Twenty four hours might not sound like much but it turns out, in fact, that with the perfect tour guide you can really pack a travel punch. As part of social media project with Glasgow and Southampton airports I was treated to direct flights down and back a couple weeks ago and, aside from obviously being delighted at the chance to spend more time with Monica (my long term blogger bud since 2011!), it also gave me the perfect chance to explore this beautiful part of the UK a little more. Let me talk you through the amazing itinerary Monica put together for us…
THE PIG, BROCKENHURST
I landed in Southampton airport just in time for lunch and we headed straight for The Pig in the heart of the New Forest. The setting is just idyllic and almost hard to believe that just a half hour drive landed us here, right in the heart of the forest. We enjoyed the most beautiful and leisurely sharing lunch (my fav), indulging in the garden to table concept the restaurant is renowned for before taking a stroll around the grounds to meet the piglets, see the vegetable garden and bask in the glorious sunshine from the giant oak’s tree swing.
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I work with Glasgow & Southampton airports but this post does not form part of our partnership
NEW FOREST PONIES
I had one request of Monica when she picked me up at – to see the wild ponies and following our beautiful lunch, we began our search. A five minute drive into the New Forest and we came across these beauties in the distance. I sat on that little patch of grass to photograph them but they just kept coming closer and closer until the mother’s head was almost touching me. I wondered if she knew I had my baby with me too? It was so, so special the smile was glued to my face for the rest of the day. I had this memory of driving through the New Forest as a child and seeing wild ponies running and grazing and I honestly thought over time I had romanticised it, like it was too good to be true. Then this, this moment will stay with me forever – just the most magical experience. There are around three thousand ponies roaming here and it is truly enchanting.
Our final stop of the day was to the historic village of Lyndhurst – we pottered around the picturesque streets, sampled the local ice-cream and just soaked up the atmosphere of this charming spot.
Monica and Ollie treated me to the most delicious home cooked meal in their stunning home (have a peek here) and I gave the camera the night off to enjoy their wonderful company and really soak up every inch of the home I had been ogling on Instagram for the past two years.
New Alresford is one of those quintessential Hampshire villages, choc full of pastel terraced houses flanking the high street and a sprinkling of gorgeous independents. Monica knows all the hidden gems so we kicked off the following morning with coffees and truly the best pastry I have had in years at Long Barn before making our way to the final stop…
The historic city of Winchester was to be my final treat; Tudor buildings and old arched streets adorned with local independents like The Hambledon (if you ever visit, you really must pop in – I bought the most beautiful ring here and the interior finds are gorgeous too) and then there is that seriously impressive cathedral watching over you. We finished up at the newly opened The Ivy for the loveliest of lunches and a catch up with Ella before bidding adieu at the train station and embarking on the eight minute (yep!) journey directly back to Southampton airport…
Thanks to Monica for helping with the photos.
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dress – H&M
jeans – Isabella Oliver (gift)
jessie boots – LK Bennett (gift)