Set in the heart of the magical New Forest, Balmer Lawn Hotel offers a cosy, rustic retreat. Surrounded by woodland, you’ll spot New Forest ponies, cows, donkeys and maybe even a pig roaming freely as you enjoy the luxury of Balmer Lawn’s hospitality. We enjoyed a wonderful night seeing all that they have to offer couples looking for a classic English country wedding.
As we entered, such a friendly welcome awaited us, passing rows of wellies available for guests to borrow to explore the forest, as well as a log fire and cosy reception area. A grand staircase swept upwards, with Edison lights hanging down and artwork reminding us of our surroundings, with friendly (faux) deer sculptures adorning the walls.
Our room was spacious, with stunning forest views and an adjoining room for our daughter, who travelled with us. Honeymoon rooms also have a balcony and more gorgeous views over the forest. Balmer Lawn Hotel has a swimming pool and spa, making the ideal hen retreat to celebrate or somewhere to relax the night before the big day!
They also offer exceptional afternoon teas, which would be a lovely addition to any trip to the New Forest.
Dining at Balmer Lawn Hotel
The food was simply incredible. We ate at the Beresfords restaurant, with two well-deserved AA rosettes to their name. We were so well looked after by Bryony, from start to finish, with a glass of Prosecco whilst we browsed the menu.
Garlic prawns and delicious macaroni cheese bites before our starters, braised beef ravioli with wild mushrooms to start, then a glorious pan-fried salmon on a smoked Dorset cheddar and sweetcorn risotto. Exquisite food, locally sourced and elegantly prepared, was a joy to eat. Our surroundings again reminded us of where we were, with influences of the forest found in the slices of branches within the tables and the antler chandeliers.
A lovely meal, romantic and quiet, was followed by a peaceful sleep, and we were greeted by views of New Forest ponies roaming the following day freely from our window before a full English breakfast and a tour of the wedding options available at Balmer Lawn Hotel.
Weddings at Balmer Lawn Hotel
Wedding Executive Ruth made us feel incredibly welcome and showed us all the available wedding facilities. Licensed for civil ceremonies, the hotel can host small, intimate gatherings or larger-scale celebrations of up to 140 guests. They offer a range of packages, including ‘Everything but the Dress’ – ideal if you’re not keen on dealing with suppliers!
The Beaulieu Room had been decorated especially for us, decked out for a wedding with a top table and elegantly arranged dining tables for guests. Able to accommodate 140 guests, the room has a wall of windows out to the forest, more antler chandeliers, and had been dressed with a neon ‘Happily Ever After’ sign and a pretty arch.
Suppliers had created a beautiful ambience, with flowers, music, candles and lighting creating the perfect wedding reception setting. Having taken it all in, we ventured outside to see the outdoor ceremony area. This would be an attractive location for an outdoor summer wedding with a long aisle and the sweetest wooden gazebo area. You could extend the warm evening celebrations with a pizza oven or hog roast outside after your formal reception inside.
The wedding area is self-contained, with its entrance. Vast and varied, the wedding packages are also incredibly flexible, with menus created for your taste and local suppliers chosen according to your themes. Balmer Lawn works with some of the most brilliant local talent, bringing them in to help enhance the beauty of every wedding day.
The hotel also has a separate building onsite which would be a gorgeous place to get ready and for the bridesmaids to stay in afterwards. Set in beautiful surroundings, the New Forest provides the perfect place for a mini-moon or escape prior to the wedding.
Picturesque and charming, there are plenty of spots for pictures, and a short trip to Lymington would give some incredible wedding photos by the harbour.
My top five 5 Star highlights:
Beresford restaurant – the pan-fried salmon was sublime.
The location – is surrounded by the gorgeous New Forest, a detox from city life.
Weddings – self-contained spaces with a beautiful range of packages and local suppliers.
The history – originally built as a hunting lodge, it was also a World War One field hospital.
The décor – a constant reminder of your location, with antler chandeliers and wooden accents.
Credits for the room setup Event Perfection – Chairs & Neon Sign – Florist – Jo Hicks -Table Styling – Linen & Lace Uplighting – All Parties & Events