Co-chefs Angela Hartnett – one of our most celebrated female chefs – and Luke Holder, whose refined, full-flavoured food is produce-led, are behind the fare that Tatler magazine deemed responsible for turning the plush Lyndhurst hideaway into a “serious food destination”.
Hartnett Holder & Co at Lime Wood has a classy, convivial ambience. The central bar allows for views across the elegant, comfortable dining rooms, while dishes – described as “out-and-out British with the much-loved Italian approach to eating” – are rustic and creative. Here, the fun has been put back into fine dining: expect sumptuous yet earthy dishes such as Mackerel, English muffin and oyster; and Pork belly, rabbit, chorizo, clams & cannellini. Sharing plates along the lines of whole brill, baked with fennel and preserved lemon salad regularly feature on the enticing menu. The wine list, described as “sweeping” by the Waitrose Good Food Guide, has a generous selection of organic and biodynamic wines.
Like The Pig in nearby Brockenhurst – a similar “self-sufficient foodie enterprise” writes the 2015 Good Food Guide – the kitchen takes full advantage of Hampshire’s abundant produce. The impressive grounds facilitate homegrown crops, and the onsite smokehouse yields smoked fish and charcuterie, “slow foods” such as chorizo, and lavender cured loin of pork, that have become integral to the hotel’s cuisine. Meat is organic and forest food – wild greens, herbs and mushrooms – is plucked from nearby woodlands.
As a hotel restaurant, Hartnett Holder & Co has been much-lauded: the 2015 Michelin Guide describes the Italian-influenced menu as “inspiring”; it holds three AA Rosettes; won Restaurant of the Year at the Food & Travel Awards 2013; and Restaurant of the Year at the Hampshire Food & Drinks Awards 2013, where Luke Holder was also voted Chef of the Year.