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The Terrace Restaurant

Montagu Arms Hotel Beaulieu New Forest Hampshire SO42 7ZL

It's located in the lovely Montagu Arms hotel, but the Terrace Restaurant is very much a destination in its own right, with the New Forest providing a sumptuous larder for the enthusiastic and creative head chef here, Matthew Whitefield. It has the studied feel of an upmarket establishment, with a relatively traditional wood-panelled decor that is complemented by the quality of the service, which is friendly and relaxed – as is the pretty garden outside where you can eat during summer if you're so inclined.

They do a good-value set lunch menu, and even at dinner the prices aren't astronomical given the quality of the food – or if you want to get really serious, you can opt for the seven-course tasting menu (with or without paired wines). As well as the forest, most of the produce is sourced from the restaurant's own kitchen garden, and the focus is on high-quality ingredients, simply cooked and beautifully presented – hearty and mouth-watering fare, yet refined at the same time. The menus change daily depending on what's available, but whatever day it is the food is sure to be fantastic – Lamb is reared on their own small-holding in Pennington and venison is sourced from within the Beaulieu estate. Matthew’s father provides malt from his brewery in nearby Botely and rosemary is plucked from the garden for their signature sour dough bread course. Matthew operates a zero food waste kitchen, creating innovative dishes that celebrate every part of these exceptional ingredients. His nose to tail and root to tip tasting menus pay homage to the nurturing hands of our growers and producers and our amazing New Forest larder.

Sunday lunch is a little bit different, with a couple of roasts and a fish and a veggie option, while desserts are nice and relatively simple affairs on the whole, with just a handful of options plus a decent selection of cheeses from the trolley. Altogether the Terrace is one of the best places to eat in the New Forest, if not Hampshire as a whole, with fabulous, very friendly service and terrific food.

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