The New Forest: A Food Lover’s Paradise


Fall in Love with the Flavours of the New Forest

Indulge in your best-loved foods or try something new in this little National Park which is fast becoming a food lover’s paradise. The New Forest is in the midst of a foodie revolution – it’s an exciting food scene with small farms, microbreweries, independent producers and vineyards sprinkled throughout the region, offering products and taste sensations from the area’s bounties.


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Book a New Forest self-catering cottage and head out to the farm shops, speciality stores and markets armed with empty bags and maybe a wicker basket to fill with treats. Head home and whizz up a quick and tasty lunch in the sunshine or supper under the stars! With great, local ingredients, you don’t need to be a MasterChef.

From Field to Fork

Danestream Farm Shop runs as a traditional Master Butchers supporting local farmers and New Forest Commoners by selling their free-range meat, poultry and game alongside fresh fruit and vegetables. Another favourite is Crow Farm Shop, this butchery, shop and café sell freshly baked bread alongside its delicatessen. Pop in for a satisfying breakfast or grab a pork pie and nibbles for a picnic. When visiting the farmers’ markets in Everton, New Milton, Ringwood or Hale, keep an eye out for Broughton Water Buffalo bred in nearby Stockbridge.


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On long summer days, make a trip to one of the PYO farms at Dan Tanners. His farms grow soft and seasonal fruit and vegetables in open fields. There’s always plenty of parking, an adventure playground and picnic tables – some weekends they even have bands playing. Throughout the year, New Forest Mushrooms sell wild and cultivated exotic mushrooms and foraged food from the area to wholesale as well as retail customers. You can also book on to Fungi Forays in the forest to look for and identify fungi and edible mushrooms – plus which poisonous ones you must steer well away from.

Naughty but Nice!

Bakehouse 24 in Ringwood is a real artisan bakery with scrumptious breads, cakes and pastries alongside a sweet little café. They also offer full-day bread classes – perfect for something quirky to do on a weekend break. New Forest Ice Cream, whilst based in Lymington, can be found all over the National Park and beyond with over 50 mouth-watering flavours. If you want to visit one of the prettiest villages in the New Forest, head to Beaulieu. While you are there you’ll find Beaulieu Chocolate Studio on the high street. Pop into the shop for sinfully delicious hand-made chocolates, honeycomb, truffles and New Forest bark.


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Deli Favourites

Loosehanger Cheeses in Redlynch are award-winning cheese makers; unequivocally delicious with a fine selection of tasty flavours. When you’re out and about, snoop in the deli fridges for Rosary Goats Cheese in Landford, whose mild creamy cheeses include black pepper, and garlic and herb varieties. If you’ve booked a New Forest cottage whilst visiting one of the many wonderful festivals this year, keep an eye open for A Pinch of Salt Curing from New Milton. They use free-range pork from New Forest smallholders and, after curing with secret recipes, throw them into a wood oven producing exquisitely succulent meats – yum!


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Fish Findings

New Forest Smokery & Trout Farm in Fordingbridge also feature at the Farmers Markets and local shops selling their gorgeous cold and hot smoked brown and rainbow trout and pâté. Or head to Verveine Fishmarket which is part of the award-winning, Times Top 100 Restaurants in Milford on Sea, Verveine. The fishmongers part of the business has been there for more than 50 years with daily deliveries. Fish and seafood from here are fresh, seasonal and sensational.

Vineyards and Breweries

Marlings Vineyard is amidst a bounty of countryside and woodland in the New Forest. It’s an exceptional vineyard producing English sparkling wines and Bacchus still white wines. Seek these beauties out from local suppliers at Priory Wines, Lymington and New Forest Wines Ringwood. Drop the Anchor opened in 2017 in Christchurch just outside the New Forest. They already have a huge fanbase. Pop in and buy a pint, bottle, container or bag in a box (or two?) to take back to your cottage, you won’t be disappointed. Vibrant Forest Brewery is another creation for beer and ale lovers! Drop by for a brewery tour and visit their shop to buy some bottles to take-out. Vibrant Brewery beers pack a punch and are suitable for vegans too.


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The marine town of Lymington is home to the Dancing Cows Distillery who source botanicals, grains and fruits form the New Forest for their small-batch artisan spirits. They are sold online or if you are in Christchurch, head to the magnificent Christchurch Confectioner and Gin Shop. This little gem is run by a husband and wife team who are a mind of ‘Gin knowledge’ and happily offer tastings from a vast wall packed with local and regional gins.

Take a look at our portfolio of cottages to rent in the New Forest.