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How to survive the wedding planning process

Greetings from the New Forest!

We have been lucky to be part of a lot of fabulous weddings over the last few years, and in August we hosted 4 fabulous weddings and in September we have 4 more we thought it only appropriate to make our blog wedding related this month.

As Oscar Wilde once said – to be spontaneous takes precise planning, the same can be said for the perfect wedding.

The following is our 5 top tips for a fabulous and relaxed day.

 1)Planning- it is true that the most relaxed and smooth wedding days are those which have been planned and organised- even those that seem casually put together & spontaneous!! With several different suppliers, venues, all with different payment dates, and not to mention the church or registrar, which has it’s own set of rules and dates for you too. It is really difficult to keep the process stress free without a list or spreadsheet to assist. This is a boring job to create but you will be forever grateful and also it will assist with keeping track of your budget. The knowledge that you are on track and tick things off your list will give a great sense of statisfaction and accomplishment.

Sitting down with your fiancé and working out the budget is also a fundamental part of the planning process. As is ensuring you had enough time to choose and buy your dress, suits, and other suppliers. Listen to the venues requirements and so you can provide them with the table plan, rooms lists and menus on track will also stop a last minute panic and will ensure that you can have a stress free run up to your wedding, which will mean that you will enjoy your day all the more.

Taking time out throughout the run up to your wedding to keep on track with your plan, will also help you keep control of your wedding and achieve the day you and your finance would like and not fall fowl to ‘helpful’ friends & family that give you lots of ‘their’ ideas!!

Top tip definitely lists,lists and more lists!!!!

2) Questions… Never feel bad about asking questions. This is likely the first time that you have ever planned such a big event with so many components. The more that you know about the venue, flowers, cake, dress and photographer the more relaxed you and your fiancé will be. A good way to ask questions is to have a list (got to love a list!) prepared so you do not forget anything and are able to record the answers. Some example questions are;

  • What are the terms of the venue licence?
  • Exactly what’s in our package?
  • What’s the cancellation policy?
  • Do you have recommended or mandatory suppliers?
  • What flowers are in season?
  • What notice do you need?
  • Does the venue have a cake stand and knife?
  • do you need to set up beforehand?
  • What do you need in terms of power supply and sockets?

Lots of these questions can be answered by your wedding co ordinator and always ask them what they think works best in the venue too.

3) Who’s on the guest list…. A tough one to get down to but the sooner you know who is coming the sooner you can focus on finding the perfect venue. This is undoubtedly the biggest expense in the wedding process and so imperative to get it right. It is important to be selective, and not be guilt tripped into inviting people who you do not really want to come to your day. The cost implications on additional guests can quickly mount up.

4) Personalise…. Sometimes easier said than done!! But it is great when the bride and groom put their stamp on the day and really make the guests feel wonderful. It may be a bespoke menu or giving a gift box in the rooms when guests check in, or giving guests your favourite flavour in favours- we had some beautiful ly wrapped vanilla sticks given during the summer, and it perfectly represented the bride and groom. Take time to think about what makes you unique.


5) Enjoy the process…. Sometimes, when everyone is giving you their opinion on the perfect centre piece or napkin fold and your bridesmaid has just announced she is pregnant and needs a flexible frock it can all feel a bit too much like hard work. So, we suggest you take a step back and remember what’s important… you and your fiancé! So take time out from the wedding madness! We suggest a meal at your wedding venue remembering why you love each other and the venue you have chosen for your special day.


All that is left for us to say is congratulations and let’s party!!


Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Wedding Planner (Diploma in Professional Wedding Planning)


Top 10 places to go in the New Forest, by our staff!

We have all got together to compile a Top Ten places to go in the New Forest! So the following list is in no particular order but means a lot to a member of the team at Woodlands Lodge. Enjoy!

1) Deerleap- This is a fantastic walk in the New Forest. Ideal for those with small children, as well as dog owners (off lead opportunities).  Located opposite the New Forest Wild Life Park it is only 10 minutes from Woodlands Lodge Hotel. You can do a there and back walk incorporating a big stream or a loop which has a large and small version depending on ability. This walk is  Imogene’s favourite, as it is peaceful and you see the stunning New Forest scenery and usually see the ponies and cattle out!

