The boy and I took a little relaxing break to the New Forest. We just went down for a couple of nights of fresh air and chill time. I have been to the New Forest on several occasions before, always opting for self catering cottages, however, this time we felt the need to be pampered by a hotel so chose Carey's Manor.
We selected one of the Oakwood Garden Rooms. This was mainly because being springtime we wanted some outside space, which being on the ground floor these rooms come with a little terrace over looking the garden. Also these rooms are larger and more modern than rooms in the main manor house. Our room was indeed large with a big double bed, flat screen TV, little sofa / coffee table area and a nicely appointed bathroom with obligatory fluffy towels and robes to unwind in.
The hotel itself has plenty of parking and is very pretty. It has lovely grounds and is a short stroll to some fantastic walks and also bike hire. We did hire a bike on one of our days through New Forest Cycle Hire and they are literally a five mins walk up the road from the hotel. The bikes are cheap and well maintained and come with a free cycle tour depending on what route and how long you would like to cycle for. The routes also all have pubs along the way for a lunch and the 13 mile route we chose was idyllic and mainly avoided hills and main roads, which is what we were looking for! We did end up with slightly sore bottoms by the end though but was great to get some country air and exercise.
That evening we chose to dine at the hotels restaurant Le Blaireau, which is a little brasserie themed eatery. The service here is efficient and the food is nice but I wouldn't rave about it. I started with a french onion soup with a generous helping of melted cheese and followed with the cod. For the quality I think it's a little overpriced and I do think the New Forest has better offerings, however, for a quick meal, which meant not driving or leaving the hotel we were happy.
Our second day here was spent relaxing at the hotel's SenSpa. This really is a little treat. We turned up in our dressing gowns and slippers and checked right in. That is the beauty of staying in the hotel you don't even need the changing rooms! The facilities are great. There is a full gym and treatment menu as well as a pool including in water loungers and a Jacuzzi. There are comfy loungers around the pool area as well as steam rooms, sauna, a relaxing suite and different shower experiences. We took part in a Rhassoul mud treatment for two and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
That evening we took an early dinner at the hotels Thai restaurant the Zen Garden and were impressed. We had a mixed starter between us and a curry and rice each. The food was tasty and reasonably priced and the restaurant was busy but not bustling and crazy and had a lovely atmosphere. Again it was nice to wander from the restaurant back to our room without having to even step outside!
Breakfast at the hotel is served in the main manor house. The restaurant has lovely large windows over looking the grounds and the choices are good. There are continental and cooked options available and everything was delicious.
All in all Carey's Manor provided the rest and relaxation we were craving. We desperately wanted an easy UK weekend away with fresh air and pampering service and this is what we received. The New Forest is ideal as it's less than a two hour drive from London so it's more than feasible to take a weekend trip without days off of work. If you need to re charge your batteries and don't fancy a flight I would thoroughly recommend a break at this hotel, they will look after you!