Travel editor David Powell takes a short break to Lymington and reports back for Mature Times. Read what he thought of Lymington and Stanwell House in particular ..
My wife and I were just passing through Lymington last year on our way to Southampton after a lovely visit to the New Forest. It was a Saturday afternoon and there was a delightful, bustling market in the High Street so a little retail therapy was the order of the day.
We said then that we must return and spend more time here … and return and stay in style we did … with a short break at Stanwell House Hotel.
Lymington is a beautiful Georgian market town situated by the Solent approximately 16 miles west of Southampton.
It sits to the southern edge of the New Forest National Park and this area is a wonderful place to visit for a short break away anytime of the year.
The town is famous as a sailing resort with two large marinas and sailing clubs with an open air seawater swimming pool close by for those sunnier months of the year!
For a small town there’s a surprising number of interesting independent shops and at the bottom end of the High Street you can follow the cobblestone road that leads to the pretty Old Town Quay which is still used as a base for commercial fishing boats.
Seasonal boat trips around the Solent can be taken from the quayside and private sailing and fishing trips can usually be arranged at short notice.
If you want to venture further afield the Wightlink ferry sails from Lymington to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. However, needless to say, the many attractions of the New Forest are close at hand.
The perfect escape
Our short break to Lymington was relaxing and stylish with fantastic food – all down to Stanwell House Hotel! Stanwell House is a cosmopolitan boutique hotel situated in the High Street.
From the moment we arrived my wife and I experienced a warm welcome from the hotel’s friendly, helpful team. Robert Milton and Victoria Crowe are proprietors and it was clear from their daily ‘hands on’ approach that maintaining the very high standards of this hotel are a top priority.
The rooms at Stanwell House are all ensuite and, as they say, somewhere you can kick back and truly relax. All rooms have been individually designed with all the extras needed for a memorable stay and the personal touches certainly standout.
Rooms have complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water, direct dial telephones, 26” flat screen TV’s with a good channel choice, radio, trouser press and hair dryer. Complimentary WiFi is available in the rooms and public areas, just ask at reception for the code.
Choose from Four Poster Rooms, Georgian Rooms, Suites and Garden Rooms which are also dog friendly! Some of the rooms are dedicated family rooms or adjoining and children are made to feel welcome here.
I took the opportunity during my stay to have a look at a selection of the different types of rooms and they were all of a very high standard. Our room overlooked the High Street, was tastefully designed with a separate sitting area and a spacious luxurious bathroom with a bath and separate walk in shower.
And I have to agree with my wife’s comment that the bed was one of the most comfortable she has slept in.
Dining . . .
Where do I begin!
Great food and warm hospitality most certainly, but so much more. From a great breakfast, lovely afternoon tea to a superb dinner dining experience. We dined in the restaurant at the front of the hotel for both nights of our stay.
This restaurant is modern, airy, elegant, well laid out and a pleasure to dine in and has AA 2 rosettes for culinary excellence.
Other awards include a hotel AA 3 star rating, the New Forest Marque for the use of locally sourced food and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the last two years running.
There are two separate dining styles at Stanwell House – Seafood at Stanwells and the Bistro. I chose to dine from the Bistro menu on our first night and Seafood on the second.
The menu was extensive and the taste, quality and presentation were superb, supplemented by an excellent wine list. The service was first class and couldn’t be faulted – Seafood at Stanwells takes advantage of the wealth of fresh produce available on their doorstep – freshly caught fish and shellfish prepared and served with the emphasis on flavour and quality.
The á la Carte Bistro menu offers a wide choice of contemporary European food again of a very high standard and quality.
Breakfast was a great way to start the day with a full choice of continental or the popular New Forest cooked breakfast. The hotel also offers an anytime menu with a variety of lunches, snacks, coffees and afternoon tea in the elegant conservatory just off the main reception area.
Drydock is the name of the hotel bar at the front of the hotel looking out on to the High Street where you can choose from an extensive drinks and cocktail menu and relax on the soft and comfortable sofas.
Special stay and dine options are available along with seasonal offers and these can be seen on the Stanwell House website along with details of room upgrades and the 5 nights for the price of 4 offer.
Out & about from Stanwell House
As I mentioned earlier there’s lots to see and do in this area and no doubt a trip into the New Forest will feature highly on your list. The hotel has their own Twizy car. This is an environmentally friendly electric two seater which can be hired for half a day or a full day – an ideal way to explore the New Forest as you can get up to 50 miles on a full charge.
Bookings can be made at reception and the car is conveniently located in Stanwell’s own private car park. Additionally you could really push the boat out – by chartering the yacht ‘Indulgence of Lymington’.
This is a luxurious 40ft yacht, which can carry 8 passengers plus the skipper and one other crew member. How about a lazy sailing day in the Solent with friends?. You can see images of the yacht and more details on StanwellHouse.com
If you’re looking for a super break away from the ups and downs of everyday life and to ‘recharge the battery’ then Stanwell House in Lymington ticks all the right boxes.
This is a top boutique hotel and a great place to stay where there’s a friendly welcoming team and sensational food. Stanwell House say their hotel is the ‘perfect escape’ –
I couldn’t agree more and can’t wait to return.
Stanwell House Hotel is located at 14-15 High Street, Lymington. SO41 9AA
Telephone: 01590 677123
The price of a two-night, midweek break (Sunday-Thursday) costs from £125 per person (2 sharing), including two breakfasts and one dinner. Four-poster rooms and suites are also available. Well-behaved dogs welcome (£15 per night).
For the best available rates and special packages call 01590 677 123 or visit www.stanwellhouse.com
You can see a video of Stanwell House Hotel that David has produced by visiting the website: www.YourHolidayTV.com