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Greetings from the New Forest June 2017

Greetings from the New Forest,

Well we have had an incredible May, helped massively by beautiful sunshine and warm days.  The Forest is so dry at the moment it is perfect for walking and cycling. My family and I can’t get enough of the cycling at the moment!!!

We have also been so lucky and had some amazing weddings, all completely different yet all completely fabulous.  Congratulations to all our wonderful couples, and come back and see us soon!!

The decorating and preparation for summer season continues, and we have redecorated room 18, and it looks so great, fresh, light and bright! We have also replaced the carpet in room 9, this has now completed this room too. We have started to re do the floor on the ground floor corridor and this is looking great, but…. not without it’s challenges. We suffered a leak in the reception and so had to pull up all the boards and then re lay…. gah!! nightmare, but thanks to the amazing Gary we are all back on track and no more bouncy reception floor- thank goodness!!! and we can resume service on finishing the corridor!

The kitchen team are working well in the new kitchen and I am also loving the simplicity of service so a successful refit and all our guests are seeing the difference and the food coming out is absolutely sensational… I was even a guest when we came to dine for my Dad’s birthday and we all had a super night.

One final improvement is also our restaurant chairs are getting a refurb, new padding and a great peacock blue, which goes so well with the restaurant wallpaper.

We hope that you can join us soon, as the New Forest is looking lovely, the rhododendrons are still in bloom and the whole Forest is green and lush.

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

 

 

Greetings from the New Forest – dog edition!

Greetings from the New Forest!

Or this month shall I say woof woof!! It’s no news to anyone that knows us that we love to welcome dogs at Woodlands Lodge, and whereas we pride ourselves in our wonderful hospitality, a lovely rice bone, towel and blanket for all our doggie guests. There is plenty of space to run about – a tap to clean those mucky paws and a comfy bar for the owners too so you can enjoy meals altogether as a family.

So we have compiled a list of what we think are the greatest things to do whilst staying with us in the forest.

1)      Walking – there are so many walks in the Forest, yet nowhere compares to our Woodlands Walk, or basically our door step! You can walk for miles just out of the back garden.  So  forget the car and get out the walking boots, the dog is going to love it too, although may be a bit pooped by the end of the day J Another firm favourite with our doggie guests is the Deer Leep car park Ashurst, and there are miles of gorgeous heath land to walk in, and no need to keep the dog on a lead as there is great visability and not a road for miles… bliss

2)      The Beach- only 30 minutes away from the Woodlands Lodge Hotel we have some stunning beaches, and several are dog friendly, what better way to walk and exercise with the views of the isle of Wight and usually a bracing breeze. Our favourites are Hengistbury Head- a scenic headland near Bournemouth and has archaeological significance as well as a wide variety of wild life, Mudeford Sandbanks – this is the beach that attaches to Hengistbury Head and has easy access for everyone and dog friendly year round, Milford on Sea – offers great cliff top views and you can walk to Hurst castle and Lepe Country Park- beautiful views of the Solent, D day remains too, although in peak season some of the beach is reserved for families there is still plenty of places to walk with your dog through the meadows, estury or cliff tops and well worth a visit.

3)      Beaulieu – lose yourself in the Beaulieu grounds and gardens, the formality of the Victorian Kitchen Garden and the Mill Pond Walk. Dogs are allowed in the grounds on a lead, and once you have finished here there is the great Beaulieu river walk which leads you to Bucklers Hard and this brings us onto the next place in the Forest where your dog is welcome Bucklers Hard, although it does not make its own number in our list as dogs are only welcome outside, which although similar to Beaulieu is a lot smaller.

4)      Moors Valley country park – there are lots of fabulous trails and places to explore dogs are very welcome at this country park although there are some areas where they need to be kept on a lead. It’s wide paths and trails are perfect for the whole family.

5)      Exbury gardensThe Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre (80 hectare) site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. Dogs are welcome everywhere as long as they are kept on a lead.

We hope you find this month’s blog handy in planning your trip to Woodlands Lodge, however, please just ask us at reception if you would like us to check where dogs are welcome, and if you fancy some dog free time too, we can recommend Southern Pet Services who have a doggy day care.

With the rhododendrons in bud ready to bloom at any moment, this is an ideal time to visit the New Forest, and the Woodlands Lodge team are waiting.

Best wishes

Imogene

Greetings from the New Forest April 2017

Greetings from the New Forest!

 

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful start to April as much as I am! It is amazing to be finally out in the garden and the plants and the forest is coming into bloom too. I don’t want to jinx things but Spring is here!!!!

We had a tumultuous March, with our kitchen refit taking much longer than we had been led to believe, which meant we did not serve evening meals for 2 weeks, the first time in 6 years that we were unable to offer guests an evening meal, and the hotel felt so quiet in the evenings, I am pleased that we have now resumed normal dinner service and looking forward with the new oven , and chef is delighted as am  i!

Also good news we also welcome a new sous chef, CJ. He started on Mother’s Day with a baptism of fire cooking the Mother’s Day lunch, although he has already proved an invaluable member of the team and produced lots of sensational food.

Head chef has been busy too, prepping a mouth-watering new Spring menu, really capitalising on the beautiful produce that we have in and around the fabulous New Forest.

Our Mother’s Day lunch was really lovely with lots of lunches as well as afternoon teas this year. We hope you all had a wonderful day, and look forward to seeing you all soon.

I can’t wait to see what the team come up with for our Easter Sunday lunch, I am sure it will be a treat! There is still space so please give us a call to reserve your table. Only £20 for 3 courses and of course children are very welcome at Woodlands Lodge, as is the dog!

Whilst battling the Kitchen dramas, we had a lovely wedding are really cheered us all up and the bride and groom and their friends and family a delight too. We were also lucky enough to host and celebrate a surprise 70th birthday, where the guests had hired the whole hotel, and I think that the birthday boy was shocked when he arrived and saw his friends and family –he he he love to be part of the surprise.

Well, that’s about all of our news for now! We hope that you can join us in the New Forest soon, We have some great mid-week rates, and some fantastic Forest walks on the door step, not to mention Exbury Gardens is entering what I think is the most stunning time with the rhododendrons and azaleas coming into flower in the next few weeks.

 

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest February 2017

Greetings from the New Forest

It is lovely here today, lots of sunshine, although still a fair bit of mud to stomp through!

We have been busy throughout January, we have redecorated our reception, and it looks lovely. We liked the blue but have replaced with a reddy and orangey and it looks amazing, and it is really warm and gives a great first impression. Secondly, is the big one… the kitchen… it is currently undergoing an amazing transformation! And we can’t wait we certainly have needed this since we started and will make our functions so much easier to do- Only a few more days….

It was also great to be able to host a fantastic wedding for Zoe and Frankie last month, such a brilliant time to have a wedding and get everyone out of their  January doldrums!

A quiet month in the hotel, although a great time to catch up on some other well needed jobs, to get ready for the next season.

We are looking forward to Valentine’s Day and are really excited to see the sharing menu that chef has prepared!! There is still time to book and so we hope to see you there!!

Take care and hopefully we will see you soon,

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest January 2017

Greetings from the New Forest

Happy New Year, we hope you had a lovely Christmas too. We had a fantastic December and really enjoyed both our party nights and had some lovely guests stay with us too for our Christmas package. As usual I hosted the Christmas day quiz and absolutely loved getting to know all the guests and having a great laugh as we went through the night… and may be one or two cosmos! New Years eve was also a great night and despite working against the odds chef pulled off a great feast of 5 courses and then we finished the night by dancing.

It’s a quiet time at the hotel this week. So I am trying to convince Robert we need to redecorate the reception… not sure if that’s going to work yet but give me time! We also redecorated room 17 our bridal suite in December and it looks a lot crisper and fresher , so it’s the room to book! Although trying to purchase conservatory furniture is quite a challenge in mid December so might wait a few weeks to see what we can find to furnish the conservatory for the summer.

The weather has been wonderful and crisp – although super cold and so the Forest has been amazing and breath-taking to walk in.

We also have some great deals at the moment, rooms are from £64 this week B&B – so it really is cheaper than staying at home.

We also have a new menu launching later this week and so I am excited to see what Andy Smith has prepared for us!!

Finally, thank you to all our staff and all the guests that have supported us throughout 2016 and we look forward to welcoming you in 2017.

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Winter Wedding Spectacular!!!

We are offering 10% off Wedding prices throughout January 2020/21!

Enjoy all of the merriment and splendour of our venue without such a hefty price tag!

Please give us a call and ask for Imogene for more details or to arrange an appointment

02380 29 22 57

Not ready to go?

Request a late check out with our reception and stay til midday!!! Only £20 per room.

*subject to availability | see terms and conditions

Greetings from the New Forest – September

Greetings from the New Forest,

Well that was a lovely summer- and it seems to be continuing into September making the Forest incredibly enticing and I need to get back to work! I have had a wonderful summer enjoying the Forest, and exploring new parts too. I think my favourite bits have been cycling in the Forest- amazing now the children can cycle without stabilisers!! And also, we went walking through the stream near the hotel and walking on the fallen tree stumps- such a wonderful afternoon thoroughly enjoyed by all. Intermingled with the exploratory pursuits we have had a successful summer at the hotel and met a lot of fabulous guests and dogs! As well as had some great weddings too.

We are now looking forward to the Autumn and Winter and putting together our Christmas packages and Winter deals. I know it seems early but it’s never too early if you’re the planner 🙂

We are having 2 party nights this year, as well as festive afternoon teas, and a big 3 day package for the actual Christmas Day and finishing with a wonderful New Years gala dinner and live music to dance to welcome the 2017.

We are also looking to bring back our very popular 3 nights for £300 deal from November- February.

Our Head Chef Andy Smith is still whipping up a storm in the kitchen and I am really excited to see what he is creating for the Autumn menu. You may have seen some photos on social media this week. Looks and tastes amazing and last night in the restaurant one of our diners said it was the best meal she had ever eaten, which really fills us all with such pride and satisfaction throughout our whole team.

Now all are back to school I will back to the hotel in full force and bringing lots of enthusiasm as well as a welcome return to Charlotte who will be coming back at the end of this month, as we say goodbye to Ed as he returns to university and so good luck for your second year.

We hope to welcome you soon

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest July

 

Greetings from the New Forest

Well, as we enter July I start to think and get excited about the school holidays, 6 weeks to do fun things as a family. Don’t worry Rob and I will still be at the hotel, although I want all my days off to count, and I am nothing if not a planner, and I thought it would be great to share my plan ideas with everyone. As literally there is no place we would rather be this summer and so hopefully you will come and enjoy the summer with us and hopefully this gives you some ideas too!

Here is what I plan to do this Summer-

1)      Paultons Park- this is number one on the kids list every year! To those who don’t know this is a family owned theme park and the home of Peppa Pig World. It is also only 10 minutes away from the Hotel. My children are now 6 & 4 yrs and after many fun trips they are now a bit too grown up for Peppa and so luckily Paultons have just opened a new Dinosaur world – The Lost Kingdom! This picks up nicely where PPW leaves off and the kids LOVE it, enough adrenalin to make them feel brave (and me!) and enough placid rides for the 4 yo. There is some lovely gardens there too and so no doubt we will picnic. Top tip, bring a towel and  change of clothes as there is a great splash zone and some water rides too.

2)      Winchester Science Centre– just 25/30 mins away we have an interactive Science and technology centre and home of the largest planetarium cinema in the UK.  A great wet weather option and fun day out. There is a challenge to build an Earthquake proof structure… the Underwriter in me is all in!! So much to do from the Website the kids will love it.

3)      Portsmouth Historic Dockyard & Southsea Sea Front- The Mary Rose attraction is re opening on the 20th July and also a chance to see HMS Victory, my son loves ships and I’m keen too and so we will definitely be doing this. Picnics feature heavily in our household and so we will combine this with lunch on Southsea sea front. A great prom to walk/ scoot down and also a fun fair and arcades – and bad parent moment but everyone loves the 2p machines in our family- slots of fun!!

4)      Furzey Gardens, Minstead- only a few miles away from the hotel is this informal Woodlands Gardens that has a great range of beautiful plants from around the world. However, what the kids really enjoy is the fairy door trail! This is a firm favourite with us, a lovely trail around the gardens finding the fairy doors that lay nestled within the trees. There is also a great coffee shop so we can finish off with tea and cake or rolling down the hill….. perfect afternoon

5)      Bolderwood- This is another great Forest outing – half a day easily spent here! You firstly have the deer viewing platform,  who can spot those deer???? And there are several trails, we are ‘Jubilee’ trail folk which is a 1 mile round walk through the woods. Although there are more challenging walks for those with longer legs. Again we will be finishing up with either a picnic or an ice cream (who can spot the trend). There is an ice cream van stationed most of the year here and also there are toilet facilities.

6)      Lyndhurst– whereas I try and avoid the one way system in the height of summer…  we will be going to the New Forest Landmark of Bolton’s Bench, which is on the outskirts of Lyndhurst and can be accessed from the hotel without going around the one way system. It is great to let off steam and run up the hill, and play in the sand at Park Pale (next door car park name) and you pretty much always see ponies grazing on the grassy lawns surrounding. Of course…. We may pop into a tea shop on the way home.

7)      Itchen Country Park – this is a Country Park near Eastleigh that is situated by the river Itchen, there is a forest trail, picnic areas J, café,  2 parks for the kids and most importantly a little zip wire. My children love it. There is also a Go Ape here but we have not yet done this….

It’s really near a Haskins and Hobby craft as well, so we can never resist stopping and having a wander round!!

8)      Say Hello to the Gruffalo – Sea City Museum (16th August) you get to hear the Gruffalo tale and then create your own monsters using clay…. We might combine this with the regulation trip to Southampton to buy School shoes. We are only 15 minutes by car from the City and as well as Sea City Museum, there are lots of other attractions and a great John Lewis in the West Quay shopping centre.

9)      Milford on Sea- now no holiday is complete without a trip to the beach, and we are quite spoilt, as within 30 mins of the hotel we have Christchurch, Bournemouth and Lepe beach, but I think we will go to Milford on Sea because my Son loves stones and rocks, and this beach has both in abundance….it also has good parking, a great promenade so again good biking and scooting and for the grown ups great views over the Isle of Wight….

10)   Exploring in the Forest- living in such a great place we spend a lot of time exploring in the Forest around the hotel, we find Enchanted Far away trees, Gruffalo swings, horses, bug houses, log bridges, pooh stick bridge and lots of other things our imaginations have yet to find.

If I manage to do all this, I will let you know in September when I will next write and am on my gym mission after all those picnics and coffee shop stops!  I hope you find this useful and have a lovely summer. We hope to welcome you all soon to enjoy some of the New Forest delights.

Best wishes

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest May 2016

Greetings from the New Forest

May is here! The weather is warming up- well I have thought about leaving my coat at home once or twice and the weather man is promising good things to come. Also I had a fabulous walk in the Forest last weekend-  a lot less mud about and everything is budding and not going to be long before the garden is full of colour!

We have had a good month, with the restaurant going from strength to strength.  The menu is delicious, the produce is pretty much all sourced from the Hampshire apart from some of our fish, which is a smidge further west of us.  It really has added such amazing freshness I want to eat there all the time- and in fact have done so 3 times this month 🙂

We have been busy cleaning and prepping for the impending wedding season, and our master piece has been ripping the carpet out of the lounge and have a wonderful oak effect flooring put down. It makes the room look huge, and elegant. I also purchased a cream aisle runner for weddings- it is beautiful and really makes the lounge room look like a stunning ceremony room. I think Tracy with TCS training will also appreciate the new floor!!

It has been lovely meeting some lovely new guests and welcoming back some old faces. We hope that you will all be back soon.  We have some great offers in May too, only £79 B&B so no excuses not to pay us a visit soon.

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

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