• Rachael Pitman

The Master Builder's - Historic and beautiful spot


If you are visiting The New Forest or looking for somewhere to stay in the area then The Master Builder's at Bucklers Hard is a place you really should try. The region is steeped in history and the views are simply stunning.

Photo kindly supplied by The Master Builder's

Strangely enough during my time as a teacher, I visited Bucklers Hard (originally called Montagu Town) on many occasions with groups of excited year 7 students but had never had the opportunity to visit The Master Builder's until recently.

Ship building began here in the early eighteen century and a total of 43 Royal Navy ships were built including some that fought at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nowadays, you can visit the museum to find out more and step back in time by visiting a reconstructed shipwright's cottage to see how they might of lived.

The evening we visited The Master Builder's at Bucklers Hard couldn't of been more perfect, the drive through the New Forest was stunning with the sunlight still flickering through the trees. It was still 25 degrees when we arrived at the hotel so I was pleased that we had chosen to eat outside.

The view across the Beaulieu River is beautiful and we realised during our visit that you can moor there and pop in to the hotel for something to eat or even stay overnight and go in for breakfast. Maybe next time?

The hotel itself is set in the grounds of the Beaulieu Estate owned by the Montagu family and close by you will find The National Motor Museum and Beaulieu Palace House, also well worth a visit.

The Hotel has two restaurants that offer quite different experiences by way of the menu and ambience. The Riverside Restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes and offers fine dining at its best with stunning views over the river.

Photo kindly supplied by The Master Builder's

Photo kindly supplied by The Master Builder's

The Riverview restaurant is open

Lunch: Monday – Saturday 12 – 2:30 pm

Sunday 12:30 – 3 pm

Dinner: Everyday 7 – 9pm

Afternoon Tea everyday 3 – 5pm

Prebooking is essential 01590 616 253

Sunday Roast from 12 noon.

Photo kindly supplied by The Master Builder's

The Yachtsman's Bar & Garden offers a more casual menu serving seasonal salads, light bites and sharing platters together with some of the more traditional pub food. You can choose to eat outside on the garden terrace or in the quirky bar area.

Both my husband and I chose a rump steak served with cherry tomatoes, wild mushrooms, onion puree, skinny fries and watercress (although the menu said rocket). The steaks were cooked to our specification and the onion puree gave a sweet twist. Pretty? maybe not, but tasty and pub style.

Desserts for us comprised of a banana sticky toffee pudding and a clotted cream panna cotta with strawberry compote and shortbread. Both were absolutely lovely and the kitchen happily accommodated my request for sorbet rather than ice cream.

I would of loved an opportunity to have stayed at the hotel but like all good hotels the rooms were fully booked, I have included some photographs provided by the hotel so that you can see the style.

Rooms start from £99 bed & breakfast based on two sharing, they also have dog-friendly rooms and offer a dedicated dog dinner room service menu for your four-legged friends, how cute is that?

Photo kindly supplied by The Master Builder's

Meal was complimentary.

Views all my own.

Next time I visit I am going to try The Riverside Restaurant and hopefully we can arrive by our little boat. Make the most of this glorious weather and book your table for this historic place with a view.

#BucklersHard #Bananastickytoffeepudding #ClottedcreamPannacotta #Rumpsteak #TheMasterBuilders #NewForest #restaurants #history #shipbuilding

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CHRISTCHURCH, DORSET
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