Page 60 - Enjoy the South 2018
P. 60

The Bell Inn it seems is a
community landmark.
Privately owned for over 200 years, this charming Inn on the edge of Brook in the New Forest National Park has been welcoming locals and travellers from the area to recharge their vessels with goodly ale! Today, it welcomes guests to the bar, restaurant (actually awarded its second AA Rosette the day we arrived – so chef was obviously buoyant!) and to its generous proposition of 28 boutique bedrooms.
Cunningly marketed autonomously, yet practically positioned within metres of the Bramshaw Golf Club (home to the oldest golf course in Hampshire), the cosy and stylish Inn has a cross section of patrons, all of whom were exceptionally friendly and chatty during our review.
We were fortunate enough to catch five minutes with head chef, Mark Young, who could only sing the praises of the Inn’s owner – a foodie, which made more and more sense to us as the evening progressed.
Mark, who has worked in the South for most of his career, suggested that he might like to be a chef to his mum when he was just six years old!
When asked what he would recommend off the menu
he suggested the pork and also the lamb, (the second rosette defining dish apparently), and in fact everything, but he would say that, so we did and he was right – it was all presented beautifully and there was nothing lost in transit to flavour!
We were offered a window seat and our waitress was just lovely! While we waited we enjoyed the most delectable crunchy pork scratchings, freshly baked sourdough bread, and marinated mixed olives.
A couple of bottles of the Chablis Domain Sainte Claire 2015/16 (there were five of us!), tempura prawns – light and crispy – the Bell Inn Scotch Egg – which was an utter pleasure and brought out the selfish side of one of my guests! – Forest mushrooms with a poached hen’s egg on toasted sourdough.

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