This guest review by our son, Olly, gives an insight into this genteel hideaway in the heart of the New Forest.
Ever since we were kids learning to ride our BMX bikes or being taken for long walks by our parents to keep us occupied, the New Forest has held a special magic with its leafy glades, meandering ponies and quiet secluded copses.
So it was with a great feeling of anticipation and nostalgia that my girlfriend Ruth and I turned into the driveway of Burley Manor, nestled within the picturesque village of Burley in Hampshire.
Set in the heart of the New Forest, Burley has become the hub of forest life and can often be overrun in summer by those eager to sample the ‘quiet life’. It’s so much more of a pleasure therefore to find Burley Manor has created its own little haven of tranquility within this; although our winter escape gives us little concern about thronging tourists as we ease past grazing ponies and attentive deer.
Burley Manor exudes a gentle inviting aura of calm as we’re greeted by the welcoming staff at the grand arched stone portico that leads into the reception. Although the original building dates back to 1212 when Roger de Burley first established the Manor, its more ‘recent’ form dates from 1852 and it’s been a hotel since 1935; barring a brief spell as Monty’s wartime headquarters. The recent £1.8 million boutique refurbishment has simply restored its former personality without any blemish on its character.
The mellowed and patterned brickwork of the Manor’s façade softens the rambling profile of the building and eases us into its easy charm as we’re shown to our Garden Suite, a spacious room replete with tempting King sized bed, cosy furniture and views over the well-tended gardens from our patio. Eager to just relax away from our busy lives, we content ourselves with chilling in our lounge area and promptly demolish the jar of complementary cookies as we kick back and just chat!
Revitalised and refreshed by the invigorating waterfall power shower in our bathroom we continue the notion of refreshment with two chilled G&Ts with the popular local Conker Gin, before being shown through to the restaurant for our evening meal.
Seated by a window in the pleasant conservatory we smoothly progress through tiger prawns al pil pil and pan-fried squid with rocket and chilli, followed by wood roasted rump of lamb with goats cheese gnocchi and autumn greens, with Ruth having roasted duck with heritage vegetables and a side of truffle polenta chips. Our meals are freshly and locally sourced and accompanied by the waiter’s recommend of a 2015 Chilean Valdivieso Pinot Noir – all brought to a crescendo with an After Eight Fondant and a platter of cheese for three, which the two of us polish off in short order.
No sooner have we sunk into the sumptuous folds of our huge bed than we’re waking refreshed and sitting at our table for breakfast ready to immerse ourselves in Burley Manor’s substantial breakfast, closely attended by their ever friendly staff who have recognized that we like to try everything!
Feeling momentarily guilty for our indulgences, we’re only too willing to embark on a local stroll through endless picturesque tracks, paths, streams and walkways, for which the Forest is so well known and Burley Manor positions us so well for. We find ourselves covering some of the same routes on which we rode our bikes as kids; this time avoiding the puddles rather than aiming for them as we once used to.
Returning here with Ruth, I find that Burley Manor is a wonderful place to create memories, as well as relive them. Whether you’re escaping a hectic life or simply exploring a new one, Burley Manor and its wonderful staff will help you fulfill your every wish. Go hideaway at Burley Manor!
As well as being our eldest son, Olly runs the Social Media advertising and promotion side of The Luxury Couple and is also involved in his own business of App Development.
Olly has travelled extensively and often gets asked by us to field test products so that we have another opinion to judge them by, before sharing our thoughts with you.
We hope you’ll find Olly’s notes as useful as our own.
You can find out more about Burley Manor here