Nestled on the edge of the New Forest in the quaint village of Highcliffe is the chic yet homely Lord Bute Hotel.
This 5 star home from home offers spacious rooms and suites boasting king sized beds, flat screen TVs and large en suite bathrooms complete with deep bathtubs to wallow in with a good book, or your favourite person.
The award-winning restaurant serves traditional British dishes such as hearty roasts with all the trimmings and epic cheeseboards accompanied with fine wines and tangy chutneys. Those partial to a spot of entertainment with their three course dinners will be pleased to know that The Lord Bute hosts regular cabaret and jazz nights with talented singers and performers.
Our suite was elegantly decorated in neutral shades of cream and white and adorned with gold framed paintings, as well as a few spooky black and white photographs of serious looking Victorian families. We were later told by the friendly manager that one photo was of the late Lord Selfridge and his family as they used to live at the property (or visit – its hard to remember as we were in wow mode after just arriving).
Just a short stroll away we discovered the ancient Highcliffe Castle – a renowned tourist attraction located a stones throw away from the whispering waves of the ocean.
Imagining we were 18th century heroines draped in regal costumes that emphasised our bosoms, we frolicked about the perfectly manicured grounds, finding great amusement at getting ‘lost’ in the picture perfect maze before posing for a shameful amount of photos by the castle itself.
The next day we were served one of the best full English breakfasts I have tried in my adult life before another windy walk along the beach.
It was hard to pry ourselves away from the laid back ways of this sleepy seaside haven, yet we just about managed to (rather reluctantly) get the train back to the hustle and bustle of London Town.
The Lord Bute, 181-185 Lymington Rd, Highcliffe, Christchurch BH23 4JS, UK