Country Idyll…

Country Idyll…


The Montagu Arms, Beaulieu, New Forest

There is something quite serene about driving over that first cattle grid and entering the New Forest. It’s like being suddenly cut and paste into the set of Wind in the Willows with the ponies meandering across the road without a care in the world.

I have visited the Montagu Arms on a couple of occasions before and I have always left feeling completely relaxed and none more so that on my latest stay.
The Montagu Arms is an elegant country house hotel set in tranquil gardens in the heart of the village Beaulieu (home to the Beaulieu National Motor Museum) and offers 24 sumptuous bedrooms and suites, combining comfort with timeless sophistication. This is the epitome of a rural retreat with food at its heart, with outstanding cuisine within The Terrace Restaurant with mesmerising views over the carefully tended gardens and where Head Chef and Roux Scholar, Matthew Tomkinson, oversees the fine dining. There is also the Monty’s Inn for those who would rather enjoy the country pub dining.

The bedrooms are rich with traditional English character and considerate touches, each designed to offer its own unique style and where a peaceful night’s sleep can almost be guaranteed (although you may be awoken by a bellowing Friesian heifer!)

I woke early on my latest visit and was first down to breakfast – the Eggs Benedict were top notch …… before heading out for a wander. Simply idyllic is all that I can say ….. cows merrily grazing at the road side by the estuary whilst an elderly gentleman fed the ducks & geese beyond and on returning to the hotel I was greeted by six donkeys loitering along the pavement without a care in the world. I was sorry that I had meetings to attend and had to drag myself away – I was mesmerised by the tranquillity of the experience and couldn’t have been more delighted to get held up on my onward journey …. by a cow and her calf idly strolling up the middle of the road. I was sorry to cross back over that cattle grid and back into the land of normality.

I will be returning very soon – August in fact, as I have promised to take my husband and the munchkins for a couple of nights to show them what I haven’t stopped banging on about since my visit.
I would urge you to put this delightful part of the world on your bucket list.

The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire,SO42 7ZL
Tel: 01590 612324

Jontje Cunliffe- Lister is a leading luxury hotels expert and founder of Highly Recommended Venues. For further information check out

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