Hi everyone – hope you’re all doing okay!
Last Friday my boyfriend and I went for a spa hotel night at the Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa, which you may have seen on my blog on Monday. You can read my review for it here.
We decided to venture out of the hotel grounds for an evening meal, and visit somewhere we actually went to back in August for a delicious lunch. We really loved our experience there, so Jake thought we’d go back for some dinner this time.
The Huntsman is a really beautifully decorated and classy place to eat and drink. It has the perfect mix of a traditional ‘pub’ vibe with a bar and buzzing atmosphere, as well as a more fine, sophisticated feel.
The decor in the restaurant is one of my favourite things about it, and the photo above really does not do it justice. When we visited, it was extremely busy, so it was quite difficult to get snap-happy when there were people sitting all around. I didn’t particularly fancy butting in to someones first date or family meal out so I could get a photo of their table ornaments or cool chairs. That might have been a bit embarrassing.
But, all jokes aside, they have decorated the place to perfection. It has such a unique concoction of the traditional wooden, cosy pub contrasted with pops of colour everywhere and really bright, unusual art and colourful chairs. This is certainly not visible in any pictures I got, unfortunately. However, I’d recommend paying a visit to their website so you can see exactly what I’m talking about: http://thehuntsmanofbrockenhurst.com/
Jake and I didn’t fancy starters, so we just got some olives to share as we do on literally every single meal out. I think we now fancy ourselves as ‘olive experts’ if you like. Only joking – but, these olives were absolutely delicious and got a thumbs up from the both of us.
For my main course, I opted for the Wild Mushroom Linguine with Sauteed Spinach, Black Truffle and Wild Rocket.
This dish was tasty, light and well presented, but honestly, if I went back I probably wouldn’t rush to order it again. One thing on the menu I thought sounded particularly unique and appealing was the Roasted Curried Cauliflower with White Bean Mash, Wilted Spinach and Crispy Onion Bhaji. At the time, I wasn’t massively hungry and thought this dish sounded quite heavy, so decided to give it a miss. If I return to The Huntsman, which I’m certain I will, I’ll definitely be ordering this!
The meal I did order was slightly bland for my taste and a little oily. However, the linguine was gorgeously light and perfectly complimented with the subtle flavour of the mushrooms and more sharp, peppery taste of the rocket.
Jake went for the 8oz Sirloin Steak, which he devoured in about 5 minutes, so I think you can tell it went down well. It came with a Josper Smoked Portobello Mushroom and a portion of Triple Cooked Chips. Unfortunately, me and Jake found that the chips had a really odd flavour, which we eventually put our finger on being an old/cold oil taste. They really weren’t too pleasant to eat – perhaps it was just an old or dodgy batch, but the chips were a big no-no from us!
When it came to desserts, I couldn’t resist ordering something indulgent, so I decided to treat myself to the Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Shard with Vanilla Pod Ice Cream. Phew… well, you can never have enough chocolate, in my opinion.
The dish also came with a piece of homemade honeycomb, which was a very welcome surprise; it was absolutely mouth-watering, and every aspect of the pudding worked SO well together. Whoever made this brownie, hats off to you.
So, that seems to round up my short review of The Huntsman. Although I think I probably ordered the wrong main course for me, I can definitely tell the food is of top quality (not just from my previous visit in the Summer, but also from the rest of the food we had that evening.) The service was also of high quality, and both Jake and I really enjoyed our visit. I also know that this place has hotel rooms: this is somewhere I’d absolutely love to stay for a night or two. I bet their rooms are beautiful!
If you’re paying a visit to The New Forest any time soon, I’d certainly recommend to have a meal at The Huntsman of Brockenhurst, especially in the Summer: when we visited in August, it was a week during a huge heatwave and the outdoor seating area was gorgeous, spacious and refreshingly vibrant.
Let me know if you’ve been here before and had similar thoughts!
Love, Dayna x