2) Woodlands Walk- a 5 mile loop walk that starts and finishes at the hotel (maps are available from reception). This is Toms favourite, and the reason behind it is simple the route encompasses a Pub!!!! no need to say any more 🙂

3) Lepe Country Park – Located about 25/30 minutes from the hotel and is Roberts favourite New Forest haunt. It has over a mile of beautiful coastline to take a tranquil stroll (or embark on the Lepe loop- we do love a circular walk at Woodlands Lodge!!). It is the perfect spot to see the boats and windsurfers on the Solent and also capture magnificent views of the Isle of Wight. Robert who is a keen sailor loves the atmosphere of this place. It is also ideal for the kids, as it has a play ground and a café is located on site so perfect Summer for ice cream or a winter warm up.

4) Lyndhurst- Thought of as the Capital of the New Forest it is only approx. 4 miles from Woodlands Lodge Hotel. It is Gina’s favourite place to go because of the many tea shops and lovely little unique ‘knick knack’ shops, where you can browse for a whole afternoon. Lyndhurst is also home of the New Forest visitors centre which provides info and maps on the whole area, The Forestry commission is also based here. Definitely worth a visit in our opinion.

5) Our Hunters Restaurant- surprise, surprise this is recommended by head chef John!! He has produced a wonderful Summer menu- so why not stay in and relax and unwind whilst we spoil you with freshly prepared food in our elegant dining room. We also have an AA rosette for culinary excellence. So I think all the team would agree not one to miss.

6) Ringwood Brewery Tour- Summed up by Nick our Commis Chef as ‘ great beer, great tour’.  This is a great day out, and takes about 2 hours, The tour includes a complimentary drink in our Pin Room, a tour of the brewery where you can taste the malted barleys, have a sniff of the hops, and see the fermentations bubbling away in the TunRoom. The tour is very popular and so pre booking is essential.

7) Paultons Park, no list would be complete without this attraction, which can be reached within 10 minutes from the hotel. Paulton’s is a family theme park with over 60 rides and attractions. It is also the home of Peppa Pig world. It is also dare devil Charlotte’s top pick!

8) West Quay shopping Centre- Woodlands Lodge Hotel is only 15 minutes from Southampton city centre, so perfect to visit for a spot of shopping. With a large John Lewis and M&S the West Quay shopping centre can cater for pretty much all your retail needs. This is another recommendation from Gina, and I am sure she can advise plenty more good places to shop if you chat to her at reception.

9) The New Forest Bus tour- This is a great way to see the Forest during the Summer time, and really easy too, as the bus stop is at the end of the Hotel driveway. It is a hop on hop off tour encompassing all the sights of the Forest. There are 3 routes, maps available from the hotel and Lyndhurst Visitor Centre. Or just sit on the top deck and enjoy the view and hop off 2 hours later back at the hotel 🙂 This was Tom and Imogene’s second top pick.

10) Cycling- We all agree that one of the top ways to see the New Forest is by bike! We have routes you can take directly from the hotel. We also have 5 bikes we hire out from the hotel. Brockenhurst and Ashurst also have great routes and bikes can also be hired directly from these locations. We can advise the best choice for you if you come and discuss your plans with us at reception.

So, that’s our list. Hopefully you will see that there is loads of great stuff to do on our door step and also know a little bit more about us before you visit the hotel.

We are always happy to assist you with your plans and trips during your stay so either give us a call or talk to us at reception and we will try and assist.

See you soon

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret


Greetings from the New Forest – August 2015

Greetings from the New Forest!

Hope you are having a wonderful Summer. Despite the somewhat temperamental weather we are enjoying the Forest. Our Children have got to the age where we can all do ‘proper cycle rides’ so we are continuing to explore and find out new places to go. Definitely check out the ride between Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard. It is amazing to cycle along the river and so peaceful too.

Now of course it’s not all play, lots of work to be done!! We have been incredibly lucky to be part of so many weddings lately and enjoy seeing what each bride does to create their special day. We were also able to experience the wedding from the guests side in July with my sister in law getting married in the hotel, and I loved being a guest!!! and we all had a fantastic day. We wish all our lovely couples our very best wishes and happiness for their future together.

We have also been busy as a hotel with lots of guests heading off too the infamous Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park, Bournemouth, Beaulieu and Exbury Gardens and really making the most of what the area has to offer. Of course we are here to help everyone relax and regenerate when they return.

John has created a fabulous Summer menu, and I love the Crab and also the Pimms Martini…. yummy!!

We have also redecorated room 16 and room 15’s lounge, as well as re plastered room 14. So they are looking really clean and fresh. Also plans to redecorate in room 9 and 7.  Gary has done a great job un all 3 rooms. So, we look forward to welcoming you soon, and you can let us know what you think!

