Boutique Restaurant with Pet-friendly Rooms
Burley Manor, reopened in December 2015 after extensive refurbishment. The Grade II listed building has retained many of the features of the Victorian original with the welcome addition of a rustic, Mediterranean influenced restaurant. Here's what you can expect in this comfortable, pet-friendly hotel.
Burley Manor could easily pass for a late medieval manor house. That was the intention of the Victorian who built it in 1852. Today it's a luxury restaurant with rooms in a Grade II listed building, retaining many of its original Victorian features,
Welcome to Burley
New Forest roe deer peacefully graze in front of Burley Manor and come and go as they please. They are among the six species of wild deer that populate the New Forest, once William the Conqueror's hunting ground.
A roaring fire in the massive hearth was a welcome feature when we arrived on a mid-winter day. The decoration above the hearth is in keeping with the hotel's location in what was a royal hunting ground,
We could only admire the lovely parlour, where tea is served, as Wallace the Westie was not allowed in this room. He was, however, welcome in the equally comfortable bar lounge.
Breakfast Roon Conservatory
Burley Manor's contemporary and informal dining room is wrapped in a sun-filled conservatory where breakfast is served,
The dining room at Burley Manor is decorated in a somewhat rustic French Provincial style. The feeling is comfortable and informal yet special enough for an important night out.
A generous Campari and soda was accompanied by very more-ish nuts coated in a secret recipe of herbs and spices.
First Course Arancini
First course of arancini - Italian rice balls - made with baccala, or salt cod.
A dish of Boeuf en daube de Provence (shown on the menu as Provencale Daube of Beef with Dumplings) was fragrant and rich with beef that absolutely melted in the mouth. I could have done without the forest of kale that was spread over the top, though.
Not every dish we tried was completely successful. Polenta "chips" were delicious but misnamed as they were too soft to pass for English chips (French fries). They were still in an experimental stage when we visited. Give them a different name and we'll love them.
The Butler's Pantry
Burley Manor's private dining room, the Butler's Pantry, is a rustic, Mediterranean-style room where a party of six can enjoy a custom menu, with champagne for £60 per person (in 2016). Designed as a chef's table, guests can watch the chefs at work and can even request to join in for a cooking lesson.
Dog-friendly Guestroom at Burley Manor
Dog-friendly guestroom at Burley Manor has all the comforts and style of other rooms in the hotel.
Luxury Bath in a Dog Friendly Guestroom
Bathrooms differ from room to room but, in the dog-friendly wing that I sampled, are stylish and luxurious. They're also fitted out with a nice selection of generously sized toiletries.
Wallace was very comfortable in the dog-friendly room and enjoyed playing on the extensive lawns. But, though a water bowl and biscuits were provided, I was glad I thought to bring a food bowl and Wallace's own bedding, as - unlike other dog-friendly hotels - none was provided.
New Forest Ponies
New Forest Ponies are owned by New Forest commoners - the 500 or 600 people who have the historic right to let their animals graze freely throughout the National Park. You might come across pigs, cattle and chickens as well. While they are "owned", they are considered wild animals. These ponies were munching on holly trees by the roadside just past the driveway of Burley Manor.