At the bell in, we love things that are made locally. Not only does it enable us to witness that quality being put into the items, but also helps us to support the local communities and bring the unique flavors and crafts that you can’t find elsewhere.
What we recommend trying
Sample local cheeses from Loosehanger Cheeses, in Redlynch or Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers in Landford. The new forest is famous for its savoury choices, and in our opinion, the closer to the source the better.
If you have a sweeter tooth (which we all do from time to time) take a trip to the Beaulieu Chocolate Studio, Burley Fudge Shop or Fordingbridge Fudge. New Forest Shortbread also makes delicious shortbread to order which you can find in the Burley Rails Cottage.
The Forest has regular farmers’ markets, one of which can be located in Ringwood. These are a great opportunity to meet the producers themselves, as well as sample many of the local flavours including the cheese, fudge, and meat.
If you are a fan of gin, you will no doubt be aware of Bombay Saphire. The distillery is just a short drive to the north of the hotel. If you book in advance, it’s possible to get a tour of the facility and the beautiful grounds. There are tasters on this tour, so organising transport is advisable. The distillery offers a shuttle bus to the station, however, so its relatively easy to get access too.
Cider is very popular in the new forest, and local brands can be found in most villages. if you are not in the mood for alcohol, the apples also make for fantastic apple juice.
What about non-edible items?
The new forest is not only famous for its food and drink but also it’s wood, glass and ceramics. The new forest – unsurprisingly – takes the environment very seriously. There are several local producers who have been awarded the New Forest Marque for their commitment to sustainability and the local area including New Forest Coppicing Crafts and the Countryside Educational Trust.
Keep an eye out for locally produced ceramics, pottery and glassware often on sale in independent shops.