The New Forest is one of my favourite places to visit, and I was extremely pleased to return earlier this month with my partner Jamie for a few days of wonderful nature walks and a stay at the Hotel TerraVina.
Tucked away in Netley Marsh and only a ten minute drive from the beautiful town of Lydhurst, the Hotel TerraVina is owned by Gerard and Nina Basset (co-founders of the Hotel Du Vin chain) who purchased and refurbished it ten years ago. A luxurious, boutique hotel it is famous for its wine events lead by Gerard himself who won Best Sommelier in the World 2010.
After a short drive through country roads we approached the hotel. It looked spectacular and after a quick stop to snap some pictures we entered the warm hotel and was greeted by Nina Basset who swiftly checked us in.
We were led up the spiral staircase to our room aptly named the Vin Doux Naturel (after the fortified wine) and we were showed around and told of any amenities.
The room itself has tasteful decor, it is spacious and the design is contemporary with splashes of red and orange echoed throughout – the hotels key colours. The bedroom included a large bed with a duck feather duvet and an endearing dog door stop which has become a signature accessory at the hotel. Alongside this, the room included a well equipped bathroom, dressing table, TV and DVD player, wardrobe, large mirror, mini bar, two complimentary bottles of water, and generous tea and coffee making facilities including a Nespresso machine.
The focal point of the room was the ornate claw foot bath tub, a pleasant surprise and it didn’t take long before I was filling it up ready for a long soak before dinner!
The added wooden bath caddy featured a little yellow rubber duck and 3 small travel bottles of body-wash, shampoo, and conditioner made from locally sourced Lavender. A nice addition, it was a great example of local businesses supporting one another.
I was pleased to discover there was WiFi at the hotel, it was free and the signal was satisfactory, ideal for those travelling on business or visitors that are wanting to upload their holiday snaps.
After unwinding and preparing ourselves for dinner we walked into the dining area at 7.30pm where we were warmly greeted by members of the team. We were guided into the bar area and both offered a complimentary glass of champagne and some popcorn to nibble on before being seated at our main table. This gave us a chance to look at the extensive menu selection and place our order.
The restaurant itself is cosy, the atmosphere is lively and the kitchen is an open one. It wasn’t long after being seated that our starters arrived, goats cheese and beetroot salad for me and breast of pigeon for Jamie. A delicious combination of flavours, the beetroot had a little crunch and the goats cheese was perfectly rich.
After a more than satisfactory starter and after finishing my glass of champagne I decided to try the glass of white wine that a member of the team had recommended to me. Now I don’t normally drink, especially not wine but I was intrigued to try a glass so I did indeed indulge. I must say it was one of the most pleasant wines I have ever tasted, it was smooth and not too sweet, a perfect accompaniment to my upcoming chicken and wild mushroom main.
Although apprehensive at the size of the portions it wasn’t long before I realised that there was plenty there and I was definitely starting to feel full after a delicious and well cooked main. Jamie and I both chose the chicken and wild mushroom main which was tender and flavoursome, it didn’t disappoint.
After polishing off two courses we managed to fit in a dessert, I chose the Salted caramel profiteroles with rum ice cream and Jamie chose a surprise selection of three sorbets which arrived in dainty teacups.
The profiteroles were sensational, the crisp shell of the salted caramel married perfectly with the sweet rum ice cream and I was in a dessert heaven.
Jamie thoroughly enjoyed guessing the flavours of his sorbets, Raspberry, Bramley apple and Blood orange. Packed with flavour the Blood orange really tingled the taste buds leaving me wanting to devour all of my dessert and his! After, we retired to our bedroom for what was a pleasant sleep in a luxurious bed.
The whole dining experience was extremely enjoyable, utterly delicious and a decadent one that I would do all over again.
Waking up early and after grabbing a cup of tea from the in-room tea amenities, I had a refreshing and powerful shower using the lavender toiletries, put on my gown and walked out onto the balcony to capture the view of the autumnal garden below.
With an outdoor heated swimming pool and a terrace area I can only imagine how beautiful it looks in the spring and summertime, an ideal place for a special occasion or intimate party.
Jamie and I packed our bags and made our way down to breakfast at 8.30am where I had smoked salmon and poached eggs, fresh apple juice, a cup of tea and side of fruit – watermelon, apple and pineapple.
Jamie had a full English breakfast, a glass of fresh orange juice and a couple of pastries from the continental breakfast buffet. The buffet itself had a range of options including, Dorest cereals, pastries, fruit, greek yoghurt and toast. Overall it was a fulfilling morning meal.
We retreated to our room, collected our bags and then sadly departed the hotel heading off for a day out walking through the New Forest.
The hotel just exceeds in customer service. The staff are friendly, extremely hands on and are on hand to help you at all times. Attentive and welcoming, the staff and their service is just outstanding and cannot be faulted.
Although I didn’t get to meet Gerard, I got the pleasure of meeting Nina and during the short encounter we had, it was lovely to see her overseeing the reception.
The hotel also has a blog where Nina writes updates on the previous months, highlighting events and maintains it like a diary. It is clear to see the amount of care and effort that goes into not just the hotel itself but behind the scenes.
The hotel is in the heart of the New Forest, with access to country walks, shopping, and pubs in Lyndhurst, Burley or Ashhurst. I highly recommend staying at the Hotel TerraVina for a weekend away or stopping by for dinner if you are in the area. Our short stay was relaxing and the hotel is a great choice for a New Forest escape and a chance to unwind. The homely atmosphere and welcoming staff provide not only high quality service and accommodation but also peaceful surroundings.
The boutique hotel is more expensive than your average stay at a B&B but all the features I have highlighted make it worth a visit. They regularly have promotional offers and ‘secret rates’ which can make your visit an affordable one.
It is easy to see the amount of effort Gerard, Nina and the team put into the hotel with personal touches placed throughout the room and hotel, including spare wellies by the downstairs entrance, magazines in the bedroom and vanity kits in the bathroom. It is these details and the exceptional service which makes this hotel not only unique but simply outstanding.
Have you recently been to the New Forest yourself? Or are you planning a trip there? If you want to know anything else about the Hotel TerraVina of if you enjoyed reading my post leave me a comment below!