Further Afield introduces
TRAVEL: QUEEN & COUNTRY AND FURTHER AFIELD
Q&C and travel partner Further Afield introduces Matthew and David of Thatched Cottage Hotel, set in the stunning New Forest. These champions of holiday escapes near and far have their own gin bar and offer sailing trips out on their yacht.
We’re off to Hampshire this time and the lovely town of Brockenhurst, with its antique shops and restaurants, which is also home to the lovely Thatched Cottage Hotel. Set in the heart of the New Forest, this 17th century cottage, which now has 14 bedrooms and its own gin bar, has amazing walks on the doorstep – making a perfect “cocktail” of old and new (see what we did there?). Owners Matthew and David chat about what drew them here and what makes this a perfect Q&C escape.
Matthew and David
Property: Thatched Cottage Hotel, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England
Type of Property: B&B
Price: From £75 for a night in a single room
FA: Were you always country boys or did you have to make a leap from city life?
Matthew decided on a change of direction at the age of 40, moving from a life in education management and serving with the Royal Navy to start his yachting business and, later, Thatched Cottage Hotel. David joined the business straight from university, with many years of experience as a qualified sailing instructor.
FA: How did you end up running your business?
We started Escape Yachting (another Further Afield member) in 2010, having identified gaps in the market for days out on luxury yachts in the UK. We started on the Solent, initially based on the River Hamble but soon moving to the coastal town of Lymington, to also take advantage of the wonderful New Forest setting and the amazing views, sailing on the western Solent, of the Isle of Wight, the Needles and the New Forest. It made sense to add to the business somewhere to stay and in 2016, we took Thatched Cottage Hotel and have brought this lovely historic property back to life, not least with its amazing gin bar! We now also offer sailing holidays in the Caribbean and Croatia.
FA: Tell us a bit about the country pursuits that are on offer either through you or through providers in the immediate area that you work with.
The New Forest is very well known for the fantastic walking and cycling opportunities, but there is so much more to do in the National Park, including, of course, along the coastline, where you can sail with Escape Yachting, learn to paddle-board near Hurst Castle and kayak down the Beaulieu River. In the forest, you can play golf and enjoy horse riding – but not on the wild New Forest ponies! There’s so much to do and you can find out more on the New Forest website at www.thenewforest.co.uk .
FA: What’s your favorite walk and are you a dog friendly place to stay?
Dogs are very welcome at the Thatched Cottage Hotel and we are ideally located for walking dogs in the New Forest. There are many walking trails, including stops at some of the New Forest’s lovely, welcoming pubs. Dogs can stay in all of the hotel’s ground floor rooms, and are welcomed to breakfast, in the tea room and the Gin Bar.
FA: Do you have a favorite pub or restaurant nearby?
The New Forest is an amazing foodie destination. There are 12 places to eat within 5 minutes’ walk of the Thatched Cottage Hotel. A short car or taxi ride away are some world-class restaurants, including at Limewood, the Montagu Arms and Chewton Glen, as well as our favourite fish restaurant anywhere in the world, which is Verveine in the coastal village of Milford on Sea, where we live.
FA: If you’re looking for a bit of culture where do you head to?
From Brockenhurst, we can be in London in 90 minutes, so it is really easy to enjoy the cultural highlights of the capital, but there are also cultural opportunities in Southampton, Bournemouth and Winchester nearby.
FA: What’s the best thing about running your business?
It gives us real pleasure to welcome guests on board the yachts and to the hotel and we truly get a sense of satisfaction out of providing the best stay possible. We also get to work with a great team of people at the hotel which makes our lives easier and much more fun.
If you want to find out more about the properties featured on Further Afield visit their website at: www.furtherafield.com