As we pulled into the drive of our home for the night in the New Forest, we knew within seconds that we were going to love this place. Set in the little village of Brockenhurst, surrounded by woodland and wildlife all around, the white building of Cottage Lodge with its bright yellow door looked adorably cute.
We even had our own reserved parking sign that had me feeling like Beyonce. (Okay, so I wasn’t the only guest with my own little sign but it still made me feel pretty special anyway.)
The place radiated with warmth as soon as we stepped inside and were lead into a little room aptly named The Snug. Complete with beamed ceilings, a roaring fire, baskets of logs, rustic wooden corner seats, comfy cushions, and an honesty pot for drinks, it was the perfect cosy spot to warm up with some snuggles. Because if it’s called The Snug then of course you have to snuggle in here.
The lodge has 15 rooms, all individually decorated and bursting with cottage charm, giving it a small intimate bed and breakfast feel. The beds in each room are hand carved from local trees and the bed posts are even inscribed with a little bit of history. We were staying in the Exbury suite which had a beautiful big four poster bed made from a 200 year old oak that fell down in a storm on a local farm.
I loved how rustic and quaint it all was and even though it’s on a minor road we really did feel like we were in the middle of the forest. With its wooden furniture, low beamed ceilings and doors you had to duck to go through, I could have easily mistaken the lodge for the Seven Dwarves’ cabin in the woods and I half expected them to come walking through the door, pickaxes thrown over their shoulders, at any moment!
As we had been out exploring in the chilly November weather all day, we decided to stay in the warmth of the lodge for the rest of the evening and there was plenty to keep us entertained inside without ever having to step out the door back into the cold.
We warmed ourselves up in The Snug with some complimentary tea and cake and when dinner came along we didn’t have far to go to The Fallen Tree, a restaurant that is part of the lodge and serves up the most delicious food. Its low ceilings, pretty cottage decor and only a few tables made it feel very intimate and relaxed, and the staff were lovely, even giving us 10 minutes for our dinner to go down before bringing out dessert! Trust me when I say you need to try the dark chocolate torte no matter how full you are.
With full bellies we retired back to our cosy room with (another) bottle of wine and a DVD from their collection. As it was far too cold to sit out on the balcony in November, we stayed tucked up nice and warm inside in the seating area in our room.
We woke up the next morning after a wonderful night’s sleep in the big fluffy bed and headed back down to the restaurant which is also used for breakfast. With the daylight flooding in it felt like a completely different room, but it never lost its coziness.
We didn’t want to leave this lovely place but the rest of the New Forest was waiting to be explored. We’re already planning a return trip in the summer when the forest will be much more colourful and green, and Cottage Lodge is definitely where we will be staying.
Have you visited the New Forest? Would you have imagined it was as rustic and charming as this? Let me know in the comments below or at:
Lots of thanks to Cottage Lodge for hosting our stay. It was a perfect relaxing weekend getaway in the New Forest!