Great food and great service in one of the south coast's nicest towns.
4-5 Quay Street, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 3AS 01590 676 908
We love Lymington: it's one of the Hampshire's most appealing towns, handy for both the New Forest, the Isle of Wight and the coast, and not surprisingly it's one of the most expensive place to buy property in the country. This at least means it's a reasonable place to eat, with a good range and variety of restaurants, of which local newcomer The Elderflower is one of the best – serving an imaginative seasonal menu whose French influences are complemented by the localness of the produce: Hampshire trout, venison from the New Forest, lobster from the Solent. It's the first restaurant of owner-patron Andrew du Bourg, late of Chewton Glen, and his wife Marjolaine, both of whom have many years of experience in the restaurant trade. Their menu is a self-confident affair, admirably short, and crammed with things we'd like to eat – crab and mussel broth, foie gras and mallard terrine, lobster with crispy black pudding – and includes some fabulously yummy desserts. Most of all we love the foodie enthusiasm of the place and the relative simplicity of the food, which is both high-end and seriously delicious. Service is good too. Located in a building in the heart of Lymington that used to house a restaurant run by the daughter of world land speed record holder Donald Campbell (whose Bluebird is in nearby Beaulieu), the restaurant has only been open for a few months but is already making a name for itself among local food-lovers They deserve to succeed, and now also have two lovely rooms above the restaurant for overnight stays.
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