My husbands age old problem of ponies in the garden has returned and we have all spent several mornings trying to herd them back out into the forest! Great for guests to see the horses at such close quarters whilst eating breakfast, but the little ‘presents’ that they leave are not great!!!

I have also really started to get into Twitter, so please follow us @woodlands_lodge and I am trying to post about all our news. Although, it is a little addictive, but a great way to find out about activities and events happening around the New Forest.

The 29th July, also saw us celebrate 4 years of owning the Woodlands Lodge Hotel! We really do not know where the time has gone, but we continue to enjoy ourselves and hopefully improve the hotel experience for our guests. So we would like to finish this months update by saying a big thank you to all the guests who have supported us and also to all our staff who make everything possible, we really appreciate it! 🙂 We look forward to many more years at Woodlands Lodge, Thank you!

We hope to see you all soon, lots coming up in the Forest, as well as Cowes week, Southampton Boat show and Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Mayflower, Woodlands Lodge Hotel makes an excellent base 🙂

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret


Greetings from the New Forest

Greetings from the New Forest and welcome to June!! Can’t believe we are in Summer!!!! The New Forest Tour bus will be back in a few weeks and the New Forest Show is around the corner too. All the fun of the sun yet to come…..

The weather has been mixed but luckily not affected our wonderful weddings and they have been able to enjoy the gardens and get those important pictures 🙂

We have been really busy as a hotel this month, as we had a promotion on, so we have been unable to make any internal improvements but we have gone headlong into a gardening project. It is fantastic to see it take shape. Don’t get me wrong the garden has always been nice, but now it is amazing! The weedy bits around the chess set and the shed are no more, and in a little while we will have some lovely bushes take their place. We have also mowed the wild bits down too- so nice to see it looking good and I had forgotten how big the garden is! Also the front of the hotel has lots of nice new shrubs, which creates a great impression to guests arriving.

We also have our rhododendrons in bloom. This has to be the prettiest time to come to the New Forest!

Well, take care for now and we hope to welcome you at Woodlands Lodge very soon and also if you take a look next month we may even have our  new website up and running. Another project I am super excited to see the finished results.

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret


It’s never too soon to think about Christmas….

I know that the decorations are just taken down, and the gym’s still mobbed, but I don’t think it is ever too soon to be considering Christmas fun and laughter.

So, join us in 2019 at Woodlands Lodge for a Traditional Country House Christmas!

We are offering a wonderful 3 day all inclusive package from £1000 per room/ Junior suites £1100/ Suites £1200- based on 2 guests

What’s included?

          Christmas Eve:

Arrive Christmas eve from 2pm

          Afternoon tea between 2pm – 5pm

          Get to know us cocktail party 7.00-7.30pm

Gourmet buffet with live piano entertainment – light hearted Christmas songs and carols 7.45pm

          Christmas Day:

          Full English breakfast

          3 course Christmas lunch & tea and coffee with mince pies ( Turkey and all the trimmings!)

Parlour games or a walk to wear off lunch

          Cold Christmas buffet

          Christmas quiz 8pm

          Boxing Day:


          Trip to Southampton Mayflower to see the pantomime

          3 Course evening meal from the Winter menu

          27th December:

          Full English breakfast

          Some guests will need to leave us at this point- check out 11am.


          Standard room x 2 people = £1000.00

All other rooms £1,100.00- £1,200.00

               Standard room x 1 person = £900.00

          Kids under 2 x £20.00 per stay

          Children 3 – 12 £40 per day per child plus £35 for the Christmas Day dinner

          Dogs x £5 per day per dog

 Payment terms

£250 per room non refundable deposit payable at the point of booking

Balance to be paid on 1st December 2019

 To book:

Telephone :  02380 29 22 57

Or Email: 

***please note a sneak peak at our Chirstmas menus is coming soon!!!


Late Availability offers

The New Forest is looking its best, so come and enjoy it with us!

We have rooms available for next week from £109 B&B per room. 

We are located in the forest boundary and have direct access to the forest from the hotel. We are 20 mins away from Beaulieu, 15 minutes from Southampton and only 10 minutes from the hallowed Peppa Pig World too!!

To book, give us a call 02380 29 2257 or e mail


Greetings from the New Forest May 2015

Greetings from the New Forest!

Wow the amazing weather of April certainly gave the hotel a boost, and ability to enjoy some of our fabulous New Forest. The Forest is dry and we can wander freely, picnic and explore our favourite spots such as Bolderwood and Deerleap for the first time this Spring, which has been really enjoyable.

The Sunshine after the Winter season has enabled us to get started on the Garden! Well, after the winter it really needed some help and the gardeners have done wonders, firstly taking down our rickety fence, which has totally opened up the back paddock- can’t believe how big it looks. Also, he has replanted the beds in the back garden and they look fabulous and in my favourite colour pink! Big change is also we have re vamped our herb patch and by that I mean totally re done it and it looks and smells awesome. I have posted some garden and herb patch pics on facebook.

We have also started revitalising the veggie patch which has been dormant over the winter, however we have had a mixed start whereas somethings are germinating well, the cold nights meant the frost got to our broad beans and so we will need to reseed!! Arrgh… we wish Natasha good luck in the garden!!

We have also and perhaps the bit Robert is most excited about tarmacked the driveway – no more pot holes- yippee!!! However it is very smooth and we may need to add a ‘take it easy’ sign!!

Onto other news, we have started the wedding season in style and been lucky enough to host several weddings so far, and we feel so lucky to be a part of our lovely couples special days.

The restaurant has also been busy, with many of our guests taking dinner, bed and breakfast with us and so this has meant that we have been able to test out some of our sous chefs interesting ideas—such as sweetcorn and cauliflower pannacotta…. And delicious hot soufflé for desserts. We are enjoying seeing a full restaurant on a nightly basis and getting a good atmosphere going!

The rooms have remained unchanged because we have been so busy, although Gary has been busy on the top floor corridor and happily I can report the peeling wall paper next to the skylights is gone, and will shortly be painted!

It is always pleasing to feel like we are making progress and Spring is always a time that we can make big in roads into our master list! We have to say thank you to our guests for their continued support and encouragement too.

So, lets hope the good weather continues and we can welcome many more guests and also enjoy many more days in the Forest too

Take care and best wishes

Imogene Anglaret


Greetings from the New Forest February 2015

Greetings from the New Forest

Well, hello February! The days are definitely getting lighter and whereas much of the country has been flanked with snow we have been lucky and the weather is actually very pleasant. We have had a good month, taking advantage of this quieter time in the season and getting organised for the year ahead.

We have a new bathroom in room 5- looks lovely. We have also been taking courses, such as Food Hygiene level 3 was taken by all the kitchen and Robert and myself- pleased to say we all passed with flying colours.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming back many old friends to the hotel this month, as well as hosting a lovely ladies 21st birthday party too. So a great start to the year and looking forward to Valentines and half term too, as well as two weddings in February as well.

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Greetings from the New Forest January 2015

Greetings from the New Forest!!

Happy New Year everyone from the Woodlands Lodge team we wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year and lots of leisure time to spend in the New Forest with us!

As is often the way with January it is a month of reflection and contemplation of things to come, and this month’s blog is no different.

We had a lot of fun in December being lucky to host several festive lunches, and party nights. We also had an extremely busy Christmas Day lunch. Our 3 day Christmas package was great to meet our guests and really get to know them, as well as welcome back old friends. A new addition to the Christmas package was a trip to the Pantomime at the Southampton Mayflower to see Cinderella and it was absolutely fantastic. I have seen some pantos before but this one was totally jam packed with special effects, loads of humour and of course the obligatory celebs in Brian Connolly and Gok Wan – he was born to be the Fairy Gok Mother!!!! My personal highlight of the Christmas package was the quiz as it is a great way for everyone to be involved and get that Christmas competitive spirit going! New Winners this year in the McCann family- well done once again! New Years’ Eve was amazing, as usual our wonderful guests made the evening, but special mention needs to go to the Kitchen- each of the 7 courses in the taster menu looked stunning and were enjoyed by all. The latter part of the evening was filled with lots of dancing and our singer and Dj did a super job too.

Steve has added a new dimension to the bar, and cocktails have really become a regular feature- especially those scrummy Cosmopolitans…


We had the most spectacular tree- a mere 12 foot- I am so making up for having to have a fake tree at home!!! here is a picture we took just before our party night. I just love Christmas, even after having to take down all the decorations and clear up the pine needles yesterday!

christmas blog1

With many highs for December we were able to finish 2014 on an up-beat note. We were however disappointed with ourselves that we overstretched ourselves slightly with the Christmas Day lunch, leaving us a bit stretched and not as happy as we should have been with what we had planned. It was a learning experience and as we are constantly pushing ourselves and trying new things I guess it is inevitable that not everything will always go precisely as planned. We have already had a team de brief and set out a plan for 2015 to make things better- enthusiasm still high after all the festivities and we will have flaming Christmas Puddings on the menu next year and fewer guests for the Christmas Day lunch ensuring we make it the most special meal of the whole year. Nothing like being prepared.

A new endeavour we tried throughout December that was really successful and I may add tasty is the Festive ‘Indulgence’ Afternoon tea! It was a new venture and looked stunning and tasted great- lots of imagination went in to it- especially getting the Christmas tree biscuits to stand up. Most definitely this will be on out agenda in December 2015.

It is important at this time to also say a huge thank you to all the staff at the hotel. Your hard work and dedication to the hotel has made it the great hotel that it is, and without all of your efforts, enthusiasm and ideas it would not only be a boring place to work but less vibrant and successful so thank you from the bottom of my heart you are all amazing 🙂

christmas blog2

Before the Mayhem of NYE…

All in all we have had a wonderful 2014, with the highlights including meeting so many wonderful people and working with such a great group of staff and getting super fast broad band. The funniest moments have to be pigs coming into reception and my husband chasing the horses out of the car park and garden (daily in the Summer- convinced they were toying with him) and the lows being that some of our best loved are no longer here to share our journey.

Looking forward into 2015; we wish to finally refurbish the bathrooms in room 5 & 6, get the final 3 bedrooms kitted out with new Hypnos beds. As well as get the garden ready for Summer! Also we will be revamping the website to ensure it is mobile compatible and simpler to use from tablets. The bar chairs have also reached the top of our list as well as re painting window frames to keep the outside looking fresh, so keep an eye out for the improvements on your next visit.

We hope that 2015 will be as successful as 2014 has been, and we would also like to thank our guests for staying and dining with us throughout the year, your custom and loyalty is most certainly appreciated.

Other news, we have had a happy start to the New Year with our Son’s 3rd Birthday on New Year’s Day. Also total subject change but big news at the moment we have a grounded cargo ship in the Solent, which is making a rather bizarre tourist attraction, but let’s hope they can re-float it soon. In the meantime I have heard there is a queue for car parking from people going to see it…

christmas blog3

The weather is a lot kinder this year (so far) than this time last year with a lot of lovely mild days rather than stormy rainy ones, so, although it is January, it is still a lovely time to come and explore the Forest. We have had some delightful off road family walks out the back of the hotel and around Lyndhurst, which has been fabulous at this time of year- and not too mucky- though wellies still required in places :). I may need a few more of those walks to totally walk off the Christmas Mince pies and chocolates…..

We hope to see you all soon, and welcome old friends and new. Our motto for the coming year is to try new things, keep learning and pushing ourselves to make the best hotel that we can.

Take care & best wishes

Imogene Anglaret (Owner)

Greetings from the New Forest December 2014

Greetings from the New Forest!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… getting very excited today, as the trees in the hotel are going up. Again we have a real 12ft tree to go in the Restaurant and several smaller trees and lights to go elsewhere in the hotel, we are also getting our big fire place display (complete with fairy lights) thanks to Kay at Pomp and Petals. Our big White Company Candle has also been lit giving a gorgeous Christmassy smell, so come down and join us J

November has flown by, with two lovely weddings and the fabulous wedding showcase we have survived the start of winter with a sparkle overload- no better way to do it!

We are also learning from our newest General Assistant Steve, who is a bit of an expert at making coffee and has been teaching us all to make it a bit better!!!! There is a lot to know to get the perfect coffee…. He is also teaching us about Cocktails, although I may have sampled more than I have made so far… but great to hone this new skill in time for Christmas, as what’s the Christmas party without a Christmas Cocktail.

We have been busy renovating too this month, with the new bathroom put into room 16 and due to an issue in room 18 there is also a new shower in there too. Both look super and thank you Gary for putting up with me keep popping in and saying ‘just another little thing…’ the man has some patience!

This month is set to be busy, with some party nights to come, as well as Christmas lunches before we get to the main event and the New Year. We are going into this period hopeful that it will be less eventful than last year!!!! Let’s hope for no more Christmas Day BBQs.

Please look at our Christmas section on the website if you would like to join us for any of our festive activities.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas and wonderful start to the New Year and we look forward to welcoming you soon

Take Care, I am off for a restorative walk in the Forest!

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret


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