Lunch at The Three Tuns
The Three Tuns is a beautiful 17th century inn situated on the edge of the New Forest, as you would imagine from this age of property it’s very traditional in style still retaining its thatched roof and timber beams throughout. As a family we have been visiting The Three Tuns for almost 13 years and have never had a bad meal, our last visit was no exception.
Little has changed with the layout during this time but the snug area has recently undergone some sprucing up, our last visit was on a freezing lunch time in January the snug felt very cosy and enticing with the wood burning stove roaring away.
January is notoriously quiet for pubs and restaurants after the mayhem of December but within 15 minutes of arriving the restaurant area was nicely full, now that tells you something about its reputation.
If you are a real ale drinker this is certainly a place you should visit, I have it on good authority they serve some of the best ales in the area. In fact, during a weekend at the end of September a beer festival takes place within the grounds showcasing 80 beers and 60 ciders and a variety of wines for every taste. Another great reason to visit!
However, we opted for a couple of glasses of Malbec it was absolutely delicious and warming whilst we looked over the menu.
Head Chef Colin Nash certainly knows his audience, not unsurprisingly as he’s been cooking for them
since joining The Three Tuns in 2007. The menu splits into traditional favourites and exciting and unusual dishes. Although I appreciate its not always easy, its great to see the inn using seasonal local produce, here you will always see several locally caught fish dishes on the specials board along with pork and game from the surrounding area.
Currently on the menu is a particularly delicious spiced crab (Mudeford) soup that we were lucky enough to sample together with flowerpot bread still steaming from the oven, truffle salami and a locally made butter (Blox Butter) all highly recommended.
For our mains we opted for 'Egg n Soldiers' and the ten hour slow roasted pork. The egg dish was taken from the light bites menu but more than ample for those with a smaller appetite. Perfectly cooked quails scotch eggs in herb sausage meat, deep fried in crumbs with daupine potato soldiers, served with pickled red cabbage and a bacon mayo. Keen to try more than one dish on the menu I opted for the pork but will definitely be going back for the Eggs'n'soldiers.
The Avon Tyrell slow roast pork had been cooking for ten hours and melted in my mouth, the crackling was nice and crunchy (my favourite bit), it was served on winter greens with dauphinoise potoatoes, compressed apple complimenting the dish with the addition of its sweet but tart flavour. Continuing the apple theme was the sauce, made from locally sourced cider and mustard.
At this point we really were quite full but we couldn't resist the call of the dessert sharing board, chocolate truffles, marshmallow fudge, baked apple, crème brûlée and a fruit filled roulade almost had us fit to burst and I am disappointed to say we couldn't finish it. It would of been a very different story if my husband had been with me.
The Three Tuns offers winter fires and cosy bars and a really creative menu throughtout the year, in warmer weather you will find guests enjoying the large terrace with water feature and gardens over looking open country. The grade II listed barn and a marque are perfect for private hire and the venue is also licenced for civil ceromonies.
This lovely venue is not somewhere you are likely to stumble across it will probably be recommended to you by someone that has previously been, with that in mind, I highly recommend you try it next time you are looking for somewhere to eat or drink - oh and did I mention they are dog friendly?
Our food during this visit was complimentary but all the opinions and photographs in this post are my own.
The Three Tuns Country Inn & Restaurant