Hi chums, long time no speak. We have been hard at work here in the Forest with School holidays in full swing. The site has been bursting at the seams with excited children, pink cheeked, fuelled on fresh air, having the time of their lives. I will always get a buzz from the memory of a child’s face lighting up with amazement when they arrive at Roundhill, grumpy and hot after a long car journey, and get their first glimpse of our wild ponies. It’s priceless. The kids are so sweet. I wish my parents had brought me here as a child. It’s magical. The Forestry Commission girls have been on site throughout Summer doing nature walks and other activities. Their dusk walk with bat detectors has proved very popular with kids and adults alike. All good natural fun. Not a PlayStation or iPad in sight. The ponies and even more so, donkeys, are the stars of our show here at Roundhill though without a shadow of a doubt. The herds of horses gallop onto the site very early each morning. It’s quite a spectacle when they appear out of the mist, through the bracken and trees. You can hear the thunder of hooves well before you see them. The donks are more laid back. They amble in from the Heath, helping themselves to campers’ breakfasts, barbecues, whatever happens to be available. If it’s left out, it’s a donkey picnic. Fair game!
The foals are looking so grown up now. They are finally growing into their spindly legs. September will see the release of the pigs into the wild. Pannage season! The idea is that the pigs eat the acorns in the forest which are poisonous to other creatures. Sadly we won’t be around to see this. We finish here at the end of August. We will both be very sad to go. I will miss the animals and all our friends. I’ll also miss the stark beauty of this place.
So last weekend, my Pal, Jules decided to visit me, all the way from Derbyshire. I was finally going to get some much missed girl time! How exciting! I tucked my green uniform away for a few days and booked us up some well earned treats. Our first stop was a spa morning. My body was feeling a bit broken after long hours on my feet and Julia has a very stressful job. We went to Reflections Spa at Shorefield Country Club and Holiday Village near Milford on Sea. The treatments were excellent and very reasonably priced. I would certainly recommend my therapist, Donna, if you like deep massage. I had the Swedish full body massage. I felt like I was walking on air when I came out. After a bit of indulgent pampering, we drove into Lymington and had lunch at Stanwell House Boutique Hotel. It’s a fab little place and the service was excellent. We had the British Tapas. Really good food, well presented. Impressive. Not hugely expensive either.
Will definitely come here again. After a most enjoyable lunch we hit the shops. Lymington has some super little boutiques as well as my favourite seasidie stores, Crew, Quba etc. Julia is the best ever shopping partner, we had a ball and returned to base tired and laden down with bags!!
On day 2, we had a couple of hours browsing around Lyndhurst. It’s a quaint but bustling little town with a few shops, nice pubs and a beautiful old Church. My petrol head friend was more interested in the super car garage. I hadn’t even noticed it!!
We decided we hadn’t quite finished with Lymington so nipped back for brunch at the Boathouse Cafe on the quayside. Just love the food here. My iced coffee and smashed avocado with freshly made humous on sourdough was delicious. Tasty and zingy.
Another great lunch/brunch stop in town with quality , interesting homemade food is Greedo. Really good atmosphere in there. Saving that for hubby and I next week.
My absolute favourite shop in Lymington is called Starboard Home. It sells mostly classy interiors but they also stock a small range of very easy to wear, upmarket casuals. I simply adore their stuff. We had to purchase. It would have been rude not to.
We returned home, happy bunnies in time to get scrubbed up and ready for a girlie night out on the town. Gin and Tonics at the Snakecatcher in Brockenhurst, lovely fruity Lymington Gin, then back in the cab for cocktails and dinner at The Pig.
Well, The Pig, what can I say. The setting gets an A star for starters, the gardens are glorious, especially when bathed in the late evening sunshine. The building itself is classy and elegant. It’s a really cool place. The interior is a maize of interesting, tastefully decorated lounges and a well stocked bar with a lively vibe. Just the right level of background music. The cocktails were different and damn good! We ate in a bright conservatory which resembled a posh potting shed. Very quirky! The food was just fabulous. Unusual dishes, extremely tasty, fresh and perfectly presented. It’s all about the ingredients here. Everything they serve comes from within a 25 mile radius of the restaurant. Much of what they dish up is home grown or foraged. The staff are knowledgeable and attentive. We both gave it a ten out of ten. Amazing! An extremely enjoyable experience. Do try it. Be sure to book though, it’s very popular.
I had a really smashing couple of days and Jules enjoyed her stay in the Forest. Whilst we did what girls do best, Mark took the Motorhome over to Wimborne to get the fridge fixed. What a saga that has been. My fellow Motorhomers will recall that we had a minor disaster on the M40 whilst travelling back to Derbyshire for Mark’s Dad’s Funeral. The brackets holding the Dometic Tec Tower fridge and oven in place, sheared, puncturing the cooling system. The van was suddenly filled with choking ammonia. Eyes streaming and coughing violently we had to pull onto the almost non existent hard shoulder and exit the vehicle. The greeny yellow coolant was spewing from the external vent and all over the carpets on the inside. Not the best experience. As if we didn’t have enough on, we had to make an emergency detour to our dealers, Timberland and leave the van with them. They were great as usual. They identified the problem, ordered the new part and booked us in for a repair over in Hampshire. We only had 4 days in Derbyshire so it was impossible for them to do any more. We had to struggle for 2 weeks in the heatwave without a fridge. Not ideal. All sorted now though. The company in Wimborne, Autovan, were excellent. I can certainly recommend them if you are in this area and need anything doing van wise. Very professional. I now have cold wine again. What a relief!
So a week has passed by since Julia’s visit. Time is absolutely flying by. It’s our day off today and we’re trying to do as little as possible. We both need a rest, it’s been a crazy busy week. We’ve had a little bike ride into Brockenhurst to pick up some steaks from the Butchers for the barbecue tonight and had a cheeky cream tea at Rosie’s Tearoom. Even the jam was homemade. Yummy!
Tomorrow we’re going to try this place, The Sett, It’s quite new. One of our campers recommended it so I called in to check it out. It looks fab inside and the kids running it were very lovely.
They are an Artisan Wine Bar but also do excellent coffee and home baked cakes. They serve platters of locally sourced cheeses and charcuterie with the wines as well as cocktails etc. Sounds like my kind of place. Until tomorrow then!
Stopped off on the way home for a quick swing as you do 😉 Such a child!
Off out with my basket now, blackberry picking. Have promised the husband a crumble for supper. It’s a pinky golden sunset, the campsite is alive with chatter and children, all is good in the hood.
Our work here is almost done.I can’t believe how quickly the Summer has flown. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in the forest and would hope to return next year. We are starting to get itchy feet now though, wanderlust is kicking in and we can feel a new adventure coming on. Time to get the maps out maybe?!
It has really been a proper Summer this year. We’ve been spoiled. Could get used to this! Not ready to part with the sunshine yet though so will be saying cheerio to dear old Blighty before the dark nights arrive and buzzing off to warmer climes. Watch this space folks!
In the meantime I shall bid thee farewell my lovely readers. It’s wine O clock. Tapas are go.
Cheers all and TTFN ❤️