, rather handily, you can order the small plates to the terraces. Naturally we only ordered one or two mouthfuls.Home smoked salmon with caperberries. There’s a smokehouse on site so the salmon and meats are all smoked just around the corner from where you’re devouring them.Vitello tonnato, delicate slices of veal in a tuna sauce, fresh with capers and lemon. If you’ve never had this before, I promise it’s more delicious than it sounds.Baby vegetable salad, ordered as a bit of an afterthought, it turned out to be one of the stand out dishes. Crunchy little veg, lying snugly on a bed of fresh cheese.Crispy fish fingers with tartare sauce, these resulted in burnt mouths all round as we tried, and failed, to wait until they were cool enough to eat.Bruschetta, another real winner, charred sourdough topped with smokey, rich aubergine.Homemade salamiThe perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon, take some friends and make yourself at home. Just be careful not to leave anyone alone or you might find the call of the bar is too strong.