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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

Greetings from the New Forest- April 2016

Greetings from the New Forest!

Spring has sprung! Woodlands Lodge has been busy bees in the last 2 months.

Firstly, we finished room 5 and I think it is a real triumph. Nice and bright, clean looking and in the somewhat adventurous colour ‘babouche’ or bright yellow!! It is a happy  room and Gary has been busy tidying up the hotel painting doors and corridors so we look fresh and ready for Summer.

Our kitchen team has to be the biggest change in the last 6 weeks. It has literally transformed. Our new head chef the talented Andy Smith has started and already made over the kitchen, with his modern take on British food and he is focussed on the seasonality and keeping all our produce as local as possible. I am so excited for everyone to taste and see his food!! It looks and tastes divine. The afternoon tea menu has also been revamped and now incorporates a wonderful children’s tea as well as the ‘Gentleman’s’ Cream tea that incorporates all the savoury favourites such as pork pies and steak and stilton sandwiches along with the usual sweet treats… makes me hungry just writing about it. In our menu shake up we have been able to redesign our bar menu too… we hope to offer snacks faster to our guests and all day! Next week is the turn of the breakfast to be transformed, and we have some glorious new bowls to put in our granolas, yoghurts and fruit on the continental and we have added Robert’s breakfast favourite Eggs Benedict to the repertoire too…

We also welcome Mark to the position of sous chef, and Declan as an Apprentice join Nick to finish our Kitchen team.

We have not limited change to the kitchen and promoted Gina to front of House Manager- well done Gina, we also wave a very fond goodbye to Charlotte who is leaving us to run a Campsite in France for the Summer!

We had a very successful Mother’s Day and really enjoyed seeing so many happy families- and the first chance we had to showcase Andy. Easter was lovely too with us finally feeling the winter is behind us, and looking forward to get the summer underway and wedding season up and running.

March saw us have our bi annual wedding showcase and the hotel looked absolutely stunning with a bit of help from our lovely supplier friends. We were able to show off the hotel in all its wedding glory.

This week I am starting to embark on our Christmas party and Christmas package. It seems early but we want to be nice and prepared!!

We hope to welcome you to the hotel very soon, as the walks are clearing from Mud and the smell of springtime is upon us. We still have some cracking deals with Dinner, bed and breakfast from £139 per couple.

Best wishes

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest

Greetings from the New Forest

 

Well, that’s a relief January is over!! The detox can finish, and we are one month nearer to Spring!! So good news all round.

Make a date with us this month, and enjoy a wonderful Valentine’s break or a sneak away from work for a mid week retreat! Our 3 nights for £300 per couple dinner, bed and breakfast is still on throughout February too (Sunday- Thursday).

We have taken time this month to tackle some maintenance issues, and also redecorate room 7. It now looks lovely and bright, so very happy with the result. Room 5 is next on our hit list and this is planned for later this month- can’t wait although not sure if we have gone a little too bold with the colour… although you will have to wait until my next blog to find out what it is!!!

We have been surprisingly busy for January and crazily Sunday has become the new Friday- I wonder if it’s a January thing!!

We also have put together an amazing (and I mean our best yet) Mother’s Day lunch menu by new Head chef Andy Smith and taking bookings now, so please book early.

Hoping the mild weather continues and the rain stays away…

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest

Greetings from the New Forest!

Happy New Year! We hope that you had a great time over the festive season? We have had a great month. We were lucky enough to host 2 wonderful winter themed weddings as well as a 50th and 60th birthday party before we had festive fun with 2 great party nights. We culminated in a lovely 3 day Christmas package, lucky for us we had some fab guests. It was great to see some familiar faces too. Our Christmas quiz gave us a new set of champions- well done team ‘Christmas cheer’ a well deserved win. The panto at the MayFlower was also a real high light and Duncan James a little added bonus for the ladies!! We also celebrated the New Year with a sumptuous 7 course feast and live music, a great night with much dancing and laughter to welcome 2016. It would not however be the hospitality industry without a few little glitches… nightmares… depending on where you are! We had 2 table collapses during the meal- not sure how or why, but thankfully the guests were real troupers and no wine lost most importantly! We really do have an amazing team and sending them great thanks for working hard day and night to ensure that all the guests  throughout the month had a good time with us. We love you!!!!!!!

It has also been all change for us in the kitchen this December with a new head Chef Tom Taylor, who has brought with him a lot of great ideas, bags of enthusiasm and a fresh approach.  Despite being thrown in at the deep end in December he has impressed us and the guests, so we look forward to what the new year will bring!

Now the New Year is here though, I would definitely like to get out and about and burn off a few extra pounds, but unfortunately I have to wait for a few more days til this terrible rain stops!!! Gaah.

Well, I will be off for now, and dust off the gym kit! All that we would like to do is to wish everyone a very happy new year full of health, happiness, love, laughter and of course a trip to see us soon!

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest October 2015

Greetings from the New Forest!

It has been a fantastic month at Woodlands Lodge. The weather has been brilliant, the walking has been superb and seeing the beginnings of autumn with the leaves changing colour is always wonderful too, so a lovely month.

We have also hosted some beautiful weddings- and had a wedding first, with a minion wedding cake – very fun. We also had a wedding with fabulous draping of the conservatory, as well as a lovely afternoon tea wedding. We wish all our bridal couples every happiness for the future, and come back and see us soon. I can’t believe how all our wedding couples have such unique ideas, it is a great job to have being part of such special days. Our wedding showcase is approaching too with the 15th November 2015 we will be setting the hotel up as a wedding venue and everyone is welcome.

We have also had some staff changes too, as we said goodbye to Tom, who set off to the high seas and Ed who has gone off to university. We wish them both well. At the same time we give a warm welcome to Mark who is already coming up with new ideas and Steven who gives us a little Irish charm and introduced a Woodlands inspired Cocktail menu – including a Forest Breeze & an Imo’s cosmopolitan (wonder where the idea for this one came from!!) To accompany the cocktail list is also a liqueur coffee menu – yum!

Speaking of delicious we launched our autumn menu last week, and already proving popular- a firm favourite is the partridge and Roquefort pannacotta (come and stay just for this).

The hotel has been busy so we have not done a lot with the rooms over the last few months, but I am delighted that we have a new carpet for room 16 and this really finishes this room off a treat. We have also been thinking of our winter projects, but first must spend some time on touching up the rooms after the summer season.

We have been working on the Christmas season too. We are looking forward to hosting the Christmas parties, always a great start to the festive season and a great fun night for all. We have our 3 day Christmas package to look forward to as well- and Steven has also agreed to host a Boxing Day bingo game J

We are also taking bookings for NYE. Please give us a call if you would like any information on any of our Christmas or NY packages.

I can’t believe we are approaching the winter at such speed, although good news for those who like a deal, as we will shortly be bringing our 3 nights for £300 back!

Look forward to welcoming you soon.

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

 

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