Beresford’s Restaurant at The Balmer Lawn Hotel (Hampshire) Reviewed

Beresford’s is a fine dining restaurant in the heart of the New Forest with an AA rosette, lots of style and panache. Executive chef, Chris Wheeldon has created a menu focused on daily menus, with seasonal and local produce. Is it a place worth visiting and with an exciting menu? We most certainly think so and here is why…


Tastes and flavour combinations for all

Starters are an interesting blend of techniques and influences from across the globe, with utterances of raviolo to teriyaki. I was instantly draw to the Fossil farm short rib ravioli, with a celeriac and horseradish puree. As the dish was placed on the table, there was also the offering of extra horseradish, which I quickly jumped at. The overall flavour of the short rib was intense, succulent and oozing with flavour. This really was a delicious start to the meal. Plus the short rib worked with the horseradish and balanced perfectly, rather than producing too much of an overwhelming experience for the taste buds.


Moving on from the starters, things only got better and better. The braised South Downs shoulder of lamb, with root vegetables, wilted Nero and mash was a real hit. Rich, lavish and full of hearty lamb flavour, this dish not only tasted good, but it was also delivered with aesthetic finesse and style.


My partner went for the Ash rolled beef, with garlic & thyme potatoes, wilted greens and cherry tomatoes. The edges of the beef had an ash crust which gave an alternative, smoky flavour and one we were not quite expecting. However, it was cooked perfectly, was tender and highly enjoyable as a dish on the whole. The only element here would be a slight increase on the seasoning, as it was otherwise faultless.

Thirsty work!

The wine list is fairly extensive and there seems to be a great selection from the world’s best wineries. With Beef and Lamb selected for our mains, we opted for a sweet spiced Argentinian Malbec. The 2014 Melodias Winemakers Selection Malbec had a wonderful flavour of plums and was pleasant with a light acidity. A bottle will set you back approximately £28 or a large glass for £7. Either way, this was the perfect match for our mains and terrifically drinkable.

Having enjoyed the wine, the food and the service, there was only one place left for us… the desserts. Once again, we felt there to be a strong selection of choices and it made it rather difficult to choose. However, after some deliberation, I opted for the Mango mouse, with a mango & coriander salsa, chocolate soil and a raspberry tuille. Keeping it concise, each element was superbly executed. The mousse was light, ripe with mango flavour and delicious. The addition of the “salsa” was inspired, as it gave the mousse a zing and an additional dimension. A fantastic dish, possibly one of our favourites of the entire evening.

A special mention should also go to the chocolate fondant. With the slightest of touches, the warm, gooey chocolate poured across the plate, exactly as a fondant should.


Staff were also attentive and friendly. Our waiter Fernando made our evening relaxed, easy going and we felt at ease from the get go.

Go Al Fresco on the terrace

If you are looking to enjoy the great outdoors and take in the stars, then there is a gorgeous Al Fresco dining experience on offer at Beresford’s. For us, it was a tad too chilly for us to enjoy our meal outside, but it is a beautifully designed area and an area reflective of the hotel’s wider sense of style. The hotel has three giant parasols offer heat and light, extending your time to enjoy the delights of dining outside whilst looking out over the New Forest. 


Available daily for lunch 12-2.30pm and dinner 6.30-9.00pm is our new Beresford’s menu. Its a fabulous blend of traditional dishes with a contemporary twist.

Should you be looking to stay at Balmer Lawn, we would recommend reading our review here. To book a meal at Beresford’s please visit the website.

Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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