The Montagu Arms is the New Forest’s only Michelin starred hotel. With its idyllic setting, top rated restaurant and reputation for excellent service it is no surprise that The Montagu Arms Hotel is a favourite destination for devoted foodies and locals alike. The private garden, flourishing with colour and greenery is the perfect setting for any special occasion or celebration and creates an intimacy within the restaurant itself which ranks amongst the top culinary spots in the country.
There is a unique charm to this award-winning hotel, located in the picturesque village of Beaulieu, set amidst beautiful gardens and quietly nestling in the depths of the New Forest National Park. With a history dating back to 1742, the traditional English character of The Montagu Arms is reflected through the old brick fireplace and its roaring open fires, the large cosy sofas and beautiful oak panelling, all of which combine to create a truly homely atmosphere. Guests receive a warm welcome from the attentive staff who ensure you have everything you need to make your stay a memorable one.
Perfect as a romantic getaway, couples can retreat to the comfort of one of the 22 bedrooms, each with its own unique character and personality, with some rooms enjoying stunning views overlooking the magnificent Beaulieu Palace or the enchanting English garden. Many of the luxurious suites are exquisitely furnished with a four-poster bed and after a restful night’s sleep, freshly brewed morning tea and coffee is delivered direct to your room allowing you to rise at a leisurely pace.
Guests of the Montagu Arms are welcome to use the health club at SenSpa, the award-winning Thai spa located at sister hotel, Careys Manor, situated in the village of Brockenhurst, just six miles across the New Forest. SenSpa includes an indoor pool, gym, poolside Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna on a complimentary basis. Use of the spa facilities is available at preferential rates.
The Terrace Restaurant provides a truly memorable dining experience. The Michelin Star, 3 AA Rosette restaurant pays homage to both tradition and innovation, offering a variety of delectable dishes in a distinctively sophisticated English setting. Michelin star Head Chef, Matthew Tomkinson, is renowned for championing the rich and diverse produce available locally, enabling him to offer delicious seasonal menus accompanied by the finest of service thus giving the best dining experience in the region.
The menu uses only the finest quality seasonal ingredients, which are, as far as possible, local, free-range and organic. The exemplary standard of award-winning cuisine and fine wines is reflected by the accolade of having been voted ‘Hampshire Restaurant of the Year’ by Which? Good Food Guide. The Terrace is well known for its extensive wine list including organic, unoaked and prestigious wines and champagnes, and Head Sommelier David Kubler and his team are on hand to help suggest the perfect choice to complement your meal.
The SLOAN! Review
On arrival we parked in the carpark to the rear of the hotel walking through the hotels gardens on the way in took in the herb gardens and found reception. We were greeted and the porter showed us to our room the Apple/Ash suite. The suite is beautifully spacious with a separate reception room, 2 bathrooms, 2 T.V.’s and a beautiful four post double bed. The room was beautifully silent with lovely views of the gardens to the rear of the hotel which made for a place to relax well and sleep well.
The hotel itself has a formal feel and offers many fabulous events from flower arranging, cheese and wine tasting and lunch in their Michelin star restaurant followed by a tour of Exbury Gardens, with their head gardener.
As we arrived we were greeted in the restaurant by the hotel manager and offered a cocktail drink. We were offered a Downhill Racer, (made from rum, amaretto, pineapple and lime) and a Royal Mojito (champagne Mojito) the Downhill Racer was sweet and balanced and the Royal Mojito was light and refreshing.
The head sommelier David Kubler had a knowledge that surpassed most. When faced with a query about an urban myth of a grape variety he researched and came back to our table with the information. David is passionate about his subject taking his personal holiday abroad at a vineyard which he chose to broaden his already refined palate. We hope to have him write for SLOAN! in the near future.
Overall the staff were friendly, the clientele slightly older but the standard definitely befitting the price.
The restaurant produced food that you could tell deserved their star. Please see below for an example tasting menu with wine pairings. As you would expect the menu changes on a daily basis to reflect the seasons and the very best produce that is available to the chef each morning.
Smoked Salmon Mousse, Home Cured Salmon Tartar Beetroot, Lemon Crouton
Riesling –White Rabbit 2013
Pressed Terrine of Braised Rabbit and Black Pudding with Celeriac Remoulade Rabbit ‘Bon Bon’ and Liver Parfait
Rioja – Vina Gravonia – Lopez de Heredia – Vina Tondonia 2004
Escalope of Wild South Coast Sea Bass with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree, Watercress Serrano Ham and Red Wine Sauce
Pinot Noir – De Loach– Sonoma Coast 2012
Honey Roast Creedy Carver Duck Breast with Sauté Smoked Bacon, Red Chicory, Creamed Potato and Sprouting Broccoli
Shiraz – Parson’s Nose – Chapel Hill – McLaren Vale 2013
A Selection of French and English Farmhouse Cheeses from our Trolley
Dolç Mataró – Alta Alella – Catalonia 2011
Dark Chocolate Cremeaux with Walnut Ice Cream, Coffee Macaroon and Milk Chocolate Mousse
Cuvée Aletheia – Rousset Peyraguet – Sauternes NV
Warm Salted Caramel Fondant with ‘Cider Lolly Sorbet and Crème Fraiche
Maury – Cuvée Spéciale – Mas Amiel 10 